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

ISU Student Experience

Veterinary Oncology

Iowa Veterinary Specialties strives to offer the most advanced cancer diagnostics and treatment options available for your companion animal. Our approach is to treat each patient as an individual and make quality of life our focus. We work with each family as we review their pet's medical history and symptoms. Our goal is to create a unique plan, specific to each pet and family's needs.


Shawna Greene, DVM, MS, DACVIM
Iowa Veterinary Specialties' Oncology Department

What is Oncology?

Iowa Veterinary Specialties' Oncology Department is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in animals. Much like humans, companion animals can develop cancer virtually anywhere in their body. Cancer may be genetically or environmentally linked. Common types of cancer treated at Iowa Veterinary Specialties include:

  • Blood Cancers
    • Lymphoma/Leukemia
    • Hemangiosarcomas
  • Skin Tumors
    • Mast cell tumors
    • Soft tissue tumors
    • squamous cell carcinoma
  • Bone Tumors
    • Osteosarcoma
  • Oral Tumors
    • Malignant melanoma
    • Fibrosarcoma
    • Squamous cell carcinoma
    • Epulides
  • Stomach and intestinal tumors
    • Carcinomas
    • Sarcomas

What happens at your first visit?

We understand that each patient and their family are individuals with differing needs. We strive to meet each of you wherever you are on your journey.


A thorough examination and diagnostic testing are essential in formulating an appropriate treatment protocol for you and your pet. Shawna Greene, DVM, MS, DACVIM, our Board Certified Oncologist, will review your pet's history and perform a complete physical examination 

From these findings, Dr. Greene will speak with you and make recommendations for further testing or treatment options. Most tests can be performed here at Iowa Veterinary Specialties. Diagnostic testing most often performed for our oncology patients include:

  • Laboratory screening and testing procedures
    • Complete cell count
    • Serum chemistry panel
    • Endocrine/gastrointestinal testing
  • Endoscopy -using a small camera to look inside the stomach/upper intestine or colon
  • Cystoscopy -using a small camera to look inside the urinary tract
  • Biopsy -removing a small amount of the suspicious tissue for lab analysis
  • Radiographs (X-Rays)
  • Ultrasound imaging
  • Bone marrow aspirates -removing a small amount of the tissue inside the bone with a needle for lab analysis
  • CT Scan (Computed Tomography)

When the testing is complete, Dr. Greene will confer with you and your pet's referring veterinarian to determine the best treatment plan for your family member. Courses of action may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Electrochemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy-treatments that stimulate the body's ability to destroy cancer cells
  • Tumor vaccines (for melanomas)
  • Surgical Removal
  • Palliative care (care that focuses on symptom and stress relief)
  • Pain control (medications, acupuncture)

Once you and Dr. Greene have selected the best course of treatment, a schedule will be devised to best care for you and your family member.



Referral Form

Cancer In Pets

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IVS Partner's in Progress CE Event 2019

On April 3, 2019 there were twenty-one speakers offering the second annual ISU – IVS Partners in Progress CE Event at the Des Moines Botanical Center. This CE Event was open to all... read more >

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

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