Infective endocarditis due to Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae in a dog – a case report
BMC Veterinary Research
Background Infective endocarditis is a rare but severe condition associated with a high mortality rate in small animal patients. This condition is caused by a microbial (most often bacterial) infection of the valvular portion of the endocardium, from which proliferative and/or erosive lesions on the cardiac valves or immediately adjacent structures develop. The two most commonly affected cardiac valves are the aortic and mitral valves. Case presentation We report the clinical case of a 4-year
... d male neutered Bull terrier, 27.6 kg, body condition score 4/9, that presented with a 3-months history of pyrexia and general weakness. The patient history also revealed a transient left hind limb lameness (grade 2/4), which coincided with the onset of clinical signs about 3 months before presentation. On physical examination, a left-sided systolic heart murmur (grade 3/6) with the same intensity at the left heart base and apex, and an irregularly irregular heart rhythm were noted. Electrocardiography showed ventricular premature complexes, and echocardiography revealed lesions consistent with endocarditis involving the aortic and mitral valve. Bacterial culture of blood yielded a positive result, and the organism isolated was identified as Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. The extended patient history revealed that the dog lived close to a farm housing pigs and other livestock. Conclusion We report a rare case of the premortal diagnosis of infective bacterial endocarditis in a dog due to E. rhusiopathiae infection. Most reports about this condition are from necropsy series. This clinical case report emphasizes that E. rhusiopathiae infection and bacteremia should be considered as a differential diagnosis in dogs with suspected infective endocarditis, especially in dogs living in rural areas with access to livestock and particularly farm pigs. Also, particular emphasis should be placed on the zoonotic potential of this infectious disease.