Aortic valvular endocarditis caused by Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii in 2 dogs presenting for fulminant pulmonary edema


Address correspondence and reprint requests to:
Dr. Sean D. Smarick, VMD, Alleghany Veterinary Emergency Associates, 1810 Route 286, Pittsburgh, PA 15239.


Objective:  To describe the clinical course of 2 dogs that presented with fulminant cardiogenic pulmonary edema due to aortic valvular endocarditis caused by Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii.

Case series summary:  Two dogs that were presented for respiratory distress had severe pulmonary infiltrates. Mechanical ventilation was required to support the dogs while the cause of the infiltrates was determined. The diagnosis of cardiogenic edema was made based on echocardiographic findings of aortic valve vegetation and severe aortic valvular regurgitation. Values obtained from pulmonary artery catheterization supported this diagnosis. Both dogs were euthanized, one within 24 hours of admission due to severe aortic regurgitation thought to be untreatable, and the other 9 days after admission due to the development of acute renal failure. Histological evaluation of the aortic valves, serology, and polymerase chain reaction confirmed Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii as the cause of the aortic endocarditis.

New or unique information provided:  In medium-to-large breed dogs presenting with fulminant pulmonary edema, aortic valvular endocarditis due to Bartonella spp. should be considered as a causal agent.