Wellness Checks...

Clinic Facts

Overpopulation Control ...

All of our vets at this clinic firm believe in helping control overpopulation for cats and dogs.  Both Dr. Harper and Dr. Lombeida assist in low cost surgery clinics in the Northwest Arkansas area.

Over 25 Years Local...

Village Pet Hospital was the first vet services clinic to open its doors in Bella Vista in 1987.  We remodeled and found a new, much larger location in 2010.

Occasional Wildlife Vets...

While not our specialty, we do try and perform urgent care for owls, vultures, squirrels, or other wild animals until we can get them to a local rehab facility.

Fun Pet Facts

The founder of Hill's Pet Nutrition, Dr. Mark Morris Sr., was one of the first veterinarians to understand the connection between food and companion animal health.  In 1939, he developed breakthrough pet nutrition to improve the health of a Seeing Eye dog named Buddy.

Hills Pet www.hillspet.com

Cats can drink seawater. Unlike humans, cats have kidneys that can filter out salt and use the water content to hydrate their bodies.

Robyn Wilder BuzzFeed

LThe Beatles song "A Day in the Life" has an extra high-pitched whistle, audible only to dogs. It was recorded by Paul McCartney for the enjoyment of his Shetland sheepdog.

The Beatles BarkPost.com

We get physicals once a year, so should your family friend.

What is a Wellness Check?

A wellness examination is a routine medical examination of a patient that is apparently healthy, as opposed to an examination of a patient that is ill. A wellness examination may also be called a 'check-up' or a 'physical examination'. The focus of a wellness visit is the maintenance of optimal health.

How often should my pet have a Wellness Check?

The answer to this question depends on your pet's age and current health status. During the early stages of life, such as a puppy or a kitten, wellness exams are recommended on a monthly basis, while for the average adult pet annual wellness examinations are the norm, and for middle aged or senior pets semi-annual examinations are recommended.

Pets age at a faster rate than people. It is a popular misconception that one calendar year equates to seven years in a pet's life. For example, in one calendar year a dog may age the equivalent of four to fifteen years in a human's life. The reason for this dramatic difference is that puppies reach maturity very quickly, and are essentially adolescents or young adults by a year of age - thus they are considered to be the equivalent of a 15 year old by their first birthday. During the second year, the rate of aging slows down a little so that the average pet (cat or dog) is considered to be the equivalent of a 24-25 year old by their second birthday. After that, the rate of aging is estimated to be 4-5 pet years per calendar year, depending on the size and breed. Larger pets age relatively more quickly than smaller pets. By the time the average pet reaches its 6th birthday, it will be either middle-aged (if smaller) or geriatric (if larger).

Your Village Pet Hospital vet can help develop a comprehensive wellness exam schedule with you. This will be based on your pets specific breed, health status and lifestyle.

What will my vet check during a Wellness Check?

During a routine wellness examination, your vet will ask you questions about your pet's diet, exercise, thirst, breathing, behavior, habits, elimination patterns (i.e., bowel movements and urination), lifestyle, and general health.

After these routine questions, your Village Pet Hospital vet will then perform a physical examination of your dog. After that exam, your vet will discuss recommendations for specific preventive medicine treatments such as vaccination, parasite control (including preventive treatments for fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites and heartworms), nutrition, skin and coat care, weight management or dental care. If needed, your vet will talk to you about your pet's individual circumstances and decide whether any other life-stage or lifestyle recommendations would be appropriate.

What does my vet check during a physical exam?

A physical examination involves observing the general appearance of the pet, listening to the chest with a stethoscope "auscultation", and "palpation", or feeling specific areas of the body.

At Village Pet Hospital, our vets will observe or inspect:

  • How your pet walks and stands
  • Whether your pet is bright and alert
  • Your pet's general body condition - whether your pet has an appropriate body weight and body condition (neither too fat nor too thin)
  • The haircoat - looking for excessive dryness, excessive oiliness, evidence of dandruff, excessive shedding, or abnormal hair loss
  • The skin - looking for oiliness, dryness, dandruff, lumps or bumps, areas of abnormal thickening, etc.
  • The eyes - looking for redness, discharge, evidence of excessive tearing, abnormal lumps or bumps on the eyelids, how well the eyelids close, cloudiness, or any other abnormalities.
  • The ears - looking for discharges, thickening, hair loss, or any other signs of problems.
  • The nose and face - looking for symmetry, discharges, how well the pet breathes, whether there are any problems related to skin folds or other apparent problems.
  • Mouth and teeth - looking for tartar build-up, periodontal disease, retained baby teeth, broken teeth, excessive salivation, staining around the lips, ulcers in or around the mouth, etc.
  • Your veterinarian will listen to:
  • The heart - listening for abnormal heart rate, heart rhythm ("skipped beats" or "extra beats"), or heart murmurs
  • The lungs - listening for evidence of increased or decreased breath sounds
  • Your veterinarian will palpate:
  • The pulse - depending on the results of auscultation, your veterinarian may simultaneously listen to the chest and palpate the pulse in the hind legs
  • The lymph nodes in the region of the head, neck and hind legs - looking for swelling or pain
  • The legs - looking for evidence of lameness, muscle problems, nerve problems, problems with the paws or toenails, etc.
  • The abdomen - feeling in the areas of the bladder, kidneys, liver, intestines, spleen and stomach in order to assess whether these organs appear to be normal or abnormal, and whether there is any subtle evidence of discomfort

    In some cases, you may not even be aware that your veterinarian is conducting some parts of a routine physical examination, particularly if your veterinarian does not detect any abnormalities.