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Measurement of serum haptoglobin (Hapto) concentrations results in only moderate reported specificity and sensitivity for the detection of metritic cows. The objective of this study was to evaluate associations between different variables and haptoglobin concentrations after calving. Parity, periparturient metabolic stress indicated by β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) and nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), calving difficulties, retained fetal membranes (RFM), and acute puerperal metritis (APM) were evaluated. A total of 443 Holstein Friesian cows were enrolled in this retrospective observational study. Acute puerperal metritis was diagnosed when a cow had fetid, reddish-brown, watery vaginal discharge in combination with rectal temperature ≥39.5°C. The retention of the fetal membranes has been defined as the failure to expel the fetal membranes within 12 h after calving. Results of blood samples from 2 and 5 d in milk (DIM) were analyzed for Hapto, BHBA, and NEFA. Primiparous cows had a greater median Hapto concentration than multiparous cows at 5 DIM [primiparous: 2.25 g/L, interquartile range (IQR) 1.45-2.50, n = 146; multiparous: 1.13 g/L, IQR 0.52-2.22, n = 302; P < 0.05]. Therefore, different Hapto thresholds based on references from literature for all cows (1.4 g/L), primiparous cows (2.49 g/L), and multiparous cows (1.4 g/L) were used for further analysis. Periparturient metabolic stress indicated by elevated BHBA (≥1.2 mmol/L) at 5 DIM was associated with elevated Hapto (odds ratio 2.39-2.87) regardless of parity. In contrast, elevated NEFA (≥0.6 mmol/L) at 2 DIM was not a risk factor for elevated Hapto. Multiparous cows with assisted calving had a 2.46 times higher risk for elevated Hapto, whereas primiparous cows with assisted calving had no elevated risk for elevated Hapto at 5 DIM. Moreover, multiparous cows with RFM were 5.51 times more likely to have elevated Hapto at 5 DIM than cows without RFM. Acute puerperal metritis within the first 5 DIM was associated with elevated Hapto (odds ratio 2.74-5.01), regardless of parity. We speculate that the association of calving ease, RFM, and periparturient metabolic stress could explain the moderate sensitivity and specificity reported for the detection of metritic cows by measuring Hapto.