6110 Creston Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50321
Phone(515) 280-3100

ISU Student Experience

Hospice & Palliative Care

Iowa Veterinary Specialties is proud to offer end-of-life care and pain management through our Hospice & Palliative Care department. The department will now allow Iowa Veterinary Specialties the opportunity to provide more comprehensive and compassionate care to pets suffering from life-limiting illnesses. The Hospice & Palliative Care department will be utilizing the latest in integrative medicine (a combination of alternative and Western medicines) in order to better serve your pets during this difficult transition.

Meet our Doctors

Leah Braas, DVM

Dr. Leah Braas graduated from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. She has been working at Iowa Veterinary Specialties in the Emergency Department since 2012. Dr. Braas has recently studied at the Chi Institute, the leading educational institute for Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Braas will be performing acupuncture and other integrative medicine at Iowa Veterinary Specialties through the Hospice and Palliative Care department. Dr. Braas is excited to combine Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine techniques alongside more conventional Western Veterinary Medicine.



Denise Mankin, DVM

Dr. Denise Mankin, graduated from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990. She began working for Iowa Veterinary Specialties in 2000. Dr. Mankin has completed CARE Intensive Training and will be using Young Living Essential Oils through the Hospice and Palliative care Department. She will apply the oils to specific meridians of your pet’s body, much like acupuncture.
Dr. Mankin has used essential oils on her own pet, Greta, after she was diagnosed with cancer. Greta was given1-4 months to live after surgery was unable to remove all of the malignancy. At this time, Greta has lived well over a year after diagnosis, and still going strong! Essential oil treatments have vastly improved Greta’s life, and Dr. Mankin is excited to help your pet as well..


Services Offered

  • Comprehensive end-of-life/transitional care
  • Multi-modal palliative care
    • Analgesics
    • Anesthetics
    • Anti-Inflammatories
    • Fluid Therapy
    • Oxygen Therapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Essential Oils
    • Nutritional Support
  • Medical boarding
  • 24 hour Emergency Support

Integrative Medicine

Iowa Veterinary Specialties' Hospice & Palliative Care department utilizes an Integrative Medicine approach. This includes both alternative medicine and Western medicine techniques and technologies. Each pet in the program receives a custom treatment plan based on doctor recommendations and owner preference.

Dr. Braas is a graduate of the Chi Institute's Small Animal Acupuncture Program. The Chi Institute is the leader in veterinary acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary acupuncture has been proven to treat a number of commonly seen conditions:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions, lameness

  • Neurological disorders

  • Cardiovascular diseases

  • Respiratory disorders

  • Gastrointestinal disorders

  • Behavioral problems

  • Dermatological problems

  • Immune-mediated diseases

  • Renal & urinary disorders

  • Reproductive disorders

Acupuncture Brochure

Hospice and Palliative Care Booklet

Hospice and Palliative Care Brochure

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ISU Student Experience Begins

Iowa Veterinary Specialties' Student Experience programs, allows vet students as well as vet tech students to gain real life experience with emergency and specialty medicine. read more >

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