Dr. Louis DelGiudice has spent the better part of the last decade and a half serving his community as a trusted and well-respected veterinarian. He specializes in trauma, respiratory emergencies, and coagulation abnormalities, and is a member of a wide variety of associations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, the human Society of Critical Care Medicine, and the Veterinary Interventional Radiology and Interventional Endoscopy Society. At present, Dr. DelGiudice has taken the position of Chief of the Emergency and Critical Care service.
How have the health needs of cats changed over the past 10 years? Are you seeing more types of health problems now that you perhaps weren’t seeing previously?
We definitely are seeing health diseases earlier in cats now than previously because owners are wanting better care for their pets. Having them evaluated sooner and more regularly is allowing us to diagnose diseases earlier.
How do urinary issues develop in male cats, and can they lead to other health concerns?
Development of feline lower urinary disease mostly occurs in young to middle age cats and is idiopathic, meaning there are no underlying causes. Sometimes they occur secondary to infections or development of urinary crystals or uroliths (stones). Feline lower urinary tract disease can lead to urethral obstruction (inability to urinate), which can be an acutely life-threatening emergency.
How do the common health problems of cats compare to those of dogs or other small pets?
They can be very similar, but what I see is that, for cats, the clinical signs of potential health problems can be more difficult to identify because of their elusive nature.
How often should I take my cat to the veterinarian for a health check-up?
Ideally, we recommend biannual, with a yearly physical exam at the minimum.
What can commonly cause respiratory distress in cats? What are some ways that the issue is addressed?
A large culprit of causing respiratory distress in young cats is lower feline airway disease, i.e., asthma. This can be treated with a multitude of different medications including inhaled steroids, bronchodilators, and oral steroids. We also potentially recommend antibiotics for secondary infections. In older cats, heart disease can be a leading cause of respiratory distress. This is managed with diuretics to reduce fluid in the lungs, blood pressure medication, and other heart supportive medications.
What’s your No. 1 tip for making sure that one’s cat lives a long, healthy life?
The number one tip I can recommend is working closely with your veterinarian in order to best manage your pet’s weight.