Tools for End-of-Life Care

Equipping clients with tools to use to evaluate their pet, such as validated pain scales, validated QOL scales, advanced directives, and clinical signs of imminent death, may help the client with their goals of care. QOL is a subjective perception and may be unique to the client and influenced by the bond they share with the pet. However, using a validated QOL scale may help the client have a more objective view of their pet’s condition. As of this writing, there are very few validated QOL scales for the animal patient. Most QOL scales found online are not currently validated.74 Clients may also track good versus bad days on a calendar or journal to get a more objective and accurate view of changes. There are now apps that may also be useful in tracking changes like respiratory rate.

The 2023 AAHA Senior Care Guidelines for Dogs and Cats are generously supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, CareCredit, IDEXX, and Zoetis.

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