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3836 Beaver Ave,
Des Moines, IA 50310

Amazing recovery cases

Amazing Case

Amazing recovery cases

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Amazing Pet Stories


Pooh the Cat, Thyroid and Arthitis Issues

Pooh the Cat, Thyroid and Arthitis Issues

We brought our now 17 year old tuxedo cat, Pooh, to Dr. Wilke a few years ago after a recommendation from a great friend. He had thyroid issues along with arthritis and a pulling hair (his). He started having laser treatments for his arthritis and well being. His thyroid is currently under control (knock wood) and he only has one semi bald spot from hair pulling.

Pooh is still creaky but at 17 but I guess he has earned the right.

He loves Dr. Wilke, Hannah and all who make over him at the clinic.


Acupuncture saves Gypsy the cat and gives her a better quality of life

Pooh the Cat, Thyroid and Arthitis Issues

Gypsy is a rescued kitty that was found emaciated and abused. She was nursed back to health and was brought into our home. She was very shy and shut down for awhile but her personality is shining through! After a year of having her we rescued another kitty and she has a brother now! They love each other so much. After two years of having Gypsy she started limping and soon couldn't walk on her back legs. She was hospitalized and put on medication for pain. She had X-rays and it showed that she has fused vertebrate. The doctor had never seen an X-ray like that before and wondered if she was hit by a car when she was homeless or that it is congenital. We struggled with the thought of her life and suffering. We were recommended to try acupuncture and laser therapy for her pain. Once we started we noticed how relaxed she became. Eventually we had her weaned off all medications! Acupuncture saved her and gave her a better quality of life! She walks normally now and loves to run and play! Gypsy is a completely different cat now. Thank you to all the wonderful staff at the Wellness Center!


Laser therapy and Acupuncture

Amanda Hentges and Jersey, a 3 year old Pit Bull Terrier

I recently started taking my 3 pets to IVWC after moving from Norwalk to Des Moines. Several friends recommended Dr. Wilke and staff. My 14 year old lab mix was losing weight, having urinary incontinence, and trouble walking. Dr. Wilke did a full blood workup, started my dog on bladder strength herbs, and took xrays. The xrays showed the need for laser therapy and acupuncture. We started treatments in May, and now, in November, people can't believe that my 14 year old dog is 14! She's walking great, is happier and in far less pain. Thanks to all the staff at Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center!

Lisa C.



Amanda Hentges and Jersey, a 3 year old Pit Bull Terrier

Amanda Hentges and Jersey, a 3 year old Pit Bull TerrierJersey is a 3 and ½ year old Pit Bull Terrier. She’s my pound puppy that I adopted out of a shelter 3 years ago as an unclaimed stray.

About a year ago, Jersey came down with a seemingly devastating and rare auto-immune disease called Masticatory Muscle Myositis. It’s a mouth full, but basically it meant her immune system was attacking and killing the facial muscles that are in charge of chewing. The exact cause of the disease is unknown. Jersey had lost most of the function of her jaw, and she couldn’t eat or drink on her own.

My original veterinarian put Jersey on a high dose of prednisone as a protocol to get her immune system under control and to halt the attack. The prednisone definitely helped, but her facial muscles disappeared, seemingly overnight. Her face became a skeleton. Traditional medicine says that MMM can be kept at bay with lifelong low doses of prednisone, with likely relapses throughout the dog’s life. There was a possibility of the facial muscles not returning.

Let me tell you – the prednisone was sucking the life out of my dog. She was not herself and she was obviously miserable. Although helpful, I knew long term prednisone use was almost as malicious as the disease itself for so many reasons. After research on holistic medicine, I came across Dr. Wilke and Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center.

Upon our initial consultation, Dr. Wilke admitted that she had not treated a case of MMM before (it is rare!), but that did not mean that she didn’t know what to do. She put together a successful treatment plan which has provided miraculous results!

Within the first few weeks of treatment, I noticed a remarkable improvement. Jersey’s facial muscles started coming back and she was regaining her jaw strength by leaps and bounds. Now, not only has Jersey been off of prednisone for over 8 months with no problems, but you would never know that she was such a sick girl almost a year ago.

I cannot thank Dr. Wilke and her staff enough. In fact, I tell everyone about Jersey’s success story with Dr. Wilke. I had little hope for a completely normal dog again. Now I have my old dog back and she has her life back. We still see Dr. Wilke, and she has helped Jersey through a recent knee surgery as well.

The staff at Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center truly cares about Jersey just as much as I do. As an added bonus, Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center is the only vet’s office that Jersey gets excited about visiting! She loves seeing her friends at IVWC, and the doggie cookies in the treatment rooms are great too, or so I am told!

Thank you, ladies!

Amanda Hentges and Jersey


MoosePatti Brown and Moose, an 8 year old Bernese Mountain Dog

Some friends of ours referred us to Dr. Wilke. Moose, our 8 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, had ruptured his left rear cruciate ligament at age 7.

The typical way that vets deal with a ruptured cruciate ligament is surgery. Moose was recovering from having his spleen removed and we did not want him to also have to deal with an additional surgery. We decided first to try laser acupuncture. In addition, Dr. Wilke suggested Prolotherapy, also known as “proliferative therapy,” “regenerative injection therapy,” or “proliferative injection therapy.” It involved injecting an otherwise non-pharmacological and non-active irritant solution into tendons and ligaments for the purpose of strengthening weakened connective tissue and alleviating musculoskeletal pain.

Moose completed a series of laser acupuncture combined with Prolotherapy and he had great relief. About a year later, he ruptured his right rear cruciate ligament and we did the same treatment on his right side. Again, the course of treatment gave him relief and we avoided yet another possible surgery with a very involved and difficult recovery.

Moose is going on 9 years of age. He takes a glucosamine supplement, he occasionally takes some “doggie pain medicine” when he seems to have some aches and pains, but he is doing well. He is a beloved family member and I think we chose the right treatment options for him.


Iowa Veterinary CenterSandra Montgomery and Laddie, an 11 year old Shetland Sheepdog

Our Sheltie, Laddie, has been coming to the clinic for 3+ years to receive acupuncture treatments for arthritis. I believe his treatments have been the most successful thing we have done for him to treat this problem and we have done it ALL! Forever grateful for the great care!

I am also drawn to this clinic for their progressive thinking and approach to reduced vaccination schedules.


SammyMichon and Darren Hemmen with Sammy, an 8 year old Dachshund

Sammy, our beloved baby weiner dog, came into our lives with a basically unknown history and age. We were delighted to give him a wonderful home and love him. Never having had a weiner dog before, we weren’t prepared for the back problems that sometimes come.

While taking our Sammy for a walk one morning, it became apparent that he was having back pain. By the time we got home, it was clear that he had progressed into a neurologic back emergency. Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center was so kind to let us come over right away, and it was confirmed that Sammy did have a disc in his lower back go out. He received laser acupuncture treatment that day, and a protocol of further treatments at recommended intervals. We are blessed that Sammy did recover, and we know that it was due to the speedy care that he was able to receive.

Two years later, Sammy has since graduated from monthly acupuncture sessions to once every 6-8 weeks. We keep him “tuned up” to help prevent further back issues.

We are very grateful to Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center for the wonderful care they have given to our baby Sammy,

Michon Hemmen


Bill and Diane Ackerman with Sophie, an 8 year old Labrador Retriever

Our 8 year old dog, Sophie, had been battling a weight problem for years before she was finally diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. Medication for the thyroid problem helped restore her energy, but she was still tipping the scales at well over 100 pounds and was having difficulty taking her daily walks – even a leisurely 20 minute walk left her panting and whimpering from pain.

We decided to try acupuncture to help her get moving again. We sought help at Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center. After just a few weeks of treatment and dietary changes under Dr. Wilke’s care, Sophie’s pain seemed to be gone and she gradually began to lose the extra weight and enjoy her walks again.

Six months later, she has shed more than 40 pounds, reaching her ideal weight, her overall health is excellent and her coat has gone from dull and thin to shiny and full. Best of all, she is now able to run and play at the dog parks with dogs half her age.

We are amazed and grateful to Dr. Wilke and her staff for helping Sophie get her life back!

Bill, Diane and Sophie


Michelle Hanlon and Jasmine, an 8 year old Domestic Longhair

Iowa Veterinary CenterIn April 2011, I took my beloved 6 year old cat, Jasmine, to her vet group after she became suddenly ill, weak and was hardly eating.

Labwork was completed and I was told that she was in renal (kidney) failure. The vet suggested, to prolong her life, they could hospitalize her and give her IV fluids, he believed this would still only give her months to live. I knew the hospitalization in itself would be traumatic for her, so I declined and expected she would die within weeks.

The next day I faxed her labs to Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center and asked if Dr. Van believed there was anything he could do for her. After looking at the labwork, he said to bring her in for an examination. The following day Jasmine and I met Dr. Van and his staff. He told me they don’t see cats living with lab results like Jasmine’s. He explained the link to poor quality food and renal failure. He continued by educating me on the importance of quality and grain-free wet cat food for good health. As Dr. Van did a laser acupuncture treatment, he told me of the success he has had with the laser unit. This was completely non-invasive and Jasmine had no discomfort. After the treatment, they shaved her belly so I could use a daily transdermal spray of a blend of Chinese herbs that Dr. Van had developed with the help of a pharmacist. Finally, they did subcutaneous fluids to help with her dehydration.

During the drive home, I felt blessed…and wondered what the odds were that the vet who had developed the herb spray, and who had a high-end laser acupuncture unit, practices in my neighborhood! I prayed that Jasmine would get well.

Jasmine’s improvement was quick and miraculous. Weeks later she had regained much of her lost weight and appeared perfectly healthy.

That fall, when Dr. Van retired and sold his practice to Dr. Wilke, I was completely content with our continued care, treatment and Dr. Wilke’s knowledge and interaction with Jasmine (even when Jasmine growls at her!). Dr. Wilke and her staff are highly knowledgeable, caring, compassionate, personable, competent, always seem to enjoy their work and are loving to the animals. I like them all very much, and greatly appreciate all the care and kindness they give to Jasmine. I have recommended Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center to many , whether they need routine care or treatment for an illness.

Sincerely and with great appreciation,

Michelle Hanlon


Iowa Veterinary CenterBee White with Baxter, a 15 year old Domestic Shorthair

Hi! My name is Bee, and my best friend is a 15 year old cat named Baxter. About two years ago I noticed that Baxter had slowed down a bit and had developed a slight limp. He was sleeping most of the day and wasn’t coming out of his room to do his routine house “keeping.” I had decided that Baxter was just aging and needed more rest, but when he started vomiting and losing interest in his food, I knew something was wrong!

I thought Baxter may have a terrible case of arthritis and the thought of him being in that much pain almost drove me to the sanitarium! We went to see his previous veterinarian and they told me to keep him comfortable and basically expect the worst. But I wasn’t willing to give up on my baby yet!

I grew up in Beaverdale and often drove past Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center. I gave them a call and they got Baxter in right away for an assessment. Dr. Wilke agreed my Baxter was in pretty bad shape, but we had options. She explained it would be a process and also where we would begin.

We started with acupuncture and a couple of medications to get Baxter’s appetite and strength back. Then she tested him for the underlying causes of his symptoms. Through Dr. Wilke and her staff’s hard work and devotion, Baxter was diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis and “cat scratch fever,” ALL treatable! Even though I was a complete mess myself, we were always welcome with any questions or concerns along our journey.

Almost two years later, I have my precious friend by my side, constantly purring and eagerly awaiting his 16th birthday! I will be forever grateful to Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center for giving me more (quality) time with my best friend!

Bee and Baxter


Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center • 3836 Beaver Ave | Des Moines, IA 50310
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