Owners: Drs. Michael and Niki Lunsford
Location: Tontitown, Ark.
History: “My wife Niki and I met during vet school. Upon graduation at age 37 and wanting to own my own business, I bought a truck and a vet box that I filled with all necessary equipment and supplies. We moved to Northwest Arkansas and permanently located in Tontitown in 1998, establishing my own mobile, predominantly cattle, veterinary practice while Niki was employed as an associate veterinarian in a small animal clinic nearby. I soon had more work than I could handle because ranchers wanted me to treat their horses and family pets as well. Consequently, Niki joined me when our son Thomas was born. Niki did the small animals while I continued my livestock practice, which now is roughly 40 percent cattle, 40 percent horses, and 20 percent small ruminants. We soon outgrew the makeshift clinic that I built at our home in Tontitown, and purchased the land which currently houses our 5,000 square-foot small animal hospital building opened in 2002. We now employ 11 lay staff, including assistants and full-time office staff as well as an associate veterinarian who works mostly with my wife but gives.”
Products and Services: “Ours is a medical practice with few retail products. We stress herd health management and preventive wellness medicine to reduce the cases of sick animals needing treatment. We carry Hills pet foods for our patients who require prescription diets. We also carry internal and external parasite control products for our small animal practice which is supported by our online pharmacy limiting the products we must stock in-house. My herd health protocols include pain medication before castration or dehorning though I recommend banding bull calves at birth. My practice area is usually within a 30 mile radius, but I will go as far as my old Ford will go between gas stations! Our small animal practice provides boarding facilities separate from recovery facilities after surgery and/or extensive treatments.
Philosophy and future: “Ours is a family business and we recognize pets (and increasingly livestock) as part of your family. We strongly believe in wellness which significantly lowers the direct medical treatment necessary both in practices. We strive to exceed people’s expectations in everything we do through high doctor accessibility, including 24-hour large animal emergency services. Our goal is to eventually add one more veterinarian to assist in both the mobile and hospital practices. In terms of herd health, I foresee parasite control for our ruminants becoming an increasingly important issue.”