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General Information

Endocarditis is an inflammation of the lining of the heart and/or the valves of the heart. Usually it is caused by an infection in another part of the body, such as the teeth, tonsils, anal sacs or kidneys. This infection reaches the heart through the bloodstream.

Endocarditis is a serious disease and may cause death. Blood clots may develop and further complicate an already serious condition.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Treatment for endocarditis is designed to eliminate infection. The severity of the condition and involvement of other parts of the body dictate whether hospitalization is necessary and the type of treatment used.

2. Extensive laboratory tests, including blood cultures, are used to diagnose the condition and assess the response to treatment. Chest radiographs (x-rays) and other cardiac tests may be required.

3. Give all medication as directed. Call the doctor if you cannot give the medication.

4. Diet: Follow the instructions checked.

____Feed the normal diet.

____A special diet is required. Feed as follows:

5. Exercise: Strenuous exercise, rough play and excitement must be avoided for several weeks. Limit your pet's activity to short on-leash walks until the doctor allows more vigorous activity.

6. Special instructions:



Notify the Doctor if Any of the Following Occur:

* Your pet's condition worsens.

* Your pet develops a limp.

* Your pet is bleeding, or blood appears in the urine or feces.

* You cannot give the medicine as prescribed.

Infectious Endocarditis

Infectious endocarditis is an infection of the inside lining of the heart and / or the lining of the heart valves. The mitral valve (heart valve between the left auricle and left ventricle) and aortic valve (heart valve between the left ventricle and the aorta) are the most common sites of cardiac infections in dogs and cats.

Infection of the endocardium is generally the result of an infection in another part of the body. The germs travel through the bloodstream and eventually colonize the endocardium (the internal lining of the heart and heart valves).

Germs gain access to the circulation from abscess, external lesions, tooth infections, kidney infections, infectious arthritis and osteomyelitis (bone infections). Many other types of infection can also lead to infectious endocarditis. A depressed immune system or treatment with anticancer medication can predispose an animal to infectious endocarditis.

Extensive diagnostic tests are usually required for diagnosing and treating infectious endocarditis. Blood cultures are necessary for identifying the infectious agent.

The prognosis for infectious endocarditis is extremely guarded. Secondary complications often occur. Even with aggressive treatment, infectious endocarditis is often fatal.

The information on this page was obtained from the site www.vetnetwork.com