Objective—To identify risk factors associated with
development of pyothorax in cats, assess survival
rates for cats that are treated, determine prognostic
indicators, and determine recurrence rates.
Animals—80 cats with pyothorax and 212 control
Procedure—History; month of evaluation; physical
examination findings; results of hematologic, serum
biochemical, and retrovirus testing; radiographic findings;
outcome; recurrence rate; and necropsy findings
were recorded. For control cats, age, sex,
breed, indoor versus outdoor status, vaccination history,
and single- versus multi-cat household status
Results—Cats from multi-cat households were 3.8
times as likely (95% confidence interval, 1.9 to 8.2) to
develop pyothorax, compared with cats from singlecat
households. Indoor or outdoor status was not a
risk factor. Cats with pyothorax were significantly
younger (mean, 3.83 ± 3.43 years) than controls
(mean, 5.62 ± 5.27 years). Nonsurvivors had significantly
lower heart rates than survivors. Hypersalivation
was significantly more common in nonsurvivors
(11/39; 26.8%) than survivors (1/39; 3%).
Overall, 48.8% (39/80) of cats survived. When cats
that were euthanatized without treatment were
excluded from analyses, the survival rate was 66.1%
(39/59). Pyothorax recurred in 1 of 17 cats for which
follow-up information was obtained.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cats with
pyothorax that received treatment had a fair to good
prognosis, with low recurrence rates in survivors.
Hypersalivation and low heart rate were associated
with worse clinical outcome. Cats with pyothorax
were likely to come from multi-cat households. (J Am
Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:819–824)
Objective—To document the clinical, clinicopathologic,
and pathologic findings in cats with severe sepsis,
identify abnormalities unique to this species, and
identify criteria that could be used antemortem to
diagnose the systemic inflammatory response syndrome
Animals—29 cats confirmed to have severe sepsis at
Procedure—Pertinent history, physical examination
findings, and results of hematologic and biochemical
testing were extracted from medical records.
Results—Clinical diagnoses included pyothorax, septic
peritonitis, bacteremia secondary to gastrointestinal
tract disease, pneumonia, endocarditis,
pyelonephritis, osteomyelitis, pyometra, and bite
wounds. Physical examination findings included
lethargy, pale mucous membranes, poor pulse quality,
tachypnea, hypo- or hyperthermia, signs of diffuse
pain on abdominal palpation, bradycardia, and icterus.
Clinicopathologic abnormalities included anemia,
thrombocytopenia, band neutrophilia, hypoalbuminemia,
low serum alkaline phosphatase activity, and
hyperbilirubinemia. Necropsy findings included multiorgan
necrosis or inflammation with intralesional bacteria.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that severe sepsis in cats is characterized by
lethargy, pale mucous membranes, signs of diffuse
abdominal pain, tachypnea, bradycardia, weak pulses,
anemia, hypoalbuminemia, hypothermia, and icterus.
Recognition of this combination of clinical findings
should facilitate the diagnosis of severe sepsis in
cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:531–535)