“Quality of Life Scorecard”

Dr. Alice Villalobos, the veterinarian who started Pawspice a quality of life program, published a scoring system as a tool to help clarify quality of life questions. The following 7 criteria should each be assigned a score of 1-10 (1=disagree  10=agree).
A total number greater than 34 generally represents a good quality of life.

1) HURT: Is pain control adequate? This includes breathing ability. Is the pet’s
pain successfully managed?
2) HUNGER: Is the pet eating enough to receive proper nutrition? Is hand feeding
3) HYDRATION: Is the pet appropriately hydrated? Can they drink enough
or do they require subcutaneous or intravenous fluids
4) HYGIENE: Can the pet keep themselves clean?
5) HAPPINESS: Does the pet express interest and want to interact with family
and things around them like toys?
6) MOBILITY? Can the pet get up and move around ? Does the dog feel like going for a
walk? Can the cat climb into the litter box?
7) MORE GOOD DAYS THAN BAD: Do the good hours and days outnumber the bad ones?
When the 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’s ok.

Adapted from 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.