General information on Bacterial Endocarditis
Bacterial Endocarditis is a bacterial infection that affects the dogs heart valves and the lining of the heart muscle. Bacteria enter the bloodstream from an infection somewhere else in the body or an infected wound. These bacteria invade the heart valves and create a cauliflower like mass called vegetations. The vegetations can break off and infect other areas of the dogs body. Because this infection can affect many areas of the dog, the symptoms can vary and imitate symptoms of other diseases or conditions.
Symptoms of Bacterial Endocarditis
Symptoms of Bacterial Endocarditis may include fever, loss of appetite, lameness, shaking, lethargy and you may see personality changes in the dog.
Treatments for Bacterial Endocarditis
Your vet will need to test the dog to find the correct antibiotic to fight the bacterial infection. The dog may need to have the antibiotics delivered by intravenous. X-rays and echocardiography may be used to monitor the shrinkage of the vegetations.
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Bacterial Endocarditis - personal experiences
Bacterial Endocarditis experience by - Buster
San Antonio, Texas, Bexar
My dog began to lose weight unexpectedly. I had introduced a new dog to our household and I thought he might not be eating because he was jeolous. However after about 2 weeks, Buster began to throw up. The vet ran some tests on him. She told me that my dog had been poisoned with either antifreeze or with grapes and that I should take him home because he would probably be dead in two days because he was in kidney failure. She also advised me that he was in the beginning stages of heartworm. She stated she could not offer any other help outside of a blood transfusion. This did not make sense to me since it was dealing with treatment of the kidney failure. I decided to take him home and make him as comfortable as I could as I believed the vet when she said Buster would die within a couple of days.
Three days later my dog was still alive. I contacted the vet's office and adviced them. The vet was told that Buster was still alive. She had them advise me to come by and pick up a prescription of Doxycycline. She did not speak with me nor did she ask to see Buster. The prescription bottle instructed me to bring him back in 10 days so that the lab work could be rechecked. In an attempt to keep Buster from throwing up, I took Buster off of food and began to give him Pedialyte to try to balance out his electrolytes. After about 2 - 3 days I introduced chicken broth. Then after about another day I gave him chicken and he was able to keep it down. Several days passed and although he was still thin, he appeared to be doing better. On Friday, late evening, I noticed he was limping from his front left leg like he had a splinter. I checked his foot and could not find anything and decided I would see if the limp went away by the next day. By Saturday evening my dog could no longer walk normally. His back legs appeared to be going out on him. I rushed him to the emergency animal hospital. They ran several tests and kept him until Monday morning. The vet at the emergency room informed me that Buster did appear to have kidney problems but that she did not know why I had been advised that "he would be dead in two days."
I looked for another vet to take Buster to that same day. The new vet received all the emergency room records. Fluids were given to him intraveniously along with antibiotics. Several xrays were taken. Everyone agrees that Buster has kidney problems but can not actually verify that he was ever poisoned. Buster is given fluids and antibiotics for two more days. It is now Wednesday. Buster's back legs are now almost completely gone. The vet does not know why Buster is losing his ability to walk. When I pick Buster up at the vet, he appears to be having some type of seisure because he is very unsteady and does not appear to know who I am at first. I take Buster home and begin giving him the antibiotics mixed in is food. Buster has not thrown up since I began giving him the Pedialyte. He keeps all his food down and drinks water on his own. He is fond of the canned Science Diet Gourmet Beef mixed with a little veleeta cheese and apple sauce. He lets me know when he wants to go outside. His back legs have become totally lame.
Today, about 12 days since Buster first showed a slight limp, my vet called me to tell me that he suspects bacterial endocarditis. He stated that this will require bringing in a specialist, doing an ECG, Xrays etc. I ask if any of this will help Buster walk again. He states he does not know. All of these events, including Buster's first vet visit advising me he would be dead in two days, have happened since the last week of November to December 30. About 5 weeks. I have agreed to consult with the specialist. I have already spent over two thousand dollars. I can only hope and pray.
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