Pet Education

Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
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Canine Endocarditis

If bacteria enter the bloodstream, it can settle on the heart valves. The valves get infected and swollen. This irreversible damage leads to blood clots, heart murmurs, and eventually heart failure. It is potentially fatal.


There are a few possible causes of endocarditis, including:


Common signs of endocarditis are:


In order to properly diagnose your dog with endocarditis, your veterinarian may perform the following:


Your veterinarian may advise the following treatments:


Prevention is crucial because endocarditis causes irreversible damage.

The best prevention is oral care by your veterinarian (cleaning, polishing) and at home (brushing and rinsing).


Prognosis depends on the severity of the infection and the valve affected.

If the aortic valve (the valve that prevents blood from flowing from the aorta back into the heart) is infected, the prognosis is poor.

If the mitral valve (the valve that prevents blood from flowing from the lower left chamber back into the upper left chamber) is infected, the prognosis is better.

However, the damage done already is irreversible.

Medically Reviewed by Sara Ochoa, DVM 

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