I have a friend that is going through the most difficult of times that I personally have suffered through. The days I speak of are the days when you look at your beloved pet and attempt to make the determination is it time to help them across the Rainbow Bridge to end the suffering of this lifetime. It’s difficult because they can’t speak to us directly so we depend on their cues to lead us, and just when you think you know the answer they have an exceptional day and it throws your thinking back to what am I doing because the loss of their presence in our lives is so huge there is no comfort for the pain. My friend shared with me a chart he found on the LapOfLove.com website, a pet hospice site where they have a chart that allows you to assess your pet’s behaviors on an ongoing basis so you can make an informed determination. Below you will find the criteria written in that chart, and if you visit this page you can find the printable chart for your use when the day arrives that you are in need of its services: http://www.lapoflove.com/Pet_Quality_of_Life_Scale.pdf
The directions for using the chart are as follows: Use the key factors of quality of life below to help assess your pet’s condition. Use a Daily Diary to keep track of your pet’s progress. Fill in the appropriate number for each category and then add the numbers from each category for that day. The maximum score is 12 and you can determine your own scale. You can even add categories that pertain to your pet’s particular situation. For example, ‘Respiratory Rate’ if your pet suffers from heart failure or lung cancer. You can give half or quarter points if appropriate.
2 Good Mobility – No difficulty getting around, enjoys walks and going outside
1 Poor Mobility – Difficulty getting up, hard to get in position to eliminate, short walks only
0 B are Minimum Mobility – Needs assistance, pain medication/anti-inflammatory medications do not help.
2 Good Appetite
1 Poor Appetite – Hand feeding, needs enticing
0 No Appetite
2 Adequate Intake
1 Poor Intake/ or increased in some patients with particular diseases
0 Requires Clysis (subcutaneous fluids)
2 Interacts normally with family and other pets
1 Some interaction with family and other pets
0 Hides in the closet or under the bed
2 Normal urination and/or defecation
1 Reduced/Irregular urination and/or defecation
2 Normal favorite activities, hobbies, etc
1 Decrease in doing their favorite things
0 No interest in their favorite things
The recommendations are as follow. If your charting averages a daily scale of between 12 – 9, everything is okay. If your daily charting averages between 6 – 8, then your beloved requires Veterinary intervention. If your daily charting is equal to or less than 5 on a daily basis, then it’s time to consider humane tranquilization and euthanasia.
There is nothing easy about this time of life, but this chart gives you the tools you need to make a decision where you won’t spend the rest of your days second guessing yourself and wondering those three words that bring so much pain when you’re already suffering; shoulda, woulda, coulda. Knowing you’ve done the best you can for your beloved during their time of need will remove the guilt after it’s too late. It’s comfort during the time when there simply is no comfort to be found.
Never forget, it’s only through you the Randolph County Humane Society continues to save lives, one by one.