Friday, March 31, 2023

Oxford Veterinarian Has Passion for Animals, People

Dr. Kvam works hard to improve the quality of life of all the animals she treats.

Note from contributor Steve Vassallo: Dr. Kathy Kvam is a veterinarian who has brought a “wealth of lifetime experiences” with her to Crossroads Animal Hospital in Oxford. She is an individual who fully understands where she’s been, where she is in the journey of life and where she hopes to go ultimately. In the interim, we’re fortunate to have her taking care of our pets (in my case, my associates) and educating us on how to enhance their quality of life! — Dr. Kvam, tell us about yourself.
Dr. Kvam — I am a recovering Norwegian Lutheran from Iowa. I grew up in Sioux City (Iowa) and did my undergraduate studies at Harvard. I have a degree in Biological Anthropology. I was focused on medical school until my junior year when I became ill and was nursed back to health in a Boston hospital. It was because of this that I realized that I strongly disliked human medicine and turned my attention to animals which I always liked. — Do you have a favorite species between cats and dogs?
Dr. Kvam — I do not have a favorite. It’s like asking which do you prefer between apples and oranges. However, 85 percent of our patients are dogs compared to only 15 percent cats. — I have always heard that admittance into Vet School is not easy. Is this a reality or a myth?
Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 3.24.11 PM
Crossroads Animal Hospital in Oxford.

Dr. Kvam — It is actually harder to get into one of the vet schools. I was told my one of my undergrad professors that by my making a “B” in Physics, I would never get in. — You received your veterinarian education at Mississippi State University?
Dr. Kvam — Yes I did. I had actually considered doing research instead of practicing. I had few distractions in Starkville. It was a great place to continue my education and it prepared me well for my profession. — How does MSU compare to the other veterinary schools across the nation?
Working in Belize for the coal humane society to help animals is a passion for Dr. Kvam.

Dr. Kvam — The best way for me to answer this (from a personal perspective) is to share an experience I had during an internship (for research) during the summer of my senior year. This was at MIT. I interacted with a good many students from the other leading veterinary schools and discovered I was every bit prepared as they were if not even more so. — We (Rosie and I) had the pleasure to meet you first as our dogs’ physician in Madison. Were there other stops along the way before arriving in Oxford?
She does a good amount of charity work.

Dr. Kvam — I was in Madison for eight years and also had a brief tenure in Austin (Texas) before arriving in Oxford in 1996. We started the practice at Crossroads in 2001. — What are you most proud of that either you or Crossroads has contributed to the animal world?
Dr. Kvam — We do a great deal of “pro bono” work for stray animals on a daily basis. The freedom of being a business owner provides one a great more latitude in this respect. (What I admire most about the doc is the time she takes with her human element to explain certain things that we need to know to improve our animals’ well being.) — Here’s an off-the-wall question. I’ve forever heard that garlic really works in controlling fleas. Is this valid or simply an ole wive’s tale?
Dr. Kvam — Maybe in Montana. — Why Montana?
Dr. Kvam — Because there are no fleas there! — (She even has a sense of humor.) How often do we need to bathe our pets?
Dr. Kvam — This is most individual depending upon the breed, hair coat, size and skin condition. However, having said this, every 4 to 6 weeks is a good interval. Animals with a skin disease should be bathed weekly. — Are people today better protectors of their pets, than, say, when I was growing up in the 50’s?
Dr. Kvam—How we treat our pets has changed dramatically. They have gone from the backyard to the bedroom. — What motivates you?
Dr. Kvam — Whatever you do, do it well. This is why I have never treated exotic animals.I have found my limitations and know what I can do well. I want my patients to be as happy and healthy as possible and without doing the proper amount of research, I would not feel comfortable seeing species unfamiliar to me. — In that respect, has there ever been an animal outside the norm that you provided care to?
Dr. Kvam— In our business you are required to do a great many things including surgery, radiology, dermatology and even dentistry. While in vet school we studied zoology which led me to an assignment at the Jackson Zoo at one point. We had provided anesthesia to an Orangutan who woke up earlier than expected. As he awoke, he grabbed my hand. It was the most wonderful and terrifying experience, both at the same time.—What are your aspirations (if any) beyond Crossroads?
Dr. Kivam

Dr. Kvam —  My retirement goal (dream) is to work with the Heifer Project full time. One week annually I travel to Honduras (via St. Peter’s Church) to administer to horses.
Whatever this lady ends up doing, it is assured it will be done well! She is a great doctor, a highly educated professional, but most importantly…an outstanding human being. We visited St. Peter’s recently (where I attended as a student) and saw Dr. Kvam singing in the choir. Her community spirit of “giving back” is refreshing and inspirational. She apparently loves Oxford and Oxford loves her…a match made in canine heaven (or rather the animal kingdom as my prejudice for dogs must be muted!)
Steve-Vassallo-Photo-Oct-20131-150x150Steve Vassallo is a contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford. Steve’s lifelong dream has been to live in Oxford full-time. “I am now living my dream daily as is my wife Rosie, who works with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce,” Steve said. You can contact Steve at or call him at 985-852-7745