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8:43 AM   April 18, 2014
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Quality of Life Scale

By: Dr. Alice Villalobos

 Click here to download Dr. Villalobos' Quality of Life Scale
                                 

     Quality of Life Scale1 
        The HHHHHMM Scale

Pet caregivers can use this Quality of Life Scale to determine the success of pawspice care. Score patients using a scale of 1 to 10.

 Score

                                          Criterion                                                     

H: 0 - 10  HURT - Adequate pain control, including breathing ability, is first and foremost on the scale. Is the pet's pain successfully managed? Is oxygen necessary?
H: 0 - 10 HUNGER - Is the pet eating enough? Does hand feeding help? Does the patient require a feeding tube?
H: 0 - 10 HYDRATION - Is the patient dehydrated? For patients not drinking enough, use subcutaneous fluids once or twice daily to supplement fluid intake.
H: 0 - 10 HYGIENE - The patient should be brushed and cleaned, particularly after elmination. Avoid pressure sores and keep all wounds clean.
H: 0 - 10 HAPPINESS - Does the pet express joy and interest? Is the pet responsive to things around him or her (family, toys, etc.)? Is the pet depressed, lonely, anxious, bored or afraid? Can the pet's bed be close to the family activities and not be isolated?
M: 0 - 10 MOBILITY - Can the patient get up without assistance? Does the pet need human or mechanical help (e.g. a cart)? Does the pet feel like going for a walk?  Is the pet having seizures or stumbling?  (Some caregivers feel euthanasia is preferable to amputation, yet an animal who has limited mobility but is still alert and responsive can have a good quality of life as long as caregivers are committed to helping the pet.)
M: 0 - 10 MORE GOOD DAYS THAN BAD - When bad days outnumber good days, quality of life might be compromised. When a healthy human-animal bond is no longer possible, the caregiver must be made aware the end is near. The decision needs to be made if the pet is suffering. If death comes peacefully and painlessly, that is okay.
*TOTAL= *A total >35 points is acceptable for a good pawspice
                                                       
1.Adapted by Villalobos, A.E., Quality of Life Scale Helps Make Final Call, VPN,
09/2004,for Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology Honoring the Human-Animal
Bond, by Blackwell Publishing, Table 10.1, released 2006.

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Quality of Life Scale

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Reader Comments
Excellent tool to determine dog's quality of life. So glad I found it. My dog is still greater than 35 but this chart will be a valuable method to continually assess her QOL. She is a 16 year-old Pekingese mix.
Diane, Bryan, TX
Posted: 2/23/2014 11:07:22 AM
Ty so much , I really needed this because our cocker spaniel developed liver and lung cancer at the beginning of Jan 2014 but its bad they said ! But she seems to be doing ok except for I see her breathing looks a lot different , but shes eating , drinking, going to bathroom and still runs likes a puppy when her daddy comes home from work and shes 10! But I just never want her to suffer so ty for this article because it helped me alot and I will continue to monitor her until its her time. Sincerely Mrs. Eradin Berrios ?
Robin, york, PA
Posted: 2/16/2014 4:30:03 AM
Thank you. Thank you for providing a usable, logical, and compassionate scale to identify key end of life mile markers for pets. Thank you.
Jennifer, Columbus, WI
Posted: 1/27/2014 1:07:27 PM
Sometimes when you have multiple cats it is hard too monitor stool, urine output, whether cat is eating or drinking enough. My cat was dehydrated when I took her to the vet. She had really high phosphorous and creatine levels. She had been diagnosed with beginning kidney failure 2 years ago. She also had a URI. I'm not sure if I made the right decision to euthanize. She had started vomiting in the middle of the night. I based my decision on previous experience of a cat with renal failure and on her high creatinine levels. She was only 8-9 years old. I did not want her to suffer. I'm not sure if I should have had her URI treated and then retest bloodwork.
Cindy, Columbis, OH
Posted: 8/22/2013 1:54:26 AM
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