This study investigated the number of blood culture-positive cattle among 215 animals clinically suspected of having bacterial endocarditis. For animals that were necropsied, the sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of the diagnosis of endocarditis were calculated on the basis of the isolation of the causative bacteria from blood. Furthermore, it was investigated whether the glutaraldehyde coagulation time, total leucocyte count, per cent neutrophil granulocytes, pulse rate and duration of disease could help to discriminate endocarditis from other diseases. Among 138 animals necropsied the sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of blood cultivation were 70.7 per cent, 93.8 per cent and 89.1 per cent, respectively. None of the other measurements could be used to discriminate between endocarditis and non-endocarditis cases.