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How do I know when it’s time?

March 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Pet Care Library

One of the hardest parts about our job and about being a pet owner is the end of a pet’s life.  Sometimes pets pass away suddenly, but more often than not, their illnesses are due to chronic diseases, such as kidney failure or cancer.  We certainly don’t want our loved ones to have to suffer, but at the same time it is one of the hardest decisions that we have to make about our pets.  How can we ever know when the time is right?

In 2004, Dr. Alice Villalobos created what is called the HHHHHMM scale.  The purpose of this scale is to give pet owners an objective way to determine their pet’s overall quality of life.  In doing so, this scale helps relieve the feelings of guilt associated with making that final decision.  The scale is broken down into 7 categories, and each category is scored from 1 to 10.  A score of 35 or greater is considered reasonably acceptable quality of life.

  • The HHHHHMM scale can be downloaded here.

If you are being faced with this unfortunate situation, we are here to help you.  If you have any questions or concerns about the euthanasia process, or what happens to your pet afterwards, please call us and we will discuss these things with you.  Hopefully the HHHHHMM scale will help guide your decision process during this difficult time.



One Response to “How do I know when it’s time?”
  1. Jana Rade says:

    In “Speaking for Spot” Dr. Kay indicated that often the animal will let us know whether they want to fight or give up. She’s talking about ‘discussing it with the animal.’

    I believe there is a lot of true to that in most cases, perhaps with exception of acute traumas.

    I know that our late rescue Bruin was ready to go. We all knew it was his time. When he was brought to the vet, the vet couldn’t even find a pulse it was so faint.

    With Jasmine, on the other hand, through all the hard times, he eyes clearly communicated she wanted to life and she wanted to fight and get through it. Once the life from her eyes is gone, then probably will be her time.

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