Journal Scan: Diabetic dog owners' concerns when it comes to their pets' quality of life

Journal Scan: Diabetic dog owners' concerns when it comes to their pets' quality of life

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Sep 10, 2012

What they did
Researchers designed a 29-item quality-of-life questionnaire (DIAQoL-pet) based on surveys of clinicians and owners of dogs with diabetes mellitus. A total of 101 owners completed the questionnaire, and each item was assigned an item-weighted-impact-score (IWIS).

What they found
The factors that dog owners perceived as having the greatest impact on quality of life (those with the highest IWIS) were:

  • Overall worry about their pets' condition
  • Concerns about loss of vision
  • Not being able to leave their pet with friends and family or at a boarding facility because of the diabetes mellitus
  • Concerns about hypoglycemia

Take-home message
This tool may be helpful in identifying factors that owners feel have a negative impact on their diabetic pets' quality of life. This, in turn, allows clinicians an opportunity to not only tailor individual treatment plans but also improve client education and communication.

Niessen SJM, Powney S, Guitian J, et al. Evaluation of a quality-of-life tool for dogs with diabetes mellitus. J Vet Intern Med 2012;26(4):953-961.

Link to abstract: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.00947.x/abstract