Background In the present study, the influence of bacterial infection, lipopolysacharides (LPS) and hydroxyethyl starch (HES) on platelet function in a parallel plate flow chamber were measured. Experiments were performed with non-activated and protease-activating-receptor (PAR) 4 agonist activated platelets. Comparative measurements were in vivo capillary bleeding time, platelet function analyzer and impedance aggregometry. Results PAR 4 agonist did not increase platelet adhesion of platelets from dogs with bacterial inflammation in the flow chamber in contrast to platelets of healthy dogs. Except from impedance aggregometry with lower sensitivity and specificity, PFA did not detect platelet dysfunctions in dogs with infection. In vitro addition of LPS or HES significantly reduced platelet covered area after PAR-activation. Conclusions The flow chamber detects platelet dysfunctions in dogs with inflammatory diseases. In vitro addition of LPS highlights the inhibiting effect of bacterial wall components on platelet function. Platelet dysfunction induced by infection could possibly also be diagnosed after treatment of sepsis with colloids has commenced. The flow chamber could be a useful tool to detect sepsis associated platelet dysfunction given that larger prospective trials confirm these findings from a proof of concept study.