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Dr. Altman
Dr. Altman, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 11105
Experience:  Practicing small animal veterinarian for 17 years.
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I'm trying to assess my dog's quality of life. He has a

Customer Question

i'm trying to assess my dog's quality of life. He has a sarcoma in his jaw which has metastasized to his brain. seizures were controlled with phenobarbital but not lately. Eats, eliminates but doesn't respond to me or others the way he used to.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to Justanswer! I am Dr. Altman and happy to assist you both today!

I am so sorry for this diagnosis, I am sure it has been difficult to digest this information in such a young dog...

I can give you some great handouts to help with this terrible decision. Often we look at quality of life as whether they are still doing any of their favorite things, whether it be a favorite toy or treat, sitting with you while on the couch, barking at the neighbors to name a few. In addition, do they still have the "light" in their eyes, meaning are they still responsive to their environment and you or are they dull, listless, and fading away? It sounds like he is starting to have the signs of fading away with less responsiveness to you but yet still doing his daily survival mechanisms which makes this quite difficult I can imagine.

Quality of life assessment handout: http://www.peacefulpetdepartures.com/quality-of-life-assessment/

Pain assessment handout: http://www.csuanimalcancercenter.org/assets/files/csu_acute_pain_scale_canine.pdf

The fact he is having many seizures not controlled by the phenobarb any further indicates that it likely has affected his brain synapsis. I have seen this in a few cases over the years that their personality has changed with the frequent seizure activity and understand how challenging this can be for you. Especially since he is eating and urinating/ defecating still but it sounds like his personality is fading...

One question I have to ask in this situation is would he want to be as he currently is looking back a few years ago? I know this is really challenging to grasp but a question I have had to ask with my own pets...

I know this is a terribly difficult decision to make and I hope this information is helpful. Some areas in the country do have hospice care that can help guide you in this decision making process. There is a list of options below for you to review:

http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/vth/diagnostic-and-support/argus/pet-hospice/Pages/pet-hospice-resources.aspx

Please let me know anything I can do to assist you both in this difficult decision. Any questions or concerns I can assist with to clarify how to make this decision please don't hesitate to ask and please disregard any automated follow up questions by the site

If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Altman replied 1 year ago.

I am glad to see you were able to view my responses earlier.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance to you both today

If you are satisfied with our chat please rate or accept so I may be compensated for my time. Thank you

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