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

ISU Student Experience

Partnership with your exotics veterinarian 

We understand that primary care veterinarians are the first line of support and knowledge for their clients. It is our goal to maximimize the quality of life of our patients and in turn create a strong relationship with our clients and their primary care veterinarian is the first line of defense for the care of their patients. Drs Rupiper and Ribbery are happy to work in partnership with your primary care veterinarian regarding mutual furry, feathered and scaled patients. Founded on November 17 2020 we see exotic species by appointment for routine wellness, husbandry and sick pet care. 

Species Seen:

  • Ball Pythons
  • Bearded Dragons
  • Chameleons
  • Cockatiels
  • Conures
  • Ferrets
  • Rabbits
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Parakeets
  • Rabbits

We Will Not See: 

  • Livestock
  • Waterfowl
  • Wildlife
  • Venomous/Poisonous 

***neither list is a full comprehensive list
*** please call if you are unsure if your species is able to be seen by us

What do we do?

  • Blood Work
  • Ct Imaging
  • Cytology
  • Fluid Therapy  
  • Husbandry Advice
  • Nebulization
  • Oxygen Therapy
  • Radiology
  • Ultrasound 
  • Urinalysis
  • Doctor/patient dependent surgeries such as: dentals, amputations as well as spays and neuters for guinea pigs, rabbits and hedgehogs

Watch 'How To' Videos

Abbey Rupiper, DVM

Abbey Rupiper, DVM, Emergency Veterinarian

Dr. Abbey Rupiper is originally from St. Louis Park, MN but moved to Iowa in 2009 to attend Drake University in Des Moines where she graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Dr. Rupiper then went on to attend Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and graduated in 2019. Dr. Rupiper founded the exotics department at Iowa Veterinary Specialties and has a special interest in small mammals and reptiles. When not at work Dr. Rupiper enjoys spending time outside with her husband, three kids, and her two dogs (Wicket the Newfoundland and Sally the mixed breed, ) and 2 cats.

Lena Ribbey

Lena Ribbey, DVM, Emergency Veterinarian

Dr. Lena Ribbey graduated from Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in the Class of 2019. She started in general practice in the Greater Des Moines area before transitioning to Iowa Veterinary Specialties full time in July 2021. She has had an interest in exotic pets since first starting in veterinary medicine in 2012. When not working, Dr. Ribbey is at home with her husband, two dogs, and four cats.


• Does my exotic species really need veterinary care?
Absolutely! Just like a dog or cat, they need routine care to stay healthy. 

• How do I care for my new pet?
Exotics’ needs are so varied, we offer professional husbandry advice to make sure they are kept in the ideal situations. 

• How do I schedule an appointment?
Simply call our office at any time (515-280-3100), and our staff will assist you from there. We see exotics by appointment every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. 

• How should I transport my pet to the vet?
No matter the size, your exotic pet should be transported in some sort of box, cage or carrier to keep them safe during transport. 

• Is there insurance for my exotic pet like there is for my dog?
Amazingly yes! A variety of pet insurances companies offer 

Basic Bearded Dragon Care

Basic Chinchilla Care Sheet

Basic Leopard Gecko Care

Basic Rabbit Care Sheet

Chinchilla Handling

Critical Care Feeding Instructions

How to Properly Dust your Feeder Insect

How to Properly Gut Load your Insects

"All the Vet techs and receptionists were nothing but phenomenal and soooo understanding!"

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