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Gisele’s story: the power of pet insurance featured image

Gisele was a dog full of life, struck down by an invisible disease, but given so much by the power of pet insurance. Please read her story

We truly love our dogs and cats here at Petted, which is why we were so utterly heartbroken when Gisele, our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, passed away recently. She’d had hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer. She was only nine-and-a-half years old.

Gisele loved life, and it still feels so unfair that hers was cut short. But the reason she was able to live such an active, healthy life until that point was down to two things: incredible veterinarians and pet insurance.


When she was three, Gisele had a cruciate ligament injury that required $7,000 of surgery. Five years later, she was diagnosed with an oral melanoma that cost $9,500 to treat. Not long after that, an emergency splenectomy with biopsies came to $12,500. 

Gisele was insured with Trupanion and, on each occasion, they paid back 90% of these claims within two days. Without pet insurance, the choice would’ve been simple: find the money to pay the entire vet bill or face the unthinkable. 

11 glorious days 

After her emergency splenectomy, Gisele came home – and within a couple of days she was back to her old self. She was playing, she was digging, she was walking, she was just full of life. She had the 11 best days ever, which she and her pet parents would never have been able to have without pet insurance to cover those bills. 

On the 12th day after she came out of hospital, Gisele started to show signs that the end could be near. She didn’t want to come downstairs. She didn’t want to eat. She didn’t want to go to the bathroom. Soon, with her veterinarian, Dr Kevin McEvilly, advising that Gisele was at risk of choking to death due to blood getting into her lungs from internal bleeding, there was only one decision to be made. Dr McEvilly, who had looked after Gisele with such care and compassion throughout her life, even offered to come to Gisele’s home in his lunch hour to allow her to pass with dignity. It was an incredible gesture from an incredible veterinarian. 

Thousands of pet parents around the world will know the absolute heartbreak of saying goodbye to a pet. They’re part of the family, and they become part of you. But as we said goodbye to Gisele, we promised her that her death would not be in vain – and that’s why we’re writing this. 

In the end, hemangiosarcoma was just too much for even a dog with Gisele’s strength and courage to fight. But her life showed two things: the absolute joy that being a pet parent can bring, and how pet insurance can help to lengthen life when your pet has an accident or illness, so you both get more precious time together. It really is that simple. 

If you’re ever on the fence about pet insurance, please remember Gisele’s story. 

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