Carol Kurtyka, DVM
Education: Undergrad at NDSU, DVM at Iowa State University
Interests: Wellness and Preventative Medicine, All Felines – Big and Small
I grew up in a small North Dakota town northwest of Grand Forks. When I was 8 years old, I decided that I wanted to be a veterinarian, which was a pretty amazing feat back in the 60’s, and considering the fact that I didn’t even know any veterinarians – male or female! I never faltered in my desire to pursue veterinary medicine. The road has not been an easy one, but I have never regretted my decision.
I spent the first year after graduation working in a mixed practice in Iowa, split about 50:50 between large animal and small. I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska the following year and opened my own Companion Animal Practice. As is so often the case, life happened “while I was making other plans”, and I found myself moving up to the Fargo-Moorhead area in 1980, where I have been ever since.
One thread that seems to have weaved its way through my life has been the desire to improve the lives of our animal friends and those that share in their world. Over the years, I’ve worked in various aspects of clinical practice, from starting my own practice in Moorhead, to being an associate veterinarian at several of the area practices. I was the first one to offer Laser Surgery in this area; I was instrumental in getting the original shared after hours emergency clinic open in 2005; I provided housecall services for over 15 years, just to highlight a few. I am certified as a “Cat Friendly Veterinarian” by the American Association of Feline Practitioners, and have just recently completed my certification as a “Fear Free Veterinary Professional”.
My husband and I have been volunteering at “Keepers of the Wild”, a wildlife/exotic animal sanctuary in Arizona, for the past 12 years. I have been fortunate to have had some hands on work with some of their 30+ big cats, as well as a variety of other critters. My husband and I have worked on many projects for the Sanctuary as well – the current one, constructing hammocks out of decomissioned firehose for the big cat and the bear habitats has been our favorite so far!
Having shared my home with various cats over the years has taught me so much about feline behavior and what makes them a species unlike any other and why we love them so much!
A fun fact: For the past 25 years, our bike team, “Moose on the Loose” has participated in the MS Bike Rides in North Dakota and Minnesota, raising money for Multiple Sclerosis. These Rides are a 5-day, 300 mile event that occur each summer – usually during the hottest days of the year!