Vetmetrica is the brand name for NewMetrica’s portfolio of structured questionnaire instruments to measure HRQL in animals
A valid, reliable and responsive, web – based, generic HRQL instrument has been developed for use with dogs. This takes the form of a structured questionnaire developed by a team of internationally respected academics and veterinary clinicians, based on 15 years of research and clinical experience in animal pain and welfare management at the University of Glasgow.
The questionnaire is completed quickly and easily online by the owner at home and the resulting individual HRQL profile across four domains of Q0L (energy, happiness, comfort and calmness) can be compared with that of age matched healthy dogs.
Applications include routine wellness monitoring of individual dogs, monitoring of disease progression and efficacy of treatment and decision making at end of life, as well as providing a primary outcome measure in regulatory drug trials (21 CFR 11 compliant) and post-marketing trials.
A web-based generic HRQL instrument for cats is currently available.
Advances in veterinary medicine have made a considerable impact on cat health and longevity, and the prevalence of chronic disease has increased accordingly, causing behavioural changes indicative of a significant reduction in welfare and health related quality of life (HRQL).
Several disease specific instruments are available (cardiac disease, diabetes, cancer, chronic kidney disease (CKD), osteoarthritis). However, these are clinical metrology instruments, focusing exclusively on functional changes imposed by disease, whereas the measurement of HRQL adopts a more holistic approach assessing both emotional and physical well-being.
Disease specific instruments are also limited when there are one or more comorbid conditions presenting in the cat – as is often the case, and here we require the use of the generic instrument to capture the multidimensional impact of disease on quality of life.
Additionally, recognising chronic pain and disease and providing adequate analgesia and treatment is paramount in the management of health in animals. The effects of long-term non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on older animals can have a detrimental effect on renal, hepatic, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. Furthermore, the lack of suitable drugs licensed for long-term use in cats may be a result of a lack of good outcome measures.
A paper-based instrument to measure HRQL in farmed pigs was developed in 2011. Once converted to a digital platform its applications will include measurement of pig welfare at individual and herd level, training of stock workers and for use as an outcome measure in clinical trials.