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Unique father-daughter veterinary team now practicing in Kalaheo

KALAHEO — Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Christine Nishimoto has joined the family practice at Paradise Animal Clinic in Kalaheo, and is accepting new patients.

“Ever since I was 4 years old growing up on Kaua‘i, I have always wanted to be a veterinarian like my dad, Dr. Craig Nishimoto,” said Dr. Christine Nishimoto.

”My dad has always served as my role model. I have fond memories of my dad bringing home patients that needed more extensive overnight care and allowing me to assist in the patient nursing care duties at home.”

Since returning home to the Paradise Animal Clinic in July 2022, she is a general practitioner with special interests in pet wellness, critical care, dermatology, soft tissue surgery and exotic and pocket pets like rabbits, mice and rats.

“Like all fields, we can always use good people,” said Dr. Craig Nishimoto, responding to concerns of the island being short-handed with medical professionals, including veterinarians. “And like a lot of other people, we need help with staff.”

Paradise Animal Clinic, established in 1990 at Rainbow Plaza in Kalaheo, has the two veterinarians and a staff of six.

“I am an extremely proud daddy,” said Dr. Craig Nishimoto about his daughter bringing back the latest techniques and fresh energy. “It is awesome to have Dr. Christine back on Kaua‘i after achieving her goal of becoming a veterinarian. It is so competitive to be accepted into veterinary school, and even tougher to complete the rigorous curriculum.”

Dr. Christine Nishimoto grew up on Kaua‘i, graduating from Kalaheo School, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School and Kaua‘i High. She continued on to Washington State University to study microbiology, molecular biosciences and veterinary medicine before obtaining her doctorate of veterinary medicine.

Prior to returning to Kaua‘i, she served in several internships at veterinary hospitals in the United States and abroad, including Olympia, Washington, San Diego and Bogota, Colombia.

Her primary reason for coming back to Kaua‘i was her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian in the family practice. Secondly, she wanted to have her own family and raise children on Kaua‘i and, thirdly, she longed for the Kaua‘i beaches and local food.

While it is her goal for all pets to be well, there are also challenging times. She said one of the most challenging things to do as a veterinarian is to serve as the voice of the pet patient to its owner when the time comes to say goodbye.

She intends to provide compassionate care and to always lend an empathetic ear whenever a pet crosses the rainbow bridge.

In addition to her veterinary work, she participates with the Rotary Club of Po‘ipu Beach in community service projects. She also serves as the president of the Hawai‘i Chapter of Washington State University Alumni Association, and previously played with the Kaua‘i Community College Band as a flautist.

She lives on Kaua‘i with her husband Bilal, whom she met at Washington State University, and her cat Bella.

• Info, appointments: paradiseanimalclinic.com, or 808-332-7315.
Source: The Garden Island

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