How can I tell if my pet is suffering, and what is my pet’s quality of life?
Is your pet able to get up without your help? Do you notice your pet experience difficulty rising or moving with discomfort? Are they able to lay down comfortably or do they just fall to the floor?
Appetite and Drinking
How is their appetite? Are they eating more or less than normal? Increased or decreased water intake? Any episodes of vomiting or diarrhea?
Have they become fecal or urinary incontinent? Do they display an urgency to go outside or do they need to go outside more frequently? Are they having any trouble urinating or defecating?
Is your pet experiencing any respiratory distress? Do they become tired more easily with exercise? Do you notice any coughing or wheezing?
General Pain Level
Do they have a “stressed” look on their face? Do they make noises or groans when rising or moving around? Do they tend to stay in one location most of the day and show a reluctance to move? Do they act as if they don’t want to be petted or flinch when you show affection? Often this is a sign they are experiencing discomfort from simply touching them.
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Have the sleep patterns changed? Are they having trouble sleeping through the night or pacing during normal sleeping times? Do they seem confused or disoriented when they awaken?
Happiness & Mental Acuity
Do they seem less responsive to things they would normally enjoy? Do they seem less alert when you come home or not as engaged? Are they acting confused about where they are in their normal surroundings?
Quality of Life
Is your pet having more bad days than good days? When the bad days outweigh the good days, then their quality of life has become compromised. When this happens, it is time to strongly consider in-home hospice care or in-home pet euthanasia.