Quality Of Life Scale

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

     Quality of Life Scale1 

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.



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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10 thoughts on “Quality Of Life Scale

  1. I will use this wonderful quality of life scale when my dog is discharged from the hospital. Will you please review this history, and recommend a Pet Hospice service to help me care for him at home (Cotati, California)?
    My 11 y.o. Brittany Spaniel had an acute cervical disc expulsion/rupture on March 15, 2018. On March 16th, he had successful removal of all the disc material at UC Davis. The neurosurgeon thinks he will walk again, but that may take weeks to months. At present, he has tetraparesis, but is able to stand with support.
    He is able to eat a slurry of Ensure & his z/d canned food, but has had significant weight loss. Integrative Services will consult today, and tailored physical therapy will follow. As soon as I have contacted a Pet Hospice, I can begin planning for our return home. I’m staying in Davis until I can bring him home. Another concern is his safe transport, both
    to home from UC Davis, and then at home during his recovery.
    I would appreciate your recommendations for his care at home!

  2. My 3lb toy yorkie was shot in the left temple. The pellet is lodged in the middle of his brain. Surgery is not an option. This was 5 days ago. He is blind and deaf. Not sure if he will ever be “normal” again. I’m not sure how to help him. Please advise any techniques that will help give him the best life possible.

    1. hi Tiffany. I just had my 5lb yorkie (that I raised) put to sleep. She was 13 and had congestive heart failure. At first, I could deal with it while she was on diuretics. But as time progressed she became weaker andi could no longer keep her alive for me. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I had her mother and dad but they have been gone. I have her sister from the same litter. my last litter was 5 AKC female yorkies. WOW. I kept the 2. her sister is lost and depressed but in good health. I cant imagine someone cruel enough to do this to your baby. It is a difficult decision but after reading your story I had to reach out to you. I will pray for you and your little one. they are family.

  3. All 8 of my cats score umder 80, but they have good reports from the vet – one is routinely described as “perfect.” My angel would have scored a 36 hen he died – lying in the closet because he couldn’t walk withour falling over and refusunf food and water. Is somethung off here? Cats are all between 8 and 16 yeaars old and the oldest died at nearly 18 or fst growing liver cancer. The older cat came to me as seniors and in 3 years nothng has changed. I know from their former guardian (passed away) thar they were never social. One is naturally timid, since kittenhood. I have had 3 since early kittenhood and adopted the rest as adults. One is an *unplanned* hybrid turned lap kitty and twp re former ferals. We had a foster who suddenly practiced outraageously bad litter box habits – he peed on the counters! And began attacking the other cats, after 2.5 years. He was 7. Solved the problem, not by euthanasia, as advised, but by finding him a loving home with no other cats. Peace out.

  4. We have a 9 year old cocker spaniel with CCD. This quality scale will prove to be very useful, especially when my partner and I struggle to agree when the time is right to stop our dog suffering. He may score higher in somethings one day than others. Thank you

  5. We took my mav to the vet about two weeks ago. His hind legs gave out and he could not walk. He was diagnosed with cruciate ligament tears and degenerative joint disease. Was prescribed anti-inflammatory pills. The pills lasted ten days. He is now not eating, we are trying everything. Ground turkey to wet dog food. I bought doggy braces and we have him in a harness. Limited him to one level of the house. All he wants to do is drink water. I am confused as to what do for him. Any suggestions.

  6. My 7 year old cat has FIV and has been having diarrhea for 6 months with no relief, my vets have her on pain meds,appetite stimulants,nausea meds, probiotics, and have given her multiple anti diarrhea medications. Sadly nothing has worked to stop the diarrhea, her little bottom is raw and now she does not want to eat or drink water. I do not think that it is fare to put her thru more pain or to put a feeding tube in her as it seems to cause her pain to urinate or defecate. She is still very loving and I can’t bear the thought to let her go, however I think it is time, please let me know if I should, I do not want to give up on her and I do not want her to suffer.

  7. Our dog hss suddenly lost his ability to walk without falling. He cant get up without help and has lost his desire to drink water but he eats canned food mixed in to water and kibble. He has stopped trying to get out to use the bathroom but he tries to clean himself when he urinates. When he has a bm he struggles to move away from it. We cant get him to a vet and right now he is staying in a pen on a tarp lined mattress. I change his bedding and wash him when he uses the potty in his bed. Hes a rescue and believed to be at least 11. The stress is killing me. He rols over for belly rubs but no longer wags his tail. This is heart breaking