Hoppy: The “Feral” Foster – And His Chinny-Chin-Chin

This blog was posted before our name change to For All Animals.

Hoppy’s chin had never looked good, but I think it was easy to be distracted by the other things going on with his health. Looking back, I think I assumed his chin would get better when his upper respiratory infection (URI) got better—but that didn’t seem to be the case. This resulted in another round of ‘ask my vet and rescue contacts if they’ve seen this before.’

I personally think it looks worse in the photos—but Hoppy’s chin was clearly an issue. Not that I expected much, but no one was able to give a definitive diagnosis from the photos. We set up an appointment with our local vet—Dr. Wolf—who by this point knew us by name.

Dr. Wolf was as perplexed as the rest. She did point out that the whole rim of his mouth was red and her best guess was allergies. She prescribed a steroid—Prednisone (which we didn’t seem to get billed for). I also decided we just needed to face the facts and run a full blood panel to see Hoppy’s bigger picture. Clearly we had made a commitment to this cat—so better to have as much information as possible from the get.

Hoppy holding onto the vet's scale for dear life. He had gained almost two pounds - up to 10.81 pounds.

Hoppy holding onto the vet’s scale for dear life. He had gained almost two pounds – up to 10.81 pounds since his last weigh in.

After a few days we got a call with the results. We had been giving him supplements for his kidneys and ironically he got an A+ in kidney function. He tested positive for corona virus and toxoplasmosis—which we treated. Based on the rest of the blood work she was afraid he may have cancer—and she thought it may be in his nasal passages. I didn’t even know that was possible—but if it was possible, it only made sense that Hoppy would have it. We stopped the immunoregulin shots immediately. Dr. Wolf referred us to an internist for closer examination.

Medical progress exam – $36, Blood panel – $212.80, Antirobe for toxoplasmosis – $94.80 = $343.60. Total vet bills to date = $1018.15.


Ella Putsché is the executive director of Photographers for Animals.
Recognizing the impact and influence imagery can have on an audience to
take action, she founded Photographers for Animals to promote animal
issues and to help organizations utilize opportunities for photography and film.