Meet Dr. Nelmapius


Albert Nelmapius, DVM

Hey, nice of you to check up on me. I was born in South Africa, too many moons ago to keep track of. I am a graduate of University of Pretoria, college of Veterinary Medicine at Onderstepoort. After graduating, I was a military veterinarian for the SA army and spent some time as a State Veterinarian and in private practices in both small animal city practices, as well as a rural large animal practice in South Africa. No we do not all run around treating lions and elephantsall the time, but I was exposed to a small amount of exotic animal care. I have now been a citizen in the United States for over 25 years, and I have done tremendous amounts of work with dogs, cats, and exotic animals. Before opening my own practice I worked in Bradenton as an associate veterinarian doing mixed, small animal, horse and cattle medicine and yes a little exposure to African circus animals.

Since opening Safari Animal Clinic in 1984, I have educated myself further in bird and exotic practice, micro surgery techniques, advanced dental care and maxillofacial surgery, advanced orthopedic surgery, advanced surgical techniques for otitis media through an ear endoscope, dog frozen semen and fertility work, geriatric medicine, integrative veterinary medicine, veterinary herbology, natural supplements and other alternative therapies.

I strongly believe in my traditional medical training as a modern state of the art pet physician, but I also strongly believe in the "holistic" approach of solving the underlying problem first, not just throwing medicine at the symptoms. This practice probably uses less prescription medications like steroids and anti-depressants, less addictive pain medication and emphasises exercise and weight loss and healthy lifestyle over joint surgery.

We were one of the first in Tampa to invest in a LASER surgery unit and a Laser THERAPY unit. We are very proud of the cutting edge medical care this allows us to do.

Our latest project has been to design executive level, ironclad, preventative programs, based on research done by, amongst others, the CDC and also systems like the Mayo Clinic's Executive Health Programs.

Maybe this paragraph should have been written by someone other than me, but after you get to know me, you will realize I am also a straight shooting talker that does not beat around the bush, but comes right out to tell it like it is. If you want a doctor to just rubber stamp clients who indulge their pets in bad eating habits, or lets them get away with obnoxious behaviour or themselves do harm to their pets by overindulging them - we will certainly bang heads.

But if you follow my advice , you will have a pet that lives many years longer with more happiness.

In my spare time I enjoy traveling the world, outdoor activities and spending time with my son Kegan and his wife Kelly, thank you for asking.

For those of you who ask "what is it that makes me click", especially when it comes to preventative healthcare, here is another side of my story. For those that don't care, you can safely skip the rest.


Hi, we may not have met but I bet by the end of this conversation we will have found a few things in common.

(By the way there are several free gifts and access to at least one $100 gift card hidden on this website-happy hunting)

First off, I was born and raised loooong ago in South Africa. Yes I was always an avid animal lover and grew up in close proximity to household pets, farm animals, (my grandpa gifted me one of the calves on his farm when I was 7 years old) and wildlife. I am sure many of you can agree.

South Africa has some of the most beautiful game parks in the world. And true, at a young age I developed a love for the outdoors, camping and sleeping under starry skies.

But not, as some people imagine -all Tarzan like in a loincloth. I was a city boy and I went to a city university, even though I think I was well travelled and well read. I knew a little about the world.

But recently I was thinking to myself, about which influences made me who I am? The answer is complex of course. You see I am not at all tall. I was also not very big and strong. I didn't ever quite make it onto the football team. I sarted school at a younger age than my classmates.I guess you can say I was not only the youngest, but also the smallest kid in my classroom. (girls were huge in those days) I should have been the prime target for bullies to be locked in the bathroom stall or given a wedgie on the way to class. But I wasn’t, at least not often. After the first few times I had to strategize. I had to use my brain and my wits and my sense of humor to avoid these threatening situations. I developed some mental weapons. I did research on my opponents and learned their secrets and in my head played the scenarios so I could recognise it when a situation started getting threatening and I could avoid it. You can say I honed my senses of anticipation.

One of my neighbors, a boy my sisters age, two years younger than me , was walking home from school lost in thought, not looking left or right, when he was hit by a car right in front of me. Needless to say, since then I have never crossed a street without looking left and right several times. I also learned to pay extremely close attention to not only what was in front of me but what was happening beside me and behind me. And I even honed my skills of finding signals in the environment around me that would alert me to things I would find useful. To this day while walking or riding in a car, I can remember minute details that nobody else around me noticed.

Later in life I decided to protect myself by going to a wrestling school. A very noisy obnoxious bigger kid came, lied about his weight, knocked me right over and as I tried to break my fall behind me, I broke my arm.… Well After that there was no way that I would ever get in the ring without watching the weigh in, letting him get off the scale to zero it out and then let him reweigh himself. I also felt the need to learn how to defend myself against bigger kids. So I took Judo.

My sister also developed and overcame cancer.

So it formed in me, the skills of anticipation. But more so, even the ability to devise preventative plans to avoid pain and to get to my goals faster.

After I got into private practice I worked for many veterinarians and in many clinics. I have noticed the trend for doctors, especially the young ones, to chase down symptoms and then treat only that symptom. Many times a dog or cat would come in for a bladder infection or an ear infection and the owner would say something about the last time they came in. When I sit down and thoroughly read the history I find out that this patients had been coming in for this same complaint two or three times a year, for years. Every Time it was treated appropriately but then nothing. Nobody would dig deeper to find out what caused it and then take steps to avoid it. Even my own doctors would treat me the same.

So since then, I have become obsessively passionate about preventative care and avoiding disease rather than waiting for it to show up. Over 30 years, my practice has probably made less money per client than my neighboring veterinarians because we have so utterly eliminated preventable diseases.

When I observe other practices, I see them rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars from hookworms, heartworms or Parvo, or pyometra or prostate and breast cancer - and in my practice we hardly ever saw those conditions, but once or twice a year.

I have read news stories and books about how famous business owners have used their experiences to further themselves in this world and was especially impressed with how the medical profession has advanced preventative medicine ever since Dr Frank J Weed opened the first Cleveland clinic in the 1800s.

I have to admit to you that I myself make a notoriously bad patient. (most doctors do) I hardly ever-ever go see a doctor. When I do, I get 6 minutes max and a prescription stuffed in my hand. I bet you have seen the same. But I suspect I have done more research on preventative human medicine than most. And I have seen with my own eyes how adding things like antioxidants to the diet of a seizure patient or a liver failure patient can immensely improve their response.

Clearly, we have all learned life's lessons on our journey. Hopefully we can benefit mutually from what each of us has to offer.

I seriously doubt anybody has read this far so I consider this just a vanity card like Lorne Michaels puts underneath his TV shows. But if you actually read this far, e mail me and I will send you a Starbucks gift card for a coffee.


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  • "When my dog Blackie was diagnosed with severe pancreatitis, Dr. Nelmapius prescribed a strict treatment plan but also course of laser therapy. Every time he gets the therapy I can immediately tell he just feels better and after each treatment I could see improvement and the outbreaks have become less frequent and less intense almost to the point of a complete cure."
    Melanie Acanda
  • ""I must mention Liz. Such a wonderful loving person and dear friend. Liz drove all the way to my house to bring me medicine that I needed for my very sick Shih Tzu, Bijou. She also was so caring to a little stray dog that found us one morning and was in need of special attention. That little dog was in terrible shape and she cleaned him up for us and comforted him"
    Fred and Joyce Pennington
  • "I really liked the attention, including the details, from Doctor N. I also liked the check-up phone calls from Christina and the other caring staff"
    Brittany Caddic
  • ""We found a little sickly stray. He has since become our special little dog since Dr. Nelmapius had to do several surgeries on him to fix major damage from abuse that he received before he found us. I have often said I wish I had a Doctor for my health issues that is as dedicated to each of his patients as Dr Nelmapius"
    Fred and Joyce Pennington
  • "I appreciated the time Doctor N. and his staff at Safari took with us. He personally took the extra time to make sure that I understand everything that is taking place."
    Bridget Catledge