The death of a pet owner is a difficult event for companion animals, and when those same animals are left in the house by themselves afterwards, time is incredibly important. Moichor’s Regional Diagnostic Sales Manager Carrera Halwachs volunteers at Feline Friends of Sammamish, and the organization was contacted for this exact reason.
Meet Harry and his sister Penny, 16 and 3 year-old cats in the Seattle area who were left by themselves after their owner passed away. Once Feline Friends of Sammamish were contacted about the cats, a volunteer was sent to catch them. The cats needed a place to stay, so Carrera took them into her home to foster.
Both cats were lucky to have a safe place to stay, but they also had some serious health issues to address. They were suffering from flea infestations, diarrhea, poor body conditions, and Harry had a pretty bad haircoat. “At 16 years old, he looked every bit the senior citizen cat,” said Carrera when recounting her story with the pair.
However, by a stroke of luck, Harry and Penny had been patients at the same veterinary clinic Feline Friends of Sammamish used, so locating a patient history was a cinch. Records showed they had been well cared for, but they hadn't had a patient visit for two years as COVID had made veterinary care more difficult to access as their owner’s health declined.
With the veterinarian's help, Carrera collected blood and urine from Harry, and she pulled out the Moichor menu to see what panel options were available. Moichor offers several basic feline wellness bundles that could be considered for Harry’s case:
When they penciled the costs out, Carrera and the veterinarian realized that the Feline Extended Wellness w/fecal was the most cost effective way to get everything they needed for old Harry. The fecal testing also had the added benefit of being able to address his diarrhea, and cytology was ordered for a mass the team had discovered around Harry’s elbow.
“We don’t typically reach for the biggest bundles first, because we want to use our rescue’s resources wisely,” Carrera says, “but based on the diagnostics our veterinarian wanted, this larger bundle was the most cost effective way to get all the results we needed.”
As expected, Harry had a high parasite load on his fecal test and some early metabolic changes common with older cats, but the routine feline wellness bundle found another Easter egg: Harry came back FeLV positive.
The finding was completely incidental and surprised even the veterinarian, especially given Harry's advanced age and history of vaccination.
The positive FeLV diagnosis drove home the importance of comprehensive testing for Carrera and veterinary staff.
The more comprehensive profile saved the rescue time and money up front because they were able to arrive quickly at a perfect treatment plan. Any one of the feline wellness bundles would have been helpful, but the full set of results together gave the team the most complete picture of Harry's health and allowed them to address everything up front.
Director of Clinical Medicine Dr. Bianca Murphy conveys this point when asked about why she bundled the Feline Extended Wellness w/fecal together saying, “The amount of diagnostic data practitioners can receive while saving money was a win-win for everyone.”
Additionally, the results also came back in 24 hours with a pathology review already completed, so there was no need to call the lab and request additional reviews on Harry’s samples. “We will definitely be utilizing the Feline Extended Wellness Plus Fecal for every sick or senior cat coming into our rescue,” says Carrera.
Fortunately, the mass on Harry's elbow wasn’t malignant — it came back as a synovial cyst. And even better news was that Penny tested FeLV negative and had her vaccines updated.
“Many of the previous owner’s friends had connected with us and were very invested in Harry and Penny. Penny has done so well and only needed the basic preventative care - food and shelter, treatment for her internal and external parasites, updating her vaccinations, and having her spayed. It was such a relief to report that she was FeLV negative,” Carrera said. “She’s really bounced back, and we’ve learned she’s an absolute addict when it comes to being brushed.”
However, Harry’s diagnostic journey continues. He’ll get a follow up Feline Extended Wellness panel in a few weeks, and because testing for FeLV positive at his age is uncommon, he will also have confirmation testing done through Moichor at no additional cost.
“The money that the rescue saves on diagnostics by utilizing Moichor has helped us direct more resources back towards treatments — a great benefit for our veterinary partners and for our cats. Harry especially enjoys his acupuncture treatments,” reports Carrera when asked about the cats’ medical treatment.
As for housing, Harry and Penny have been graciously adopted by a friend of their previous owner where they’ll continue receiving brushing and acupuncture sessions.
Wondering what pricing is for feline extended wellness bundles? Download our test menu to see pricing, turnaround time, requirements, and more.