Mary Odom, DVM
With a missionary’s heart, Dr. Odom responded to the call to be a veterinarian while in the midst of raising five children. With her very supportive husband, whose response to the call was “Let’s go for it,” and with kids ranging in age from 9 to 19, the family moved from Scottsdale, Arizona to Ames, Iowa for mom to go to veterinary college at Iowa State University, where Dr. Odom received her DVM in 1996. After a year taking care of farm horses, cows, and sheep in Appalachia, Dr. Odom and her husband returned to Phoenix, Arizona, where they owned Downtown Pet Center in the inner city for six years, ministering to the poor and homeless as well as providing low cost spay/neuter for dozens of rescue groups.
In 2001, Dr. Odom took a position as Pre-Veterinary Advisor and Adjunct Faculty at Arizona State University, where for another six years she taught Vertebrate Zoology, Animal Science, and Animal Physiology to the pre-veterinary students.
In 2007, after her husband had become paralyzed from a stroke, they moved back to her husband’s home of North Carolina. Having also worked for two large corporate practices during those years, honing her internal medicine skills, in 2008 Dr. Odom felt a new call from Revelation 22:2 – “the leaves of the tree will be for the healing of the nations.” Realizing that plants were given to us for our food and medicine, Dr. Odom began to pursue the study of integrative medicine, and now has training in veterinary homeopathy, traditional Chinese veterinary medicine and acupuncture, canine, and equine medical massage therapy, and Western herbal veterinary medicine.
Because so many clients on the other end of the leash have expressed a desire to know more about alternatives for their own health, Dr. Odom is working on her ND through Trinity School of Natural Health and is enrolled in Aviva Romm’s online course in Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. She has also completed a two-year Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies at Denver Seminary. In 2015, Dr. Odom’s husband of 43 years passed away, and she subsequently downsized her life to a boat moored downtown on the Cape Fear River, with her horse boarded nearby. Hurricane Florence ended that lifestyle abruptly in 2018, and in order to continue to care for her nearly 30-year-old horse, Dr. Odom looked for a new place – and was blessed with a seven acre farm near Chinquapin. She has on-site Sunflower Veterinary Clinic and Integrative Animal Health Service, and when she is not at A Country Vet, she offers conventional “minute clinic” services as well as making integrative care available to those seeking complementary modalities for their pets, horses, and livestock.
With five adult children, Dr. Odom now has ten grandchildren. A deaf Border collie named Rye is the newest addition to Dr. Odom’s furry family, and two very geriatric dogs, four cats, a wacky macaw named Samson, and of course, Brandy the horse, and her friend, a one-eyed horse named Sheba, complete Dr. Odom’s family, and they are all enjoying their new life at Sunflower Farm. A huge garden, farm repairs, and frisbee with an obsessed Border collie keep Dr. Odom busy when she’s not working at Country Vet or her own clinic. Eventually Dr. Odom would like to offer classes in herbal medicine and teach equine massage therapy at the farm, as well as find time to finally use her B.A. in English writing children’s books.