Septic pericarditis and myocardial abscess in a dog

7 May 2018 – News

This article describes the diagnostic approach of two conditions seen occasionally in dogs: septic pericarditis and a myocardial abscess.

A 3-year-old female English springer spaniel presented with a three-month history of intermittent pyrexia and lethargy.  It has also suffered episodes of tachypnoea, inappetence and vomiting. The case was forwarded to a referral hospital when a pericardial effusion was detected and analysis of the pericardial fluid revealed degenerative changes in neutrophils and several intra and extracellular bacteria.

Additional exams revealed high levels of troponin I in the blood, the presence of a mass (compatible with an abscess) in the right ventricle, dilation of the right heart, tricuspid dysplasia, pleural effusion and moderate hepatomegaly.

Therapy was based on triple antibacterial therapy, furosemide, benazepril, pimobendan and spironolactone. In addition, an exploratory median sternotomy and a sub-total pericardiectomy were performed to drain the abscess, search for foreign bodies and collect a sample for histopathological analysis.

While cases of septic pericarditis and/or myocardial abscesses in dogs can result in a bad prognosis, the medical and surgical treatment provided in this case enabled the full recovery of the patient.

In Fraga, Gemma & Manteiga, Eduardo & Trehy, Mary & Freeman, Alistair & Mcconnell, James & Dukes McEwan, Joanna. (2013). Septic pericarditis and myocardial abscess in an English Springer Spaniel. Journal of Veterinary Cardiology. 16. 10.1016/j.jvc.2013.09.002.