Animal Hospital of Dunedin

Complementary Therapies

Animal Hospital of Dunedin is focused on giving your pet the most effective medical practices and procedures possible, regardless of where they originate. We pride ourselves on using the most advanced technologies possible to suggest treatment and give diagnosis. Some of these treatments include complementary therapies. We offer six kinds of complementary therapies, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine, Acupuncture, Dermatology, Herbal Medicine, Cold Laser Therapy, and Ozone Therapy.

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

At Animal Hospital of Dunedin, we integrate Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine with Western veterinary practices to support the best clinical outcomes in our patients.

Although these services have been used in China for thousands of years, they are relatively new to the veterinary field in the United States.

There is often the misconception that the terms Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture can be used interchangeably. In truth, there are four branches that make up Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine: acupuncture, food therapy, Tui-na, and herbal medicine.

The four branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine include:

  1. Acupuncture
  2. Food Therapy
  3. Tui-na
  4. Herbal Medicine

At Animal Hospital of Dunedin, we integrate Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine with Western veterinary practices to support the best clinical outcomes in our patients.


Practiced in China for thousands of years, acupuncture is one of four branches that comprise Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. The other four branches include food therapy, herbal medicine, and Tui-na.

At Animal Hospital of Dunedin, we recognize veterinary acupuncture as a time-proven practice to reduce and eliminate a variety of ailments in dogs and cats. Our clinical approach is to combine veterinary acupuncture with modern veterinary science to help maximize our patients’ quality of life.

If you think your pet may be a good candidate for veterinary acupuncture treatments, we highly encourage you to schedule a visit. We can help your pet feel relief.

How Does It Work?

The technique consists of tiny needles being gently and methodically inserted into specific pressure points on the body. This contact releases natural pain-relieving hormones and triggers an anti-inflammatory response in the body that accelerates healing and substantially reduces pain. Just like in human medicine!

We understand that needles are often a source of anxiety. We assure you, the veterinarians at Animal Hospital of Dunedin are highly experienced to safely and gently place the needles to treat acute and chronic conditions.

Small animals do not experience any pain, and oftentimes become so relaxed they doze off to sleep during the treatment session. Larger animals can experience low levels of discomfort when the needles are being inserted because they must be larger to break the skin. However, once the needles are inserted into the pressure points, the animal will feel no pain.

Is It Safe?

Acupuncture is one of the safest veterinary treatments out there. The technique can only produce positive results, offer copious mental and physical health benefits, and dodge the adverse reactions often caused by medications and surgeries.

The list of positive outcomes of acupuncture treatment is lengthy, including increased blood circulation, increased pain relief, accelerated healing, reduced anxiety, decreased muscle spasms, stimulation of the nerves, and release of hormones, endorphins, and natural-steroids.

What Conditions Can It Help To Treat?

Veterinary acupuncture is effective in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, and is most successful when paired with modern medicine.

Veterinary acupuncture can help pets with the following ailments:

  • Musculoskeletal, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and degenerative joint disease
  • Dermatological, such as dermatitis
  • Respiratory, such as feline asthma
  • Gastrointestinal, such as diarrhea
  • Select Reproductive Issues

For dermatological issues, veterinary acupuncture can help to relieve the discomfort and stress of continual itching and scratching without the need for drugs.

Veterinary Dermatology

Non-stop itching, mysterious lumps and bumps – dermatological issues can be physically taxing to pets, and cause mental distress too. At Animal Hospital of Dunedin, we are trained to help diagnose the root cause of your pet’s dermatological discomfort.

In general, conditions affecting the skin, hair, or nails fall under the umbrella term ‘dermatitis.’ Common signs of dermatitis, and an indication you should consult with your veterinarian, include: inflammation and redness of the skin, excessive licking or biting of the skin, hair loss, excessive shedding, watery eyes, and changes in behavior due to persistent irritation.

Our dermatology services treat pets suffering from dermatitis, parasite infections, allergies, and more. Based on your pet’s diagnosis, we may recommend one or a combination of the following:

  • Soothing Medicinal Baths
  • Allergy Testing
  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese Herbology
  • Flea Control
  • Hot Spot Treatments
  • Probiotic and nutraceutical options to compliment the treatment plan

If your pet is showing signs of dermatitis, it’s important to call and schedule a visit. The sooner we can make a diagnosis, the sooner your pet can feel relief, physically and mentally.

Herbal Medicine

The doctors at Animal Hospital of Dunedin have spent years studying Chinese medicine and herbal prescriptions, and are highly trained to determine the proper herbal formula for your pet.

Chinese herbal medicine is the study and implementation of herbs, or a combination of herbs, to help combat disease in the body. It has proven to be an effective treatment model for conditions ranging from dermatitis to cancer. Clinical outcomes are most successful when used in combination with modern veterinary medicine and other alternative treatments, such as acupuncture.

Because the ingredients are all herbal, very few, if any, negative side effects are produced. In small animals, herbal formulas are typically administered orally in the form of a capsule or pill.

When devising a treatment plan, our clinical team always looks at both schools of thought – Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine and Western Medicine. This means herbal therapy will always be paired with traditional veterinary medicine to bring forth the most comprehensive clinical outcomes in our patients. Generally, traditional veterinary medicine is best for treating acute conditions. On the other hand, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine is best for treating the entire bodily system, not only the ailment. Together, these schools of thought are complementary and robust.

At present, Chinese herbal medicine can benefit a variety of medical conditions that challenge traditional veterinary medicine. If immediate surgery is required, Chinese herbal medicine cannot be considered as a treatment option.

The most common conditions treated with the help of Chinese herbal medicine include:

  • Epilepsy
  • Chronic Kidney Failure
  • Chronic Lameness
  • Hormonal Disorders
  • Behavioral Disorders
  • Allergic Skin Disease
  • Liver Failure
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

In some cases, the herbs are not used to treat a condition. Rather, they are used as a tonic to support healthy organ functioning.

Cold Laser Therapy

At Animal Hospital of Dunedin, we use a special therapy known as cold laser therapy that can be an incredibly powerful tool in helping improve your pet’s wellness. Cold laser therapy is commonly used in human physical therapy and rehabilitation, with great success and no side effects!

This low-level laser energy uses a process called photobiomodulation that transmits energy from the laser to the cells of injured tissue. This increases cellular activity, and effectively jumpstarts the healing process in your pet’s cells to help them heal and recover more quickly.

Benefits of Cold Laser:

  • Decreases pain and inflammation
  • Improve and accelerates healing
  • Increases blood flow and promotes joint-cartilage health
  • Prevents excessive scar tissue formation and decreases tissue swelling

Conditions That Can Be Treated With Cold Laser Therapy:

  • Injuries (torn cruciate ligament, muscle strains)
  • Arthritis (hip dysplasia, elbow arthritis, knee pain)
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
  • Wounds (hot spots, non-healing ulcers, lick granulomas)
  • Inflammation (ear hematomas, ear infections, skin infections, bladder pain)
  • Post-Surgery (tooth extractions, spay and neuter incision healing)

Want to learn more about cold laser therapy? Feel free to ask one of our trained staff who will be happy to answer any of your questions.

Ozone Therapy

Our team is proud to work with Dr. Cheryl Caputo, DVM to offer Ozone Therapy here at the Animal Hospital of Dunedin. Dr. Caputo travels to our hospital once a week to provide this service to our clients.

What is Ozone? 

It is when three oxygen molecules (O3), are administered and break down to ordinary oxygen (O2). This reaction will combine with other things in the body to ultimately assist the body to heal.

Free from side effects, this is a therapy that works in a number of ways. Ozone has many health benefits, and works to particularly increase oxygen in the body while treating inflammation. Ozone Therapy activates the immune system and brings easily soluble oxygen to target tissues. It is proven effective for treating viruses, fungi and bacteria, and for general health improvement anytime there is inflammation.

A few of the common uses of ozone are:

  • Enhances other treatments for patients with medical conditions (digestive, liver, kidney, heart, brain, spinal cord problems or seizures)

  • Aids and supports treatments for patients with infectious diseases or cancer.

  • Decreases healing time for abscesses, wounds, mouth and ear infections.

Ozone gas in dogs is commonly administered rectally since it is easily absorbed and goes to the liver for distribution throughout the body.

Ozone gas can also be mixed with saline and administered topically, injected under the skin or into a vein.

If you believe your pet would be a good fit for Ozone Therapy, please reach out to one of our doctors at The Animal Hospital of Dunedin to begin the treatment discussion.


Does your pet have several warts that tend to bleed when scratched?

Cryotherapy might be a solution for your pet. Cryotherapy, a non-invasive form of removing those small warts on our pets is now being offered at Animal Hospital of Dunedin. The cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold temperature to kill off select tissue or lumps. Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze a lump. Typically, it will take 2 weeks to fall off, but can require a second treatment 2 weeks later.

Cryotherapy is commonly used on non-cancerous lumps such as warts or skin tags, but can be used on several other lumps especially if surgery is not an option for a patient. Aside from skin tags or warts, cryotherapy can be used on eyelid tumors, lick granuloma and distichiasis (abnormal growth of an eyelash).

There are several causes in which surgery will be warranted over cryotherapy. That is when a lump is too large or if a lump needs to be surgically removed to ensure proper margins surrounding the lump. It is recommended to perform a cytology prior to cryotherapy to ensure, if malignant, the proper approach can be taken. We can then make an assessment as to whether your pet is a candidate for cryotherapy.

Cryotherapy is performed using a small wand that expels liquid nitrogen. That is sprayed on the desired area for 3 sessions of 10 seconds each. It does not require any shaving or prepping of the area and can typically be performed during an appointment.

Join the Animal Hospital of Dunedin Family Today!

Conveniently located off of Main Street on the corner of Pinehurst Road and San Christopher Dr.

Phone: 727-733-9351

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