Jump to section

What is Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome?

Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in cats is a complication or critical illnesses that are well-recognized as the failure of one or more organ systems. In felines, multiple organ dysfunction can affect the gastrointestinal and neurologic systems, and the blood, kidneys, liver, heart and lungs. The causes of MODS in cats are an endless list of systemic disease and infections that cause the organ to be damaged, resulting in failure. The symptoms your cat could display mimic clinical signs of other common feline diseases and could be any clinical sign from vomiting to a coma. Multiple organ dysfunction in cats is a fatal disease and it is vital your cat receives veterinary medical attention immediately. 

Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $1,000 - $30,000

Average Cost

$10,000

Symptoms of Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome in Cats

The clinical signs a feline presents in the case of multiple organ dysfunction (MODS) in cats is associated with the specific organ affected. The symptoms your cat displays are associated with organ damage in the following systems: 

Gastrointestinal

  • Melena (black, tar-colored feces of digested blood. A sign of stomach bleeding) 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Hematemesis (blood in vomit) 
  • Vomiting

Neurologic 

  • Coma 
  • Depression 

Coagulation 

  • Gingival hemorrhage 
  • Epistaxis 
  • Petechia 
  • Ecchymoses 
  • Thrombocytopenia 
  • Decreased antithrombin 
  • Elevated D-Dimers
  • Elevated fibrin degradation 
  • Prolonged activated clotting time   
  • Activated partial thromboplastin time 
  • Prothrombin time 

Renal 

  • Proteinuria 
  • Glycosuria 
  • Renal tubular casts
  • Anuria 
  • Oliguria 

Hepatic 

  • Icterus
  • Hypoalbuminemia 
  • Decreased antithrombin 
  • Bilirubinuria 
  • Elevated total bilirubin 

Cardiac

  • Bradycardia
  • Tachycardia 
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Hypotension 
  • Decreased cardiac output
  • Global hypothermia 
  • Peripheral hypothermia 
  • Pulse volume 
  • Arrhythmias 
  • Respiratory 
  • Cough 
  • Frothy, bloody pulmonary edema fluid
  • Cyanosis 
  • Pulmonary crackles
  • Orthopnea
  • Tachypnea
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome in Cats

Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) in cats is the result of critical illness and the underlying cause of the condition varies according to the specific organ affected. In MODS, the cats hematological, hepatobiliary, gastrointestinal, respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular and renal systems are affected by different elements. 

Kidneys

  • Acute kidney injury 
  • Acute tubular necrosis 
  • Ischemia 
  • Antibiotic use 
  • Sepsis 
  • Pigment nephropathy (heat stroke/rhabdomyolysis) 

Respiratory System

  • Acute lung injury 
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome 
  • Damage to the pulmonary endothelium 
  • Pulmonary contusion 
  • Damage to the alveoli 
  • Cytokine-mediated inflammation 
  • Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema 
  • Pulmonary capillary leak 

Gastrointestinal System

  • Bacterial infection 
  • Sepsis 
  • Endotoxemia 
  • Hypoperfusion of Splanchnic circulation 

Neurologic 

  • Neurologic deterioration 
  • Hypoglycemia 
  • Metabolic encephalopathy 
  • Microthrombosis 
  • Hypovolemia 
  • Hypotension 

Cardiovascular 

  • Cardiac failure
  • Pain
  • Hypovolemia 
  • Hypoxemia 
  • Acid disturbance 
  • Ectopy
  • Myocardial dysfunction 
  • Hypotension 
  • Circulating cytokines 
  • Systemic inflammation 

Hematologic

 

  • Microvascular thrombosis 
  • DIC 
  • Endothelial damage 
  • Widespread inflammation 

Hepatic

 

  • Encephalopathy 
  • Hypoglycemia 
  • Coagulopathy 
  • Hepatic failure 
  • Acute hepatocellular necrosis 
  • Endotoxin 
  • Ischemic injury 
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome in Cats

The veterinarian’s focus in diagnosing MODS in cats, is differentiating organ dysfunction from other critical illnesses. Identifying clinical and laboratory evidence of one or more dysfunctional organs can be obtained by performing the following diagnostic exams: 

Laboratory Testing

  • Thromboelastography 
  • Fibrinogen 
  • Coagulation profile (PT, aPTT) 
  • Urinalysis 
  • Blood gas analysis 
  • Serum biochemistry profile 
  • Complete blood cell count with platelet count

Imaging

  • Echocardiography 
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Abdominal radiographs 
  • Thoracic radiographs 

Other Diagnostic Tests  

  • Aerobic cultures (wounds, blood, peritoneal, urine) 
  • Electrocardiogram: used to identify cardiac arrhythmias  
  • Blood pressure: used to identify hypotension 
  • Pulse oximetry: used to identify hypoxemia 
arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome in Cats

The goal of treating MODS in cats is to identify the targeted organ and the underlying disease that is causing the organ to become dysfunctional. Your veterinarian will treat your cats multiple organ dysfunction depending on the organ affected. Possible treatment plans for feline MODS are listed below: 

Gastrointestinal

  • Feeding tube placement to start enteral feeding
  • Administration of prokinetics, antiemetics and gastroprotectants. 

Renal

  • Treat oliguria with mannitol or fenoldopam
  • Maintain renal perfusion  

Cardiovascular & Hematologic 

  • Anticoagulation therapy 
  • Blood and/or plasma transfusions
  • Use of a vasopressor or positive inotropes if refractory hypotension is found.

Respiratory

  • Positive pressure ventilation 
  • Supplemental oxygen therapy 
arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome in Cats

Multiple organ dysfunction in cats is a severe and complicated disease that has a poor to guarded outcome for cat owners. The mortality rate for felines is roughly 70 percent of all presented cases, as any patient diagnosed with MODS is in a critical state. Rapid treatment is vital in order to give the feline a positive chance for survival. Talk with your veterinarian about realistic expectations regarding risk factors associated with multiple organ dysfunction in cats. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $1,000 - $30,000

Average Cost

$10,000

arrow-up-icon

Top

Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

Bootsie

dog-breed-icon

DOMESTIC

dog-age-icon

15 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Not Eating, No Control Of Rear Legs

My baby boy (15yrs) wasn't himself beginning in Oct but I thought it could be that he knew I was leaving for 1.5 weeks for vacation when he saw my suitcase (I had 2 babysitters for him while I was gone). Before I adopted him he had the majority of his teeth removed. He was also diagnosed with a grade 2/6 heart murmur. When I got home from vacation I definitely noticed he wasn't good. His eating and water intake decreased. I took him to the vet (Nov 11) and she did blood work, urinalysis and a stool specimen. He was found to have an increase in white blood cells and he was dehydrated. His BUN was 32 and Glucose was 202 -everything else was normal. They gave him a Convenia injection and Subcutaneous Fluid Therapy and I took him home vowing to get him to eat and drink. I tried giving him all kinds of food (tuna, chicken, etc) but he still didn't want to eat much and his balance was a huge concern with me so 4 days later I took him to another vet. They reviewed his blood work and other than going through an ultrasound, the diagnosis was dehydration, bacteruria, mild hyperglycemia without glucosuria and murmur. This vet gave me Mirtazapine (food stimulant) and Gabapentin Capsules for pain. The first night I gave him the entire pill and he was flopping all over the place so I realized a whole pill wasn't a good amount for him so I'd give him just a tiny bit and he wanted to eat. He wanted whatever I was eating but he just didn't seem interested in more than "picking at" his food. He was drinking water but not like he used to - he was a huge water drinker and diabetes was ruled out last year. As the days went by he was getting weaker and weaker. He'd still get on my bed and sleep with me, he'd get up on the back of the couch and chairs but he wasn't able to control his rear legs. They would come out from underneath him. On Nov 30th I noticed how yellow the inside of his ears were (his nose and mouth was yellowish but I thought it was the dye from the cat food) and then I looked at his paw pads and his eyes and realized he was extremely jaundiced. I called the vet and made an appt. At that point he just looked tired and worn and I realized he wasn't going to get any better. Still to this day, I have no idea what the main issue was, but I've to realize the lack of eating led to the liver issue. Now I'm questioning if the Pure Silicone I sprayed on the inside of his litter box (twice) to keep the litter from sticking to the side of the box had something to do with his demise. I didn't do it while he was around but did it get on the litter and then through his skin? Was those two times enough to cause this? I'm beating myself up thinking his demise was my fault.

Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome Average Cost

From 493 quotes ranging from $1,000 - $30,000

Average Cost

$10,000

How can we help your pet?