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Quality of Life Scale


As we grapple with the difficult decision to let a dog go, we need all the guidance we can get. The table below was developed by Dr. Alice Villalobos. It scores the condition of the dog in seven areas. Score each criteria on a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (good). The total score might help you make a decision.

Score Range

Your Score



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 elimination. 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.


  A total score of more than 35 points is acceptable for good final care.

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Today is October 22, 2016

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Ch. Tailteann's Rare Gem, bred, owned and handled by Eileen McEarchren of Ontario, Canada, wins Best in Show in Bermuda.

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