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The Latest Phenomenon....PET HOSPICE!

More and more cats and dogs are getting the “human treatment.” There are pet therapists, pet spas, even pet clothing stores. The latest phenomenon to hit the market: pet hospice. Around the country, a growing number of veterinarians are offering hospice care, giving cats and dogs — and their owners — a less anxious, more comfortable passing. 

The approach entails ceasing aggressive medical treatment and giving pain and even anti-anxiety drugs. Unlike in hospice care for humans, euthanasia is an option — and in fact, is a big part of this end-of-life turn. When it’s time, the hospice veterinarian performs it in the living room, bedroom, or wherever the family feels most comfortable.  

Take for instance Ripley Murray-Powers: 

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Ripley Murray-Powers’ first 10 years of life were largely uneventful, medically speaking. In the fall of 2017, he was diagnosed with splenic hemangiosarcoma. After his emergency splenectomy, his owners, Aaron and Shannon, set out to spoil Ripley for the months they expected to have left with him. Months turned into years until 2019 when they encountered his second terminal cancer diagnosis, histiocytic sarcoma. His right forelimb was amputated, and they followed up with chemotherapy. Ripley again went into remission.  

In early 2020, they received the devastating diagnosis of another sarcoma - this time in Ripley’s left forelimb. Surgery was not an option, and over the next few months, the tumor progressed despite treatment. His owners were once again faced with the decision to let him go, but Aaron and Shannon knew their dog, and his spirit was not ready to give up. Ripley was transitioned to hospice care at BluePearl Pet Hospice in the San Francisco Bay area. He was immediately put under the care of Audra Pompeani, VMD, Ph.D., who focused on comfort and quality of life.  

Thinking Ripley’s time was close to being up, Shannon and Aaron organized a “Christmas in July” party. However, with pet hospice care, Ripley’s life was extended, and he was able to make it to Christmas day.  


On Aug 10, 2021, BluePearl Pet Hospice helped Ripley to pass peacefully at home in his bed, surrounded by his family and all his favorite toys. 

This month is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, and to celebrate, BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital are bringing to light the impact these incredible services can have on the lives of pets and their families.