Objective—To determine whether multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) could be identified in dogs with sepsis secondary to gastrointestinal tract leakage, and whether the number of affected organ systems was significantly associated with mortality rate.
Design—Multicenter retrospective case series.
Procedures—Medical records for dogs treated surgically because of sepsis secondary to gastrointestinal tract leakage between 2003 and 2007 were reviewed. Sepsis was diagnosed on the basis of results of bacterial culture of peritoneal fluid, gross evidence of gastrointestinal tract leakage at surgery, or both. Renal dysfunction was defined as a ≥ 0.5 mg/dL increase in serum creatinine concentration after surgery. Cardiovascular dysfunction was defined as hypotension requiring vasopressor treatment. Respiratory dysfunction was defined as a need for supplemental oxygen administration or mechanical ventilation. Hepatic dysfunction was defined as a serum bilirubin concentration > 0.5 mg/dL. Dysfunction of coagulation was defined as prolonged prothrombin time, prolonged partial thromboplastin time, or platelet count ≤ 100,000/μL.
Results—89 (78%) dogs had dysfunction of 1 or more organ systems, and 57 (50%) dogs had MODS. Mortality rate increased as the number of dysfunctional organ systems increased. Mortality rate was 70% (40/57) for dogs with MODS and 25% (14/57) for dogs without.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that MODS, defined as dysfunction of at least 2 organ systems, can be identified in dogs with sepsis and that organ system dysfunction increased the odds of death.