Animal Care Center of Castle Pines

Holistic Vet in Castle Rock

Holistic and Integrative Medicine

Animal Care Center is a trusted holistic vet serving Castle Rock and Castle Pines, CO. The goal of our Integrative and Holistic medicine service is to offer all available options for your pet’s care. A wide range of complementary therapies is offered to allow for non-invasive, natural alternatives when appropriate. Emphasis is placed on utilizing therapies intended to help the body activate its natural ability to heal itself. Prevention of disease is a high priority at ACC, along with client education to help you understand your pet’s health.

Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT)

Up to 80% of the immune system is located within the gut. As such, the intestinal bacteria play a crucial role in maintaining immune and metabolic health and protecting against pathogens. When gut bacteria are altered, the situation is called dysbiosis. Dysbiosis has been associated with many inflammatory diseases and infections. For this reason, it is important to normalize the gut microbiome. Many GI disturbances such as chronic colitis, inflammatory enteropathies and parasitic infections including resistant Giardia can be improved, and in many cases resolved, by balancing the intestinal microbiome. There are many conditions a fecal transplant can improve by virtue of the high proportion of immune tissue located in the gut.

The FMT procedure entails taking the stool from a healthy donor and transplanting it into the intestinal tract of a patient via enema. Our animal donors have been fed a raw food diet, were minimally/conservatively vaccinated, never received antibiotics, and have been screened for parasites and pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.

The FMT is preceded by rectal insufflation of ozone gas. Ozone gas is used to reduce the current biofilm in your pet’s colon in order to help make the transplantation of the new biome more successful. Ozone rectal insufflation has been used for years in human medicine and many practitioners think that this procedure alone can correct many GI issues.

Please call us today to see how this procedure could benefit your pet’s health.

Ozone Therapy

Ozone therapy is a great adjunct to healing as it has powerful properties with no toxic side effects. Ozone (O3) is an activated form of oxygen (O2). Because it has three atoms of oxygen, it behaves as a pro-oxidant and can kill bacteria, yeast, fungi, protozoa and neutralizes viruses. If your pet has diarrhea caused by a parasite or dysbiosis, or an infected area of skin, we can treat it with ozone.

Ozone stimulates the immune system by getting the body to activate its own pathways to produce antioxidant enzymes. Ozone has been documented to activate and induce the production of important immune cells such as white blood cells and cytokines. One of the cytokines produced is called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) which makes ozone an indispensable treatment for auto-immune and cancer cases.

Ozone helps oxygenate the cells by upregulating a process that occurs in red blood cells. Having enough oxygen ensures healthy mitochondrial function which helps prevent many chronic, degenerative diseases.

Ozone therapy can eliminate pain and inflammation by providing more oxygen to damaged tissues. Damaged tissues that have swelling, inflammation, infection and bruising contain elevated amounts of CO2 and lactic acid which is what is responsible for pain. Ozone displaces the CO2 and improves tissue oxygenation to reverse these conditions.

Prolozone/ Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy (Proliferative Therapy) also known as Non-Surgical Ligament and Tendon Reconstruction, is a recognized orthopedic procedure that stimulates the body’s healing processes to strengthen and repair injured and painful joints and connective tissue.

Prolotherapy works by stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms to lay down new tissue in the weakened area. This is done by a very directed injection to the injury site, “tricking” the body to repair again. The mild inflammatory response which is created by the injection encourages the growth of new, normal ligament or tendon fibers, resulting in a tightening of the weakened structure. Additional treatments repeat this process, allowing a gradual buildup of tissue to restore the original strength to the area.

Prolotherapy injections contain natural substances that stimulate the healing response, as well as local anesthetic agents to help with the pain of the injection.

Prolozone is the addition of ozone to a prolotherapy injection.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) COMING SOON!

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) increases the oxygenation of all organs, tissues, and body fluids. It is the pressure of the chamber that enables the oxygen molecules to penetrate compromised tissues three to four times farther than tissues normally diffused by red blood cells.

Simply breathing 100% pure oxygen outside the chamber will NOT significantly increase a patient’s healing capabilities at all. When a patient is in the chamber, the increased pressure causes the blood plasma, and other liquids of the body, to absorb much larger quantities of oxygen, greatly increasing oxygen uptake by the cells, tissues, glands, organs, brain, and all fluids of the body. For example, once inside the pressurized chamber, oxygen is being delivered to the patient’s tissues at a rate of 20 times more than breathing normal air. This oxygen can then be utilized by the body for vital functions related to healing.

HBOT treatments utilize 100% pure oxygen provided at optimal pressures to provide a profound anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and tissue-healing effect. It can accelerate healing dramatically and be a great benefit in conditions where there is an oxygen deficit. It is frequently used as an adjunctive treatment, meaning it will be employed with other veterinary treatments such as rehabilitation therapy, ozone, pain management, etc.

Conditions for which HBOT has proven useful in practice:


  • Severe skin and tissue damage such as degloving injuries and lacerations
  • Skin grafts and flaps
  • Non-healing, or non-union fractures and osteomyelitis
  • Sepsis and septic shock
  • Spinal cord injuries such as IVDD and FCE
  • Inflammatory conditions such as pancreatitis, arthritis, and dermatitis
  • Snake and insect bite treatment
  • Post-surgical swelling and recovery
  • Acute ischemic conditions such as bites or crushing-type wounds
  • Infectious conditions such as non-healing wounds and antibiotic-resistant infections
  • Smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Problem wounds such as burns, ulcers, and necrotic tissue
  • Soft tissue and osteoradionecrosis
  • Gastrointestinal surgeries particularly GDV and foreign body removal
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Corneal perforations and problems involving occlusion of the retinal artery

During a treatment, the patient is placed into the chamber where 100% pure oxygen flows to a maximum of three times normal atmospheric pressure. They are monitored continuously throughout the procedure for any signs of discomfort or anxiety, and pressures are altered accordingly.

Each treatment or “dive” lasts approximately 60 – 75 minutes, with compression times varying from five to 20 minutes, actual dive time at therapeutic pressure ranging from 30 to 60 minutes and decompression usually lasting anywhere from 5 to 12 minutes. Most patients are perfectly comfortable inside the chamber and settle down to rest peacefully during their dives, though for some patients, there is a bit of anxiety for the first few minutes.

Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UBI)

Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UBI) is a procedure that exposes the blood to light to heighten the body’s immune response and to kill infections. With exposure to UV light, bacteria and viruses in the bloodstream absorb five times as much photonic energy as do red and white blood cells.
This means the fragments of the killed infecting agents create a safe, vaccination-like response. This further activates and directs the immune system to the specific infections the body is attempting to overcome. Treating only 3-6cc of blood with UBI induces a beneficial response.

The amount of treatment needed is determined by variables such as the state of health of the patient’s immune system, length of time the patient has been ill, and the severity of the disease being treated. UBI can be used clinically as both a specific (i.e. lymph cancer) and non-specific (chronic infections, allergies, autoimmune diseases, other cancers, etc.) immune-modulating therapy, as noted in published studies.

Functional Medicine and Nutrition Consultations

 “When the diet is right, medicine is of no need and when the diet is wrong medicines are of no use.”  – Ancient Ayurvedic Proverb

Functional Medicine aims to address the imbalances in the body by restoring proper physiological function and health through food, lifestyle, and nutritional supplement interventions.

We seek the answers to two questions:

  1. What is interfering with your animal’s body?
  2. What is your animal’s body missing?

When your pet has multiple symptoms, they are clues to the ways in which the body is not functioning the way it should. Rather than suppress those symptoms with natural or pharmaceutical agents, we want to read those symptoms to understand which systems of your pet’s body need support to get back on track and get them healthy again.

By looking at the whole picture: diet, symptoms, lifestyle, illness history, medications, toxic exposure, history of vaccines and antibiotics use, stressors, etc., we can devise an overall plan that will include diet, nutritional supplements, and more.

Applied Kinesiology

Applied Kinesiology, also known as muscle testing, is a bio-feedback tool to help determine imbalances of the body’s energy patterns. This is a technique we may incorporate when examining your pet.

Muscle testing is not so much a test of strength as it is a test of the interaction of the muscle with the nervous system and the electrical systems of the body. With muscle testing we can evaluate what can return the body back to balance. In veterinary patients, we use a surrogate (usually the veterinary technician) when performing the test.

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM)

TCVM practitioners use 5 basic methods of diagnosis in their assessments, including looking, listening, smelling, asking, and touching.
Inspection not only focuses on the patient’s physical appearance and behavior, but practitioners also pay particular attention to the tongue, pulses, and certain “alarm points” along the meridians, as this gives insight into the systems that may be out of balance and helps to determine a pattern diagnosis. This is important, as a specific disease could arise as a result of many different patterns.

TCVM encompasses several methods designed to help patients achieve and maintain health including, herbal therapy, acupuncture, and Chinese nutrition.

In TCVM there are over 300 acupuncture points located on 14 main meridians. These meridians conduct energy, or “Qi,” between the surface of the body and its internal organs. Acupuncture is believed to keep the balance between Yin and Yang, thus allowing for the normal flow of “Qi” throughout the body and restoring health to the mind and body.

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into the superficial skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscles at specific acupuncture points and manipulating them. This is also known as, “dry needling”.

Electro-acupuncture is a form of acupuncture where a small electric current is passed between pairs of acupuncture needles and is particularly good for relieving pain.

Aquapuncture is the placement of drops of sterile fluid under the skin at acupuncture points. At ACC we inject Vitamin B-12 or Ozone at the acupuncture points. We may use a combination of dry needling, electro or aquapuncture during your pet’s session.
Herbal formulations and certain foods are then prescribed based on the system of pattern differentiation (TCVM diagnosis) seen in your pet.

Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM)

VOM is a healing technique designed to repair and re-establish a healthy nervous system for animals. It uses a hand-held device called an “activator” used by many human chiropractors on their patients. The activator used for VOM restores the body’s functions by reducing “subluxation” as in typical chiropractic care. Subluxations are misalignments of the vertebrae. When this is present, there is often a corresponding compression of spinal nerves in that area causing disease.

When the activator is “fired” over the spinous processes of the animal’s vertebrae and other bones, it locates the part of the body that has fallen out of communication. By “firing” the activator it reestablishes neural communication and induces healing. This is a safe, simple, and effective healing method.

Research shows that if VOM technology is started when animals are young, they tend to live 28.5% longer and healthier lives. We recommend treating all young healthy animals at least three times (once a week for three weeks) and then annually.

For animals with any musculoskeletal problems we recommend treatment once a week for three weeks, and then every two weeks for three additional treatments, and then reassess. Follow up treatments are performed every three to six months as needed.

Laboratory Diagnostics

In addition to routine diagnostics that assess general health such as a complete blood count, serum chemistry, urinalysis, and fecal parasite exam, we offer the following additional tests:

Vitamin D

Cats and dogs cannot synthesize Vitamin D from sun exposure like humans do. All Vitamin D must be derived from their diet. It is important to assess Vitamin D levels as excessive amounts (as was the case in recent pet food recalls) can cause kidney failure and insufficient amounts have been linked to serious diseases such as cancer, heart and kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, infections, and more. We recommend testing Vitamin D levels annually with routine blood work. We have seen remarkable improvements in pets’ health just by supplementing Vitamin D when indicated.

Vitamin B12

Cobalamin (Vitamin B-12) is a cofactor in a number of important enzymatic reactions. Given its involvement in DNA synthesis, fatty acid metabolism, and amino acid metabolism, B-12 deficiencies are associated with anemia, nervous system disorders, and immunodeficiencies.

B-12, like Vitamin D3, is only derived from the diet of cats and dogs. In patients exhibiting GI disorders (i.e., chronic enteropathy, pancreatitis), B-12 deficiency is frequently encountered. Whether B-12 deficiency is a cause or effect of GI disease is still in debate.

Microbiome Dysbiosis Index

The Microbiome Dysbiosis Index measures the bacteria that are known to be altered in GI disease. We frequently perform this test before and after a fecal transplant to diagnose dysbiosis and then to guide therapy afterward.

Cancer Screening

For dogs we want to be screened for cancer, there is a specialized test that looks at two specific biochemical markers in the blood. One is Thymidine Kinase-1 (TK1) which is a hallmark of cancer. The other is C-reactive protein which is a measure of systemic inflammation. Cancer is an inflammatory disease. When inflammation is present, cancer may be the cause of that inflammation. Inflammation is a functional part of cancer and aids in the initiation, growth, and metastatic process.

C-reactive protein is proportional to the intensity and duration of the inflammatory stimulus. When the proliferation marker TK1 is elevated in conjunction with elevated inflammatory marker cCRP, the likelihood of malignancy increases.

Conservative Vaccination and Vaccine Titers

We believe in the importance of vaccines and their ability to protect our animals from deadly diseases. We also believe that as protective as they are, they can come with an array of adverse reactions. For this reason, we take a conservative approach to vaccination, to try and mitigate the potential adverse effects by limiting the number of vaccines given during any one visit, using optimal vaccines and homeopathic remedies to help counter the possibility of a negative reaction to the vaccine.

We do offer vaccine titers in lieu of boosters for some of the core vaccines such as distemper and parvovirus. A titer is a way for us to assess immunity and determine if antibodies are still capable of neutralizing a virus.

Please call us to discuss our conservative vaccine protocol.

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