Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Heart Valve Infection (Infective Endocarditis) in Cats


Infective Endocarditis in Cats


Inflammation of the inner lining of the heart is medically referred to as endocarditis. Infective endocarditis can occur in response to any infection of the body. Generalized infections in the body may invade the inner lining of heart, as well as the valves of the heart. If the underlying disease if not treated in time, complications can lead to heart failure and death. This condition is rarely seen in cats.


Symptoms and Types


Variable set of symptoms may be present in patient depending upon the nature and site of infection, complications and extent of affects on heart. The following symptoms may be present in an affected cat:


  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Bluish discoloration of the skin
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Reluctance to move
  • Body aches and pains
  • Symptoms related to heart problems
  • Difficult breathing
  • Intermittent lameness
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances




  • Bacterial Infections
  • Previous major surgery




You will need to give your veterinarian a complete background history for your cat, including information about the onset of symptoms, any illnesses or injuries your cat has experienced, any surgical procedures, and the duration and frequency of symptoms that have been apparent.


Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination, including basic laboratory testing: a complete blood count (CBC) test, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. The results of these tests may reveal information related to the underlying infection, and may point to the organs being affected.


Blood cultures will help to determine the causative agent involved in the infection and will also allow your veterinarian to determine the most suitable antibiotics for treatment of the underlying infection. A visual examination of the heart, using radiographic (i.e., X-ray) studies can help your veterinarian to determine the extent of heart involvement, and echocardiography, which uses ultrasound to image the inner organs, is an excellent tool for a detailed evaluation of the heart's functioning ability. Your veterinarian will also need to measure the electrical activity of the heart, which is done using an electrocardiogram (ECG) to record the heart's movement and impulses.




Related Articles

Heart and Lung Diseases in Cats

Endomyocarditis, or inflammation of the inner heart muscle and lining, is an acute heart and lung (cardiopulmonary) disease that typically develops...

Congenital Heart Defect (Ebstein’s Anomaly) in Cats

Ebstein's anomaly is a rare congenital malformation of the heart in which the opening of the tricuspid valve (on the right side of the heart,...

Anemia Due to Red Blood Cell Damage in Cats

Anemia due to red blood cell damage in cats can occur as a reaction to certain medications, or as a result of eating onions. Learn more about...

Heart Failure, Congestive (Left-sided) in Cats

Congestive left-sided heart failure occurs when the left side of the heart cannot push blood through the body fast enough to meet the metabolic...