We will be closed on Monday, December 25th for the Christmas holiday. Wishing everyone a safe and joyful holiday!

3836 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310 | Mon - Fri 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Sat 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM | Ph: (515) 274-3811
Please Note: First & third Saturday of the month: Open 8 am–12 pm, Second, fourth, & fifth Saturday: Closed

We will be closed on Monday, December 25th for the Christmas holiday. Wishing everyone a safe and joyful holiday!

(515) 274-3811

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here you’ll find the answers to some of our most asked questions. Don’t see what you need? Just give us a call—we’re here to help!

Where are you located?

Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center of Des Moines
3836 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310

Phone (515) 274-3811

Fax (515) 274-3887

What are your hours?

Doctors’ hours by appointment

Hours of operation:
Monday-Friday: 8am to 5pm
Saturday: 8am  to 12pm
Sunday: Closed

How do I schedule a visit for my pet?

Click schedule a visit, or you can call our office at (515) 274-3811 and one of our friendly staff members will assist you in setting up a time that works best with your schedule.

Can I pay with a credit card?

At Iowa Veterinary Wellness Center, we accept cash, checks, debit cards, credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) and Scratchpay. Please note that payment is due at the time of the visit.

What should I do in case of an emergency?

If your pet is experiencing an emergency, please call Iowa Veterinary Specialties at (515) 280-3100.

When is the best time to spay or neuter my pet?

Spaying and neutering and what ideal age to have them done is now an individualized discussion and choice. Our veterinarians and staff discuss lifestyle options/choices, health pros and cons related to age of alteration, and other factors when making a recommendation about the appropriate age to spay or neuter your pet.

Why are vaccinations so important?

Vaccines are an important part of your pet’s health. Vaccines keep your pet healthy and prevent serious diseases. We believe in disease prevention without over-vaccination. Our team can develop a vaccine schedule tailored to your pet that will prevent illness and disease.

Dog Vaccines

Rabies Vaccine: Rabies is transmitted through bites from wild animals—especially skunks, raccoons, possums, bats, and foxes. Rabies can be transmitted to humans through the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Puppies and kittens will first receive this vaccination at roughly 16 weeks of age, and then they will be revaccinated every 1-3 years as required by law.

DAP Vaccine: This is a “3-way” canine vaccine that vaccinates against canine distemper, adenovirus type 2, and parvovirus. Distemper and parvovirus are oftentimes fatal, especially in puppies. Puppies can be vaccinated as early as 8 weeks and are boostered every 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Adult dogs are then revaccinated every 3 years, or a vaccine titer may be recommended to assess immunity in lieu of the vaccination.

Bordetella Vaccine: This is also known as kennel cough, and we recommend the oral vaccine when a patient will be boarding or going to a groomer.

Cat Vaccines

Rabies Vaccine: We use a species-specific rabies vaccination for our feline patients. The vaccination is non-adjuvanted and uses advanced recombinant DNA technology, which means that it’s less likely to cause adverse reactions. This vaccine is recommended by the world’s leading veterinary immunologists.

FVRCP/RCP Vaccine: This is a “3-way” feline vaccine that vaccinates against feline distemper (aka panleukopenia), rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus. Kittens can be vaccinated as early as 8 weeks and are boostered every 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Adult cats are then rarely revaccinated.

FeLV Vaccine: The Feline Leukemia vaccine is recommended for kittens and young adult cats that are at high risk, such as indoor/outdoor cats.

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough, also known as Infectious Tracheobronchitis, is easily transmitted through the air. It is caused by viruses and/or bacteria that affect the respiratory system of dogs. The best way to reduce the severity of the disease is with vaccination.

When does my pet need blood work?

We recommend annual blood work to detect infections and diseases. In many situations, early detection is essential for effective treatment. The type of blood work will be determined specifically for each pet depending on his or her individual needs. This annual blood test is convenient to do at the time of your pet’s annual heartworm test, but it can be done at any time of year.

How do I get my pet’s prescription medications?

Our in-house pharmacy has a large selection of prescription medications and therapeutic diets for your family pet. Our staff members can help you select the best medication, choose the proper dosage, and provide information on side effects or interactions. Contact us immediately if your pet experiences an adverse reaction, or if you have any questions or concerns regarding a prescription medication.

How many months should my pet be on heartworm prevention medication?

Heartworm disease is a serious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes and can be fatal if left untreated. The American Heartworm Society and our veterinarians recommend that all dogs be given year-round heartworm prevention, regardless of their lifestyle.

Why does my dog need a blood test before purchasing heartworm prevention?

Dogs can get sick (vomiting, diarrhea, and/or death) if placed on heartworm prevention when they have heartworm disease. Even if they have been on heartworm prevention year-round, there is always the possibility that the product may have failed for various reasons (your pet spit out the pill, did not absorb the pill appropriately, topical medicine was not applied properly, forgot to administer medication on time, etc.). The earlier we can treat your pet for heartworm disease, the better the prognosis. Some companies will guarantee their product if you use it year-round and are performing a yearly heartworm test.

When starting heartworm prevention, or if your dog has not been on heartworm prevention year-round, it is important that you perform an initial heartworm test and an additional heartworm test 6-7 months after starting the prevention to fully rule out the prior infection. During the early stages of development, some larvae are not detectable by the test. It may take a full 6-7 months before they can be detected, which is why we need to repeat the testing later after starting preventative measures.

Doesn’t the fecal sample test for heartworms?

No. Heartworm disease is a blood-borne disease that is transmitted through mosquitoes. A simple blood test is needed to confirm whether your dog has heartworm disease.

Why does my pet need dental cleanings and how often should this be done?

Annual professional dental exams, tooth scaling, and polishing are necessary to treat and maintain healthy teeth and gums for your pet. As your pet ages, their health needs will also change, and advanced dental care may be required. Your pet’s teeth and mouth should be examined by our veterinarians on a regular basis as part of their routine wellness care.

Do I need to brush my pet’s teeth at home?

Yes. Proper at-home dental care is highly recommended to help maintain the oral health of your dog or cat. Home dental care for your pet should start early, even before their adult teeth come in. Pet owners should brush their dog’s and cat’s teeth frequently, as brushing is the best method of preventing plaque, calculus, and bacterial build-up. There are also additional options for at-home dental care such as dental formulated foods, water additives, and dental treats.