The role of physical medicine and rehabilitation for patients in palliative and hospice care

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2011 May;41(3):591-608. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2011.03.011. Epub 2011 Apr 13.


Veterinary patients in palliative and hospice care have progressive and often degenerative diseases that can cause pain as well as loss of function and decreased quality of life. These patients can often benefit from the application of physical medicine and rehabilitation techniques to maximize comfort and function. Physical medicine and rehabilitation are most effective as adjuncts to pharmacologic pain management. Physical medicine and rehabilitation can decrease the doses of analgesics required to keep these patients comfortable. The blend of physical and pharmacologic medicine allows an optimum balance between maximum comfort and maximum mentation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / therapy*
  • Cats
  • Chiropractic / methods
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Hospice Care
  • Humans
  • Massage / veterinary
  • Pain / veterinary
  • Pain Management
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine / methods*
  • Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Veterinary Medicine / methods*