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Healing Paws Veterinary Clinic

1834 SW White Birch Circle 

Ankeny, IA  50023


Mon Wed Thurs Fri 7:30 am - 5:30 pm

Tues 7:30 am to Noon Sat 8 am to Noon


Fireworks at Ankeny Summerfest


Independence day and Ankeny Summerfest are quickly approaching and celebrations will be plentiful. Celebrations often include cookouts, noisy parades, and thundering fireworks. As many of us know the boom and flash of fireworks can terrify and panic some of our pets.


Fireworks can create the same type of fear as thunderstorms, making many pets frightened and anxious. For many the first instinct is to try and escape the noise. When the need to flee from the noise takes over, dogs have been known to: Chew or Destroy doors, windows, fences, and kennels. To help alleviate the panic they are feeling try distracting them with a game or a training session, make sure the home is calm, move to the basement or room where the noise isn't quite so loud. You can try thundershirts and pheromones such as adaptil for dogs and feliway for cats. There are also prescription options available if nothing else seems to work.


If you enjoy taking your pets everywhere with you, please remember your pet’s hearing may be harmed by loud fireworks. Once the noise level reaches 85 decibels, hearing can be damaged. Fireworks are capable of exceeding 140 decibels. Without a way to offer protection against hearing loss, pets may be more comfortable when left at home.


Fireworks don’t have to be lit to pose a hazardous threat to animals. Many are made with substances that contain ingredients that are toxic when ingested such as heavy metals. These can cause health issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.


The loud noises can cause pets to flee their homes trying to escape the noise. Ensure the safety of your pet by making sure they are wearing collars and tags and in case those fall off microchipping is essential to returning them home. Just make sure your owner information is up to date. www.petmicrochiplookup.org  is a great place to find contact information for your dog's microchip company to make sure your information is current.

While firework displays are amazing to watch, dogs may find them frightening and something to run from. Take precautions this fireworks season to keep your pets calm and safe.

Keeping Cool in Ankeny

Keeping Cool in Ankeny

Keeping your pet cool in Ankeny this summer is going to be a must, it is just the middle of June and we are already going to see temperatures in the mid to upper 90s this weekend. Please keep these great tips in mind when you are out having fun.

Never leave your dog or cat in the car

Car temperatures rise quickly in the summer increasing 19 degrees in just 10 minutes, So a beautiful 80 degree day in Iowa in 10 minutes turns into a sweltering 99 degrees inside your vehicle. Plus, Studies show that cracking the windows doesn't help.

Give unlimited access to fresh water

Water sitting out all day is going to rise in temps just like the air giving bacteria the opportunity to grow, so make sure your dog is getting fresh water and perhaps a few ice cubes to play with and help keep the water cool longer.

Outside Shade is a Must

Temperatures are recorded in the shade so being in the sun makes the temperature feel 10-15 degrees warmer. It is important that they have a place to take a break from the suns rays.

Walk in the Mornings and Evenings

The cooler temps make the walk all around more enjoyable. The pavement gets really hot in heat of the day and can cause burns to your pets paws.

Care for their coat/skin

If your pet has a long coat consider having it clipped shorter for the summer months to help them stay cool.

If your pet has a thin coat or very light coat consider applying sunscreen, they can get sunburns just like us. OUCH!

Signs of Heat Stress

You may notice these signs if your dog has had too much fun in the sun: Anxiousness, Excessive panting, Restlessness, Excessive drooling, Unsteadiness, Abnormal gum and tongue color, and worst of all Collapse. If you notice these signs please consult your veterinarian for care, That's us, Healing Paws! 515-963-4565. If it's an emergency call IVRC 515-727-4872 located on Merle Hay Road in Des Moines.

If it is hot for you, It is even hotter for your pet. Let's keep everyone COOL this Summer.


Dog Bite Prevention

    Dog Bite Prevention

    The CDC reports 4.7 million dog bites in the United States each year, 386,000 of which result in emergency medical treatment. The bites happen for many, many reasons and come from many breeds. All dogs, even the most gentle-seeming, are capable of biting someone, especially when they are scared, in pain, or startled. It is important to know the signs that a dog is about to bite and, whenever possible, take steps to prevent an attack.

    Pay attention to body language!

    Dogs rely heavily on body language, and learning to read their bodies is a great way to get an idea of what they are thinking or feeling. The Humane Society and Midwest Vet list the following as signs that a dog is aggressive and might bite:

    Read more...

    Team Tegan JDRF One Walk

    Meet Dr. Rauser's Daughter, Tegan

    Tegan Rauser is one of the many faces of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D); One of 1.25 million Americans to be exact. She is a happy, determined, outspoken, life-loving 7 year old. She enjoys soccer, dance, and swimming. Her favorite treat is ice cream! She is the princess of the family with two older brothers who are always ready to look out for her, but she is not shy about looking out for them either. Looking at her you would never know that she has Type 1 Diabetes. Tegan was diagnosed at the age of 4; she was returning home from a week spent with Nana and she was showing signs (drinking A LOT and urinating excessively) of diabetes. As parents with health backgrounds, we suspected Diabetes. We took her to urgent care where they immediately diagnosed her with T1D and admitted her to Mayo Clinic for a week of treatment, education and lifestyle adjustments. She began taking insulin shots, but has since moved to a pump, which gives her more freedom in her food and activity choices. Every day she pokes her fingers to check her blood sugar levels, counts the carbohydrates in all her meals and snacks, and navigates the emotional rollercoaster of high and low blood sugars. Thankfully, Tegan has the personality and attitude to be a T1D “celebrity”. She enjoys educating others about what it is like to live with diabetes and she is always up for a challenge. You won’t see T1D putting her on the sidelines! Tegan is so excited for this year’s JDRF One Walk because she has the opportunity to make a big splash in the efforts to raise awareness for Type One Diabetes by creating the largest walk team, Team Tegan, in JDRF history! She has tough moments, when she wants to “be normal and not have diabetes”, when she doesn’t want to check her blood sugars, or she wants to eat an ice cream cone without giving herself insulin. But, she is amazing; she lives life with a smile on her face and a skip in her step, knowing that her future looks sweet for a life without T1D, thanks to JDRF and everyone who is supporting her on Team Tegan, Turning Type One into Type None! To Join Team Tegan: http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/Hubbell

    JDRF One Walk is Saturday May 14 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. This event is free, if you make a $10 donation a tutu will be ready for you to wear on walk day! Activities such as face paint, local mascots, photo booth, music and day of registration begin at 8:00am. The walk starts at 9:30 with a 1 mile route or a 3 mile route. If you are busy this day but still want to show your support for Tegan and the other 1.25 million Americans living with T1D on a daily basis please sign up as a virtual walker. We would love for you to join us in making Team Tegan the largest team in JDRF history nationally!

    Team Tegan Sign Up: http://www2.jdrf.org/goto/Hubbell

    National Pet Dental Health Month Brings Awareness to Ankeny Pet Owners

      February is National Pet Dental Health Month. We know you want to keep your pets healthy and happy, and keeping their teeth clean is just another way to care for them!

      What is Periodontal Disease?

      In humans, dogs, and cats alike, oral bacteria form plaque, which sticks to teeth. Once the plaque is there, it can develop into a hard substance called tartar, which can form both above and below the gum line. The major oral problems arise when the bacteria and tartar get under the gum line, where they secrete toxins that damage the tissues and can cause gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is associated with painful inflammation and reddening of the animal’s gums, while periodontitis results in bone and soft-tissue loss around the teeth. Neither of them are good to have!

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        Though it may still feel like fall outside, the winter holidays are fast approaching! Whether you plan to travel, have family and friends over for a meal, or simply relax at home, here are some important things to keep in mind about the holiday season.

        Christmas trees are beautiful but potentially hazardous

        Like me, you may enjoy searching for the perfect Christmas tree to bring into your home and decorate. However, there are a few precautions that should be taken when bringing a Christmas tree into your home.
      • Falling Christmas trees are dangerous for everyone! Secure your tree as much as possible, limiting its ability to rock and possibly fall over. Rambunctious and curious pets may run into the tree or climb it, which can cause it to fall and harm them and those nearby.
      • Christmas tree water can be dangerous. Some trees are sprayed with preservative chemicals, which can leech into the water and cause indigestion and upset stomach if ingested. If possible, limit your pet’s access to the tree water. Make sure there is plenty of water in your pet’s water bowl so that they will be less likely to look for new sources.
      • Ornaments can pose dangers to playful pets. Glass ornaments are popular around the holiday season, but can pose a threat to your pet if broken. Do not hang your fragile ornaments close to the ground, where a careless tail-wag or playful swat could cause them to break and scatter glass. Small ornaments are also dangerous because they can be ingested by pets. To avoid these dangers, hang your fragile and small ornaments higher up on the tree, where your pet cannot reach.
      • Pine needles are dangerous if ingested. Christmas trees shed pine needles like a German Shepherd sheds fur: all the time. If ingested by your pet, the pine needles can cause stomach issues and even puncture the intestines. To lower the risk of this happening, be careful to sweep up the pine needles regularly.
      • Read more...

        Pet Diabetes Month brings awareness to Ankeny and the world

          Did you know that cats and dogs can get diabetes just like humans? In honor of Pet Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day, here are some things you should know about diabetes in pets.

          What is Diabetes?

          You may be wondering what diabetes is. Maybe you’ve heard it mentioned before—you might even know someone with diabetes—but what does it actually mean?

          In healthy animals, insulin is made by the pancreas and is used by the body to help absorb glucose (a type of sugar) that comes from food. Glucose is an important source of energy, but it must be absorbed before it can be used. Without insulin, a pet’s body cannot absorb the glucose properly and get the energy needed. In animals with diabetes, the pancreas either doesn’t produce insulin at all (Type 1) or the body is unable to properly use the insulin that it does make (Type 2). The result of diabetes is that the animal has high levels of sugar in the blood. Instead of glucose, they break down fat for energy.

          How do I know if my cat or dog has diabetes?

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          Halloween Pet Safety

          It is Halloween season in Ankeny. Over the next couple of weeks our nights can be filled with all kinds of fun from trunk-or-treats to beggar’s night to costume parties. With all this fun typically comes a bag full of goodies and candy! Here are some tips and tricks to keep your fur family safe as you walk the streets of Ankeny this Halloween season.

          The following items are Toxic to Dogs and Cats, so please make sure they are kept far away from them!


          The darker the chocolate the higher amounts of toxin but quantity eaten and size of the dog are also important. Typically symptoms start with stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea and are often followed by increased heart rate above 200 beats per minute, tremors and seizures, and possible death.


          Most commonly found in sugar free gum and mints, but also used in other products such as sugar free peanut butters and toothpastes. It causes liver damage and dangerously low blood sugars that can result in seizures or death.

          Raisins and Grapes

          This is a scary one because it is unknown as to which types of grapes and how much are toxic. Sometimes just one or two can cause problems other times a whole bunch can be eaten with no problems. These cause kidney damage, signs of damage include stomach upset, loss of appetite, increased drinking and urination, weight loss, accidents in the house, tiredness.

          Macadamia Nuts

          This is another one where we are unsure of the toxin and how much toxin it takes to cause symptoms. Signs include stomach upset, stumbling, difficulty getting up and potential paralysis.

          Also make sure that your pet is secured with a leash and is visible to those around you with bright colors or a light as you enjoy Halloween with your pets! -From Dr. Daryl Rauser and your Healing Paws family

          Litter Box 101 Our Ankeny Veterinarian Weighs In

          Ensuring your kitty has perfect litter box manners

          Eventually, every cat owner, including myself,  will have a feline friend decide that the litter box is actually not the best place to do business. All too often, a cat will decide that it’s actually far better to use a discreet corner in your house, or perhaps your favorite shoe, or even the bathroom sink. It might seem like this is a random and meaningless change in behavior; but generally, you’ll probably be able to figure out the cause and get your cat back on track in no time.

          Why is my cat not using his or her box?

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          Fleas 101: What to know in Ankeny

          Spring is finally on it’s way to Ankeny, and if you’re like me, you’ve been anxiously waiting for the warmer weather and longer days. However, we aren’t the only ones looking forward to the warmer weather. Our pesty little friend the flea seems to re-emerge during the summer months. Although fleas can be a year-round problem depending on where you live or whether they have settled inside your home, summer marks the peak of flea season.


          Flea Facts

          • Fleas are ectoparasites.
          • They are extremely hardy animals that have been around for more than 100 million years.
          • They have an exoskeleton that withstands high pressures and is shock resistant. You can drop a flea from five feet and not kill it because of their exoskeleton.
          • Fleas are incredible athletes. A flea can jump over seven inches high and thirteen inches long. If a flea were the size of a human, that’s equivalent to jumping 1000 feet high!
          • Fleas can transmit tapeworms when your pet ingests them. Tapeworms are intestinal parasites that can cause malnutrition if untreated.
          • Fleas can also transmit Yersina pestis, the bacteria that causes the bubonic plague.

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          Leptospirosis in Dogs Can be Prevalent in Ankeny

          Leptospirosis, or “lepto,” as it is commonly referred to, is a disease caused by a bacterial organism. It is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be passed from species to species. In dogs, especially in puppies less than 6 months of age, this disease can be fatal. Leptospirosis infects the blood stream and the toxins of the bacteria attack the internal organs, which can eventually cause them to shut down and stop working. It can also cause uveitis (inflammation of the inner part of the eye) or damage to other organs.


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          Tips for Getting Your Tiny Tiger to an Ankeny Vet

          There are more cats in American homes than dogs, yet despite their popularity, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that cats are brought to the veterinarian less often than dogs.  Why is this true? Don’t cat parents love their pets as much as dog parents do? Of course they do, so why the discrepancy? Anyone with cats will confide that they don’t go as often as they should because their cats hate going to the vet. Some cats become so stressed that they vomit or defecate from fear. Others transform into hissing and spitting balls of fury. You know you should be taking your cat to the veterinarian for their routine wellness examination at least once a year, and more frequently if you have a senior cat, but the mere thought of it probably makes your blood pressure rise. Is there anything you do to make the visit less stressful for you and your cat? Here are a few tips to make the visit a more pleasant experience for you and your feline friend.

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