(212) 838-8100


Leilani Alvarez DVM, CVA, CCRT, CVCHM

Staff Doctor
Director of The Tina Santi Flaherty Rehabilitation & Fitness Service

Dr. Leilani Alvarez is the director of The Tina Santi Flaherty Rehabilitation & Fitness Service. Dr. Alvarez practices Integrative Medicine, which combines Western Medicine with Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Integrative Medicine includes therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy and physical rehabilitation, which help to increase the overall health of a patient and can often increase the success of Western treatments.

Prior to her practice in complementary and alternative medicine, Dr. Alvarez worked as an emergency and critical care veterinarian for over six years. She was the founder of a successful Integrative Medicine service at a busy specialty hospital in Westchester County, NY prior to arriving at The Animal Medical Center. She was selected by NY1 News as "NYer of the Week" in January 2014 and was featured in Westchester Magazine's Top Vets of 2011 and 2012. 

Dr. Alvarez offers acupuncture to dogs and cats (including dry needle, electroacupuncture, aquapuncture, and laser acu-stimulation), physical rehabilitation (including low-level therapeutic laser, therapeutic ultrasound, under water treadmill, pulsed electric magnetic field therapy, myofascial trigger point release, manual therapies and home exercise programs), food therapy, Chinese herbal medicine, homeopathy, and geriatric care.

In addition, Dr. Alvarez has completed over two years of training in Chinese herbal medicine and is one of very few veterinarians certified in this emerging field.

Dr. Alvarez is also fluent in Spanish.


  • BS - Emory University, Atlanta, GA, Suma Cum Laude - double major in Biology and German, 1996.
  • DVM - University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, Athens, GA,  Magna Cum Laude, and Certification in International Veterinary Medicine, 2002.

Postgraduate Training

  • Rotating Small Animal Medicine and Surgical Internship - The Animal Medical Center, New York, NY, 2002-2003.
  • Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist - International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, 2008.
  • Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist - Canine Rehabilitation Institute, 2009.
  • Certification in Chinese Veterinary Herbal Medicine - College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies, January 2012.

Recent Publications

  • Alvarez L. Chapter 18: Acupuncture. In Gaynor J and Muir M: Handbook of Veterinary Pain Management, ed 3, St. Louis, 2015, Mosby.
  • Alvarez, L. Herbal Therapy in a Dog with Severe Atopic Dermatitis. Journal of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (JIVT) 2(1) March, 2012, Vol 2, Issue 1: 5-12.
  • Alvarez, L. Acupuncture Treatment for a Bichon Frise with Pain and Ataxia following Cervical Disk Surgery. The Meridian. American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture. Oct 2008, Vol 10, No. 4: 11-18.

Recent Press

Dr. Leilani Alvarez

Make an Appointment

(212) 838-7053


Pet Stories

  • Sweepy & Shuni

    The doctors of the Animal Medical Center saved my cat Sweepy's life and gave her another five wonderful years of life. This was my most dramatic experience with the AMC but neither my first nor last. 

  • Daisy the Guinea Pig

    Daisy, my three year old guinea pig recently had surgery at the Animal Medical Center to remove an infected toe on her front foot.  Dr. Quesenberry tried to save it with antibiotics, cream and bandages before having to perform surgery.

  • A Shih Tzu Named Shai

    We adopted Shai through a foster family to discover she was mostly blind from abuse. Only months later, her retina detached and she became fully blind. This brave and small Shih Tzu still acclimated well, until she suffered a stroke. We came home to a normally snuggly pup who that day could not get up off of her side.