Exotic Vet Kansas City – Dr. Jim Sparks was born an animal lover. Dr. Sparks told the former owner of Eagle Animal Hospital as a young child that he was going to be a veterinarian and considered buying the practice from him. He did just that. At age 15, Dr. Noyes gave him his first job as a kennel attendant. “I was hooked on the profession from day one,” he said.
Since 1980, she has been a valued member of the hospital’s support staff, working as a receptionist and a veterinary technician throughout high school and during the summers while an undergraduate. Dr. Sparks received a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Missouri in 1986. He earned his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the same school in 1990. Before graduating, he completed an externship with the head veterinarian of the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska.
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Dr. Sparks has practiced at Eagle Animal Hospital ever since and enjoys his role as principal owner. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association and the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interests are focused on companion animal internal medicine. “I love veterinary medicine and surgery because the learning process is never done,” he says. “Every day offers new challenges and opportunities to learn and grow as a vet, parent, husband – strengthening the human animal bond and becoming a better person one day at a time.”
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At home, Dr. Sparks boasts a “veritable Brady Bunch” of three children of his own and three stepchildren with his wife, Piper. He is an active member of St. Therese church, involved in many civic charities and a big supporter of youth athletes. He enjoys the outdoors, golfing, fishing and watching his children play sports. Family pets include a German Shepherd named Duchess, a Shepherd mix named Jessie, a King Charles Cavillera spaniel named Lacey, a rescued English bulldog named Diva, and two guinea pigs.
Hard work and interaction with farm animals from a young age inspired Dr. Matthew Silvius to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Growing up on a farm in Lathrop, her first paid job was as a kennel assistant at Eagle Animal Hospital.
“The established culture here made me want to come back as a vet,” he says. “With the support of many family members, I was able to make it happen.” Dr. Silvius attended Missouri Western State University for graduate studies in biology. After graduating on the dean’s list, he enrolled in the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine. He graduated Magna Cum Laude as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 2007 with an award for excellence in dermatology.
Dr. Silvius’ professional interests include dermatology, as well as feline medicine, dentistry and wound management. He is a board member of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association and the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association and a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He joined our team in 2001. Dr. Silvius is most satisfied as a veterinarian when he can find creative ways to help clients and their pets. “There’s no better feeling than being able to bring a sick pet home to their family,” he says.
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He and his wife, Dr. Margaret Silvius, have two pets, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Archie and a kitty named Sunny. He spends his free time working outside the home, watching state and local sports, and spending time with his family.
Dr. Scott Reed was inspired to become a veterinarian at a young age while on a Boy Scout outing. Once the boys were admitted to an exam room at the hospital, the veterinarian instructed several of the children to stand at different doors and then asked them to open or close the door at specific times. “It was his way of showing us how the heart works,” he recalls. “I knew at that moment that I wanted to be a veterinarian.”
Dr. Reed began volunteering at a clinic while he was still in high school in Savannah, MO, cleaning kennels and walking dogs. While enrolled at Missouri Western State University, she worked toward becoming a veterinary assistant. In 1997, he completed his undergraduate studies in biology and chemistry. He then enrolled at the Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001, earning his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
After graduation, Dr. Reed returned to practice for five years before joining the Eagle Animal Hospital & Pet Resort team in August 2006 at a clinic in St. Joseph. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Missouri Veterinary Medical. Association, and the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interests include dentistry and surgery.
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“One of the most satisfying parts of my job is the bond that is formed with pets after caring for them when they are sick or injured,” he says. “Just having them respond to treatment, walking around, pooping and eating again is a reward. It not only strengthens the bond between owner and pet, but also with me.”
Dr. Reed has two sons and a daughter. She has two dogs, Sully the Cavalier mix and Ramona a Cairn Terrier mix. Dr. Reid spends her free time attending sporting events, watching her children play sports, and going to the movies or working on new recipes.
Fascinated by both science and animals as a young child, Dr. Stacey Nickell knew she wanted to be a veterinarian. At age 15, he began volunteering at a local veterinary hospital and was on staff the following year. The vet there became his mentor and encouraged him to follow his dreams.
Dr. Nickel completed his undergraduate studies in Biology at Bradley University in 1999. He pursued graduate studies at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating magna cum laude in 2003.
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He started as a teenager at the first hospital he worked at as a doctor of veterinary medicine.
Dr. Nickell joined our team in May 2004. He is a member of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He is also a member and treasurer of the Kansas City Veterinary Medical Association. His professional interests include ophthalmology, internal medicine, dentistry and dermatology.
Dr. Certified nickel-free “I’m excited to implement new strategies to ensure your pets have the best possible experience during their visit,” she said. If you have concerns about an upcoming visit, please call to discuss this before the scheduled visit.
Dr. Nickell enjoys being a veterinarian for many reasons. “I enjoy building relationships with clients and helping them make the best decisions for their pets,” she says The challenge of diagnosing a patient and the variety of cases he sees in a day also keep him passionate about his career choice.
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Dr. Nickell has a boxer named Jasmine at home. She enjoys running, yoga, reading, traveling and spending time with her husband Jason (also a veterinarian) and their three young children – Brooke, Will and Paige.
Dr. Tom Del Pico joined our Eagle team in July 2020. Retired in 2019 as sole owner of Smithville Animal Hospital. Dr. Tom has been providing outstanding veterinary care to the Smithville area for over 30 years. He holds a B.S. in Animal Science, from the University of Missouri where he was elected to the Honors College in the Department of Agriculture. Dr. Del Pico graduated from the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine in 1983. He grew up on a boarding and breeding farm in Chesterfield where they raised both Gated and Paso Fino horses. As a high school student, Dr. Tom volunteered countless hours at both equestrian and small animal clinics. While attending a summer program at the St. Louis Zoo, she met two legendary figures, which influenced her desire to embrace the joys and challenges of working outdoors and caring for animals.
Obviously, getting satisfaction from helping both pets and their families, this profession exceeded her expectations. He shares, “Each day in practice is different, one never stops learning in the “practice” of medicine. I especially enjoy the improvisational methods we sometimes have to employ to solve our patient’s problems. The ever-evolving technologies and emerging therapies Plus the ability to create solutions for our patients that “fit” them is very exciting to me.”
Dr. Del Pico is a member of the AVMA and KCVMA. His professional interests include pain management, allergy, sports-canine medicine and soft tissue surgery.
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When not working, Dr. Tom enjoys woodworking, bicycling, pigeon racing, training highland dogs and landscaping. He and his wife, Denise, have two sons. He is a professor of journalism and strategic marketing at the University of Kansas. They have two pets, Ada, the Weimaraner, and Fakes the Pixie-Bob.
Dr. Mara Reynolds attended the University of Missouri for her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science as a Pre-Vet Scholar. He was also present
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