We’re excited to introduce you to our newest associate veterinarian, Dr. Kristin Kuntz. Dr. Kuntz graduated first in her class from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2016. Prior to joining the Family Pet Animal Hospital team of veterinarians, she worked as a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery intern at a specialty hospital and practiced as an associate veterinarian at a general practice here in Chicago.
Dr. Kuntz will begin seeing patients at Family Pet Animal Hospital on June 4, 2018. We can’t wait for you to meet her!
Find out more about Dr. Kristin Kuntz with our Q & A below.
What made you want to become a vet?
With an Anatomy and Physiology professor for a mother and a Food Scientist for a father, it was hard not to fall in love with science as a child. I have always been interested in Biology, and knew I wanted to pursue a career in medicine from a young age. During college, my experiences working with a variety of animals led me to pick veterinary medicine. It has been rewarding to study the anatomy, physiology, and behaviors of so many different species!
How did you find yourself at Family Pet?
I had heard many wonderful things about Family Pet while working as a Small Animal Medicine and Surgery intern at a specialty hospital in Chicago, so I was thrilled when I was offered the opportunity to join their team.
Did you study anything besides veterinary medicine in school?
My undergraduate minor was in Psychology. I’ve always been fascinated by behavior, and now as a veterinarian, I am passionate about addressing common behavioral problems in pets, such as anxiety and aggression.
What are the most common questions you answer as a practicing veterinarian?
- What brand of food should I feed my pet?
- Why does my pet do (insert odd behavior here)?
- What would you do if this was your pet?
What do you see as the greatest danger toward household pets?
Unrecognized pain. Animals are experts at hiding signs of pain from people, making it more challenging to detect when they’re uncomfortable. Fortunately, we have a lot of great tools—ranging from medications to acupuncture and chiropractic to massage and physical therapy—at our disposal to help maintain our pets’ quality of life for as long as possible!
What has been your most rewarding moment as a veterinarian?
Stabilizing a dog that had been hit by a car. Her owners were so worried about their beloved family member, and it was very rewarding to tell them that she was going to be okay!
What animal scares you more than any other?
Spiders and bees
If you weren’t a vet, what would you do?
I would follow in the footsteps of my mom and aunt and become an Anatomy and Physiology teacher! One of my favorite parts of being a veterinarian is sharing knowledge with pet owners, so I think this would translate well to a classroom setting.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Graduating as the valedictorian of my veterinary school class at the University of Illinois.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love traveling with my husband and family, reading books, playing tennis, and ice skating.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
What is your favorite comfort food?
Cupcakes! I’m grateful for the wide selection of cupcake bakeries in Chicago.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When my adorable Persian cat, Alfie, pees on things he shouldn’t!
Who are your heroes?
My parents—they have always set a wonderful example for me and supported me in all my endeavors. My professional heroes are Temple Grandin and Jane Goodall.
Name 5 things that people might be surprised to know about you:
- I was a competitive figure skater for over 12 years.
- I didn’t fly on an airplane till I was 21 years old. Since then, I’ve traveled to over 15 countries around the world, including two medical service trips to Central America.
- I carried out research projects studying the behavior of chimpanzees, zebras, and foxes at the Saint Louis Zoo in college.
- I treated a variety of wildlife native to Illinois while volunteering with the U of I Wildlife Medical Clinic in vet school. My favorite patients were a Bald Eagle with a fractured wing and an Eastern Screech Owl with an eye injury. I was also a part of the Resident Bird of Prey program, where I worked on enrichment and training with raptors such as a Great Horned Owl and Red-Tailed Hawk.
- I’m certified to practice medical acupuncture on dogs and cats!