La Jolla Village News Village Veterinary Hospital

La Jolla has a brand-new animal hospital whose owner-operator is a seasoned veterinarian, having served the coastal community’s pet needs with distinction for 26 years.

Sue Morizi, VMD, Ph.D., originally from the Animal Hospital of La Jolla at 7601 Draper Ave., relocated up the street to open The Village Veterinary Hospital, at 7527 Draper Ave., in June. Morizi’s previous hospital site, along with the adjacent U.S. Post Office facility, was razed to make way for 18 condominiums.

Surprised by the amount of paperwork involved in transitioning into her new space, which she likened to “almost starting over,” Morizi said her new location was once inhabited by Gemini Construction. It’s been transformed into an immaculate care facility with all the bells and whistles. The hospital’s latest high-tech equipment includes a digital radiography machine, heated treatment tables and an oxygen concentrator with a portable anesthesia machine. It also features a monitoring machine for measuring a patient’s blood pressure, EKG, pulse, temperature, oxygen concentration and carbon dioxide. There’s also a new suction machine and a dental machine with an ultrasonic scaler and polisher for animals who, unlike people, have to be anesthetized while their teeth are cleaned. New in-house lab equipment is also available for thyroid, pancreatic and blood testing, with results within minutes. The hospital also has a new boarding facility with separate dog and cat wards as well as a special isolation ward with its own ventilation and lighting system for animals with contagious diseases.

“We keep track of everything in here just like in human medicine,” Morizi said of her new office equipment. “I have a board-certified surgeon that can come in,” she said. “We have the same exact equipment that you would use in human medicine. We do most things in-house, in our house lab.
“I treat animals the way I would treat my own family member, the way I would treat my own pet,” Morizi said of her business philosophy. “I am able to offer top-quality medicine with state-of-the-art equipment.”

Experience, said Morizi, gives her the edge over the competition. She noted that having been in business in La Jolla since 1989 allows her to “have a very good relationship with all the specialists, like a nephrologist (kidney specialist) from UC San Diego.

“My prices are also very competitive,” Morizi said, pointing out she’s also a care consultant, educating clients on pet insurance and all the payment options available to them. Morizi’s clients are loyal.

“I have clients who drive here from Temecula and Ramona,” she said, adding she offers working clients early drop-off for pet visits, with sufficient notice.
Boarding is also offered at The Village Veterinary Hospital.

One of the many advantages to boarding at the hospital, said Morizi, is that “If there’s an emergency, we’re here.” She noted, though, that the hospital is not staffed 24 hours. Asked about the difference between treating animals and humans, Morizi replied, “It’s completely different. (Vets are) like pediatricians. You can’t ask an animal where it hurts — or if something’s wrong.” The biggest mistake many people make with their pets, Morizi said, is waiting too long to get things checked out when the pet’s health goes south. “Unfortunately, a lot of people are in denial,” Morizi said. “They say, ‘Let’s just wait and see what happens.’” Instead, Morizi said, people should trust their instincts when it comes to safeguarding their pet’s health.

“When a dog, who lives to eat, misses meals, that’s a pretty good barometer that something’s wrong,” she said. “People think something miraculous is going to happen.” And when it doesn’t, that makes the vet’s job harder. “Now, what could have been kind of an easy fix is now a very challenging situation,” Morizi said.
Morizi graduated New York’s Pace University and received her VMD degree in 1984 from the University of Pennsylvania. She received a Ph.D. in anatomy from the University of Pennsylvania and completed extensive graduate course work in animal behavior.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, shopping and fitness training. She is a mother of three.