My pup, Frisco, is almost 15 years old. Frisco is a miniature Australian Shepherd. Whip smart, obedient, gentle, and loves the hugs. She’s in good health for her age, though her stamina has diminished, her hearing is failing and so is the vision in her left eye. But she still loves going for walks and playing with her tennis balls and frisbees. Her life is still pretty good.
Frisco, like your pets, is a beloved family member. We want what’s best for our pets, and we hate to see them suffer. In their waning days, when illness, chronic pain, or other disabilities take a toll, it is oftentimes difficult to know whether a pet’s quality of life has declined to the point that it may be more humane to euthanize them.
The New York Times has published a scale adapted from Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond, by Alice Villalobos, D.V.M. Pet owners and caregivers can use this “Quality of Life Scale” to determine whether to continue supportive care for an aging or sick pet or whether euthanasia is a more humane option. Seven categories are covered, using a scale of 0 (very poor) to 10 (best). Scores in each category should be based on your pet’s quality of life on its own or with whatever level of supportive care works for your pet.
Frisco scored 64 out of a possible 70 points on the Quality of Life Scale. How does your pet score?
Find out at: Quality of Life Scale