Quality of Life – to assess and enhance current well-being
Promoting and maintaining quality of life is the cornerstone of palliative and end-of-life care.
The most important factors affecting quality of life are:
• Breathing difficulties (breathlessness)
• Emotional distress – persistent or increasing
• Severe lethargy (too weak to do things the pet wants to do)
Adequate control of these symptoms are paramount welfare concerns.
Other considerations in evaluating your pet’s quality of life include:
• Nausea and vomiting
• Hunger and malnutrition
• Hygiene, with attention to soiling and pressure sores
• Mobility, especially if assistance is needed to get up, move around and go for walks
• Contentment and freedom from emotional distress, with attention to whether your pet expresses interest and engagement in daily activities and routines
Every animal and situation is different. Knowing what factors are important for your pet’s quality of life, how to support their quality of life, how to recognise when quality of life is compromised, and when to consider making decisions regarding euthanasia (when applicable) are covered in our Palliative Care consultation.