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Heather Hoch

DVM, DACVIM (SAIM)
Heather Hoch
Veterinary Specialist/ Co-Medical Director
Internal Medicine
Availability: Monday - Wednesday
Heather Hoch

At a Glance

Practicing Since:

2004

Board Certified:

Internal Medicine

Specialties Include:

Infectious diseases
Endocrine disorders
Immune mediated disease

My Pets:

Tucker, Autumn, Macie, Olive & Max - Dogs

Education/Training:
• BS, Kansas State University
• DVM, Kansas State University
• Residency: Louisiana State University
• Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine

Special Interest/Expertise:
I like it all! Especially infectious diseases, endocrine disorders, immune mediated disease.

Publications:
Canine & Feline Dirofilariasis: Prophylaxis, Treatment, & Complications of Treatment Compendium, Continuing Education for Veterinarians, March 2008.

Pets:
Autumn and Macie (Wowzers: Schnauzer/Westie cross). I adopted ‘double and trouble” when they were only 9 weeks old. Their previous owner had purchased them to be companions for their older dog, but the older dog despised them, so was looking for a new home for them. Initially I was only going to keep one, but after one night, I could not part with either one of them. Olive a Golden Retriever that I picked up from a small farm in Pennsylvania. She is the perfect addition to balance out my pack. Max, I adopted from Fairfax County Animal Shelter a Schnauzer/Maltese mix (“premium blend”), He is small but mighty and fills our home with entertainment.

Personal Facts:
I grew up in a small town in Kansas. My grandparents owned/operated a dairy farm, where I spend a lot of time in the summer. I knew that I wanted to be a Veterinarian since I was very young. I feel fortunate to have the best job in the world.

Member of the VCA SouthPaws Team Since:
August 2007 

Internal Medicine

Offering diagnostic medical services including:

  • Ultrasound-guided needle biopsies and aspirates
  • Endoscopy
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Pharygoscopy
  • Rhinoscopy
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Urethrocystoscopy
  • Gastroduodenoscopy
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Endocrine evaluations
  • Transtracheal and bronchoalveolar lavages for respiratory diagnostics

We also offer management, medications and nutritional advice for many acute and chronic medical conditions including:

  • Upper and lower respiratory disease
  • Vascular disease
  • Hematologic illnesses
  • Urologic and gastrointestinal diseases
  • Liver and endocrine diseases
  • Immune-mediated and infectious diseases
  • Transurethral cystoscopic-guided collagen injections for the treatment of incontinence in female dogs

What Is A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist?

A board certified veterinary internal medicine specialist is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained intensive, additional training in understanding how your pet's internal body systems function, and in diagnosing and treating the many serious diseases that can affect the health of those systems. An internal medicine specialist has advanced training in the following disciplines:

  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hematology (study of the blood)
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Nephrology/Urology
  • Respiratory Diseases

While your general practitioner can diagnose and treat many health problems, certain diseases and conditions require the care of a doctor who has had specialized, intensive training in internal medicine in order to provide the very best outcome for your pet.

*Within the discipline of veterinary internal medicine, there are also veterinarians who specialize further in Small Animal Medicine, Cardiology, Neurology, and Oncology.

Why Does My Pet Need A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist?

Just as your own primary care physician may feel the need to refer you to the care of a specialist from time to time, your general practitioner veterinarian may feel your pet needs a specialist to help diagnose or treat a particularly complicated medical problem. You can be assured that a veterinarian who knows when to refer you and your pet for more specialized diagnostic work or treatment is one that is caring and committed to ensuring that your pet receives the highest standard of medical care for his or her problem.

While in some cases, your veterinarian may be able to consult with a specialist about your pet's care, in other cases it is necessary to refer you and your pet to the specialist for more advanced diagnostics and treatment. Board certified veterinary internists may also have access to specialized diagnostic or treatment tools that a general practitioner veterinarian may not have.

What Health Problems Does A Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist Treat?

Board certified internal medicine specialists are trained to treat the most serious diseases and health problems that affect pets. They are also prepared to care for pets that may be facing multiple health problems. Thanks to better health care, more and more pets are living longer lives. As a result, an increasing number of older pets, just like older people, are coping with multiple disease states that can be very difficult to manage. For example, a cat with diabetes may also have kidney failure, or a dog in heart failure may also be diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. Internal medicine specialists are uniquely prepared to oversee the care of these complicated cases. In other situations, a younger animal may develop a problem that used to be considered untreatable but is now manageable and perhaps even curable.

Will My Regular Veterinarian Still Be Involved?

Every time your pet is seen at VCA SouthPaws, a copy of the medical record will go to your regular veterinarian so that she/he can know what is happening, and so that we can work in partnership with your vet to facilitate follow up care.

Did You Know?

There are approximately 1400 board certified veterinary internal medicine specialists in the United States, and the number is growing.

Our Internal Medicine Team

VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center

8500 Arlington Boulevard

Fairfax, VA 22031

Main: 703-752-9100

Fax: 703-752-9200

Hospital Hours:

    Mon-Sun: Open 24 hours

Are you a Primary Care Veterinarian? We have dedicated resources for you.

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