Dr. Neal Sivula
“Like many people, I was not aware of holistic health care options when I was younger. A back injury in high school required surgery but I continued to experience pain into my college years. Fortunately, during my internship after veterinary school, I was able to see an acupuncturist through the university health service. The experience was life-changing. My comfort improved and I was put on a path to a new way of thinking.
As a staff veterinarian at a University Teaching Hospital, I saw many patients with chronic diseases that were not completely managed by conventional treatments. That led me to study how using holistic methods integrated with those therapies could improve my patients’ lives.
My journey has led me to be trained in a number of different holistic modalities. This has evolved to where we’re pleased to be able to educate pet owners about available treatment options and work with them to find the best possible plan for their loved ones.”
Dr. Sivula graduated from The Ohio State University in 1988 as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He subsequently completed an internship and residency in large animal internal medicine at the University of Minnesota. Concurrently, he earned his PhD in veterinary medicine and epidemiology.
After eight years in large animal practice, an interest in holistic health prompted Dr. Sivula to start Dancing Paws in 2001. Since its inception, the practice has grown to include five technical staff members and a variety of natural treatment options! Dr. Sivula has many advanced certifications, including:
- Certified in Animal Chiropractic by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association
- Dr. Sivula was the eighth veterinarian nationwide to achieve advanced certification in acupuncture by the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture
- Certified Veterinary Food Therapist through the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine
- Certified Veterinary Chinese Herbalist through the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine
- Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine from the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies
- Past board member and certified by the College of Animal Chiropractors
- Executive Editor of the American Journal of Traditional Veterinary Chinese Medicine
- Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Acupuncture from the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies
- Registered Herbalist from the American Herbalist Guild
Additionally, Dr. Sivula is a former board member with the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. He was elected President of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture in 2010 and remains active within the group as a past President. He chairs the Holistic and Integrative Medicine Committee for the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, developing continuing education lecture series for veterinarians and technicians. Dr. Sivula was elected to a three-year term for the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s Board of Directors in 2015. In 2018, Dr. Sivula was elected as President of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association for a term in 2019-2020.
Dr. Sivula has earned academic recognition teaching in Canada, Germany and throughout the United States at conferences and through affiliations with the Healing Oasis Wellness Center and the Backbone Academy for Veterinary Acupuncture and the Healing Arts.
Dr. Sivula is a member of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, which works to raise awareness for animal rights and educate the public on welfare issues. He is an affiliate member of Alley Cat Allies, an organization dedicated to protecting and improving the lives of feral cats. He is also a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, a group of veterinarians dedicated to advancing the field of feline medicine and surgery by setting the standards of feline care through the publication of practice guidelines, position statements, and by providing continuing education.
Dr. Sivula lives in Akron. In his free time, he enjoys gardening, hanging out with his cats and walking his two pit bulls! Dr. Sivula is an avid reader and bicycling enthusiast!