Quality of Life Scale Quiz

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Quality of Life Scale

Dr. Alice Villalobos, the veterinarian who founded Pawspice, a quality of life program for terminal pets, has published a scoring system for life quality called The HHHHHMM Scale. The letters stand for:

  • Hurt
  • Hunger
  • Hydration
  • Hygiene
  • Happiness
  • Mobility
  • More Good Days than Bad.


Pet caregivers can use this Quality of Life Scale to help determine their pet’s quality of life.


Begin the Quality of Life Scale quiz now:

Select your score between 1-10 to each question below. Once finished, click the "SUBMIT" button. You will then receive your final score via email.


Adequate pain control, including breathing ability, is first and foremost on the scale. Is your pet's pain successfully managed?


Is your pet eating enough? Does hand feeding help? Does it seem like we are "force-feeding"? Do they require a feeding tube?


Is the patient dehydrated? For patients not drinking enough, use subcutaneous fluids once or twice daily to supplement fluid intake.


Does your pet require extensive care to maintain proper hygiene? Your pet should be brushed and cleaned, particularly after elimination. Avoid pressure sores and keep all wounds clean.


Does your pet express joy and interest? Are they responsive to things around him or her (family, toys, etc.)? Are they depressed, lonely, anxious, bored or afraid?


Can your pet get up without assistance? Do they need human or mechanical help (e.g., a cart)? Do they feel like going for a walk? Are they having seizures or stumbling? (Some caregivers feel euthanasia is preferable to amputation, yet an animal who has limited mobility but is still alert and responsive can have a good quality of life as long as caregivers are committed to helping the pet.)


When bad days outnumber good days, quality of life might be compromised. When a 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 is okay.

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