Cody Mingus

A Life with Dogs

The obsession began when she was a child growing up in Nebraska.

Dr. Cody Mingus is obsessed with dogs and she will freely admit it.

Even her online bio photo pictures her with her two dogs, Gus and Stewy. The family cat, Noodles – a name she says she stole from a resident on a dental rotation she completed while in vet school – is nowhere to be seen.

“After a decade of practice, it’s still the animals, mostly the dogs, that I enjoy most about veterinary medicine,” she said. 

She attributes her childhood dog as being why she decided to become a veterinarian after the animal became sick.

“I wanted to understand why and how I could fix him,” Mingus recalled. “There was a school assignment where I had to write a report on what I wanted to be when I grew up. After my dog got sick, I decided to write my report on becoming a veterinarian and it stuck.”

After graduation, Mingus continued her obsession with dogs first at a Banfield Pet Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. In 2012 she joined the staff at Jordan Creek Animal Hospital in West Des Moines. There she is one of six veterinarians on staff.

In this general practice, Mingus sees a lot of dogs, starting her day around 7:30 a.m. and seeing as many as four patients in an hour. While one day a week is committed to surgeries, Mingus likes to focus on dermatology cases.

“I enjoy pretty much everything about dermatology,” she said. “It can be very frustrating but it’s an area where you can visually see the issue improving.”

The daily grind, especially since the pandemic, does take a toll and Mingus is not immune to that. She says she leaves most days tired and burnt out. Yet she feels a sense of responsibility to her clients and patients.

“Even with the inevitable burnout this career path breeds for some of us, I have had, and continue to have, a lot of days where the client really makes me feel good and that I have chosen the right career path.”

Mingus is already thinking of life after being a veterinarian. And wouldn’t you know it, it deals with dogs.

“It’s my goal one day to run a senior dog sanctuary which will do my heart and soul good,” she said.