Our Veterinarians

Dr. Sheldon Yoder

DVM, Practice Owner

Dr. Sheldon Yoder is the owner of Kalona Veterinary Clinic, P.C.  He grew up on his family farm just 14 miles northwest of Kalona. Growing up, the family raised pigs, chickens, turkeys and milked Holstein dairy cows, and there were always plenty of cats, dogs and Shetland ponies on the farm as well.

Like so many, Sheldon went to college not knowing what he wanted to do. However, a few things were clear; he missed the interactions with farm people, farm animals and pets and he had a love for biology, animals, agriculture, science and wanted to understand how living things worked. After realizing this, Sheldon transferred from Goshen College to Iowa State University, where he studied veterinary medicine.

Sheldon received his doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree in 1977. Since graduation, he’s maintained an interest in all areas of veterinary medicine, stating that he enjoys the variety in all species, but he spends the majority of his time serving swine and cattle clients in the surrounding community.

Sheldon met his wife, Letha, in high school, and they have been married for 40 years. They have two sons, Tim and Adam, who are both married. Their family discussions can be a little confusing because both of their sons are married to Katies!

Sheldon is an active member of several veterinary organizations. He has served on the Hills Bank Board since 1997. He has also served in leadership at his church.

In his spare time, Sheldon enjoys golfing, woodworking and spending time with his kids, daughter-in-laws, his grandsons Price and twin grandsons, Sam and Eli. He also likes to make smoked BBQ, listen to Bluegrass music and follow the Cyclones and Hawkeyes.

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Dr. Marvin Slabaugh


Dr. Marvin Slabaugh grew up on a hobby farm in southeast Michigan. His family raised pigs and cattle, and they had a variety of pets, including dogs, cats, goats, ponies, pigs, a raccoon and opossum. After graduating from Goshen College with a degree in Biology, Marvin volunteered with the Mennonite Church in Brownsville, Texas. After serving in Brownsville for a little over a year, Marvin applied to veterinary school at the University of Minnesota.

In 1992, Marvin graduated with his doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree and worked in a mixed animal practice in Tauton, Minnesota. He worked in Tauton for two years before moving to Kalona. Marvin has been an associate at the Kalona Veterinary Clinic for 19 years. He enjoys surgery and obstetrical work most, but primarily works with small animals in the clinic.

Marvin and his family live north of Kalona and have three dogs and three cats with other animals, too, from time to time. He likes to fish and play basketball in his spare time.

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Dr. Arlin Karsten


Dr. Arlin Karsten joind the team in 2017. He was born and raised on a diversified crop and livestock farm near Norway, Iowa. He attended Iowa State University where he graduated with Distinction in the University Honors Program, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science in 1982 and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree in 1986. Doctor Karsten practiced in Nebraska and Illinois and spent 5 years in the feed industry as a nutritional consultant and feed products manager before he had the opportunity to purchase a practice in Norway, Iowa. The Norway Veterinary Clinic was a mix of small and large animals but was heavily focused on smaller, family operated farrow-to-finish swine farms. Dr. Karsten operated the practice until 1998 when the majority of his swine clients exited the business due to unprecedented low market hog prices.

Dr. Karsten has been teaching in the agriculture program at Kirkwood Community College for the past 19 years. He currently teaches classes in food animal nutrition, canine and feline nutrition, agricultural biology and chemistry, pharmaceutical calculations, large animal and poultry medicine, and large animal care. Dr. Karsten’s students are enrolled in ag production, ag business, ag transfer and veterinary technology programs.

Dr. Karsten and his wife Sue enjoy spending time with their families and attending the numerous events of their nieces and nephews. In their spare time they enjoy working together on their home and yard and hiking the hills of the state parks in eastern Iowa with their Border Collie mix dog named Joey. Special vacation time is spent hiking and viewing wildlife on the mountain trails in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Glacier national parks.

Photo of Dr. Arlin  Karsten