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Heart Valve Infection (Infective Endocarditis) in Dogs

3 min read



This is serious health problem for animals, and your dog will most likely require hospitalization for intensive care and treatment. Fluid therapy and antibiotic therapy will be given to restore and maintain body fluid levels and to control the infection, respectively.


Patients with valve involvement generally are not given a good prognosis. However, this is often dependent upon the stage of the infection and the functionality of the heart. Treatment is normally given over the course of 12 weeks, during which time your veterinarian will take multiple blood samples at regular intervals to measure how much of the infection, if any, is still present. After antibiotic therapy has stopped, blood samples will be taken to confirm that the infection has been resolved.


Living and Management


If your dog’s heart problem was mild, it will usually respond well to treatment. If the endocarditis was diagnosed in time, and aggressive treatment was employed along with a detailed follow up, the chances of a full recovery are also greatly enhanced.


You may need to take your dog to the veterinarian for weekly follow-up examinations, and to determine overall progress. Your veterinarian may also suggest a special diet for your dog to improve cardiovascular functioning and organ health. Treatment will be directed towards treating the underlying infection as well as the heart problems that have resulted from such infections. In cases where a diagnosis was not made early on, and the disease has had an opportunity to advance, the overall prognosis may be very poor due to further complications that are common in affected dogs. In such a case, your veterinarian will advise you on alternative plans. 



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