Putting your pet to sleep can be one of the most difficult
decisions that you have to make. Alice Villalabos, D.V.M.,
developed the following quality-of-life scale to take the guesswork
- and guilt - out of the decision.
For each category, rate how your ailing pet is on a scale of
zero to 10, with 10 being the fewest problems. Then compare your
responses to other family members' and those of your vet. A score
of less than 35 indicates your pet's quality of life is extremely
Hurt Crying, labored breathing, withdrawal,
depression, unrelenting vomiting, or seizures.
Hunger Eating less, losing weight, turning his
head away in the presence of food, or unrelenting vomiting.
Hygiene Drinking less water, having skin that
doesn't tbounce back when pinched, experiencing 6 to 12 hours of
diarrhea or vomiting, or not eating.
Happiness Not wagging his/her tail, keeping
his/her head down, having dull eyes, and not looking up when you
walk in the door.
Mobility Not able to go out for a daily walk. A
large dog who is difficult to move or does not want to be moved
rates low in quality of life.
More good days than bad Keep track of
consecutive bad days. Dogs only live in the present time. If they
have continuous bad times, that's all they know
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