Kristen Dahlin’s main area of interest is exotics, so it’s no surprise that following graduation Saturday, May 6, she will be seeing small and exotic animals at Spanaway Veterinary Clinic in Spanaway, Washington.
“I like being able to work with such a variety of species since they deserve just as much love as our dogs and cats,” Kristen said. “There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding exotic pet care, and educating owners to help them provide the best life for their pets is very important to me.”
Kristen, from Kenmore, Washington, has spent seven years in Pullman at WSU earning her undergraduate degree in animal science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She always knew she wanted to work with animals, but it was her time at WSU that made it clear to her that she wanted to be a veterinarian.
“When I was studying my animal science courses throughout undergrad, I found I really loved every subject – anatomy, physiology, nutrition, genetics, etc. I found through veterinary medicine I could apply all those disciplines,” she said. “I wanted a career through which I could always be learning, a career where I would never know everything. With veterinary medicine always evolving, there will always be more to learn and discover.”
Whether back at home or on the Palouse, Kristen loves exploring the outdoors. She enjoys birdwatching and has done her fair share at the Magpie Forest, Kamiak Butte, the University of Idaho Arboretum and the Rose Creek Nature Preserve.
Kristen said she will miss game nights, movie nights and arts and crafts days spent with the friends she’s made during her WSU tenure.
“Throughout my vet school years, WSU has given me many opportunities to not only hone my skills, but also to make lifelong friendships, network with clinics/jobs, and ultimately create a support system that I’m sure we will all need to utilize at some point in our careers,” she said.
Part of that support network is her 2-year-old Holland lop rabbit named Sunflower. Kristen has had rabbits throughout her life. Her former rabbit, Thomas, recently passed away in January.
“He was just about 10 years old and was truly the best friend I could have asked for,” she said. “Rabbits can be delicate animals, so I have found some people can be hesitant to work with them. I really hope to work with a lot of rabbits after graduation and help them have the best life they can with their owner.”