About The Quality of Life Scale
As you wander through the aging years with your beloved companion, you may start to question his or her quality of life. It might hit you one evening on your daily walk when you realize she is not able to make it to the end of the block like she used to, or perhaps when he looks up at you from the litter box and you realize he's not that playful kitten any more. Our pets are part of the family. They are not barnyard animals any more, but contributing members of our inner-circle, bringing us joy and love each and everyday. Their only fault is that they simply don't live long enough! Helping them through this tough time is not only our role as their "master" ("servant" for cats), but also our duty as their loved ones.
The purpose of this quality of life scale is to give you some type of objective data to base your judgment on. This scale has been developed by our Lap of Love hospice veterinarians in hopes of guiding you through this tough time. We understand, as should you, that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to your tough questions. You should be working closely with your veterinarian to help you interpret the progression of clinical signs based on the disease process your pet is suffering from, be it arthritis, organ failure, or cancer. Each disease will progress differently and at different rates. You need to be prepared for what may happen, keeping in mind that doctors will always be "practicing" medicine. We can give you empirical data based on our experience, but statistics do not apply to the individual. That's where you come in!
Please use this scale daily, weekly, or even monthly at first. We suggest having different members of the family complete it, and perhaps even a removed member of the family such as a visitor from out of town that has spent a few days with your pet. This will give you a more well-rounded opinion. Above all, we want you to feel more prepared, educated, and aware of the decisions you make for your beloved pet during the aging years. Please contact us or your regular veterinarian if you have any questions at all.