Quantifying Quality of Life: Help for Making Critical Decisions

cbThe emotional toll of caring for your dog with cancer is great and making decisions with a clear head can be extraordinarily difficult under such stress.

Maria Iliopoulou, a Michigan State University veterinarian and researcher, has developed two surveys to help asses and quantify a dog’s quality of life as they undergo chemotherapy — from appetite, playfulness, level of pain to mobility and general happiness.

“Dogs obviously can’t tell you how they’re feeling, and sometimes pet owners may not know what changes in canine behavior they should pay attention to,” Iliopoulou said in this article about the tool. “By having this tool, we can help owners see what’s really going on with the animal to improve decision making and facilitate the human-animal bond under the challenging circumstances of cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

While the surveys specifically address chemotherapy, I think they are quite useful on their own to help you make sound decisions, whatever your chosen course of treatment.

The “Quality of Life Surveys for the Canine Cancer Patient” are free and available for download here (initial questionnaire) and here (to complete during the course of treatment).

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