VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center

See what people are saying about us.

We value feedback from our clients. Please share your story with us by writing a testimonial.


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  • I can't say enough good things about Southpaws

    -Sherry from Lynchburg, VA
    Pet Name: Dog Livvy

    Livvy had a cancerous tumor on her left hind paw, and had also been diagnosed 2 weeks earlier with early cirrhosis of the liver. The vets in my town were uncomfortable trying to address the mass, so I brought Livvy to Southpaws. We first saw Dr. Sheafor, who clearly laid out the options (e.g., surgery, radiation, etc) and gave us her best recommendation (surgery). Dr. Sheafor then brought Dr. Norton in, who felt he could successfully remove the mass and who agreed to do it the following day. This was great for us since we live 4 hours away and it was much easier on us to have it done right away. The surgery went well. We were so impressed with everyone at Southpaws -- their caring attitude, efforts to make the process easier on an "out of towner", commitment to keeping us informed, and most of all, their expertise. It was evident from the start that the focus was on Livvy and on achieving a good outcome, rather than on money. I can't say enough good things about Southpaws! Everyone! From the person who made the appointment (Dorothy?) to the nurse, to Kelly, Dr. Sheafor, and Dr. Norton -- everyone was so professional and caring. I felt I was finally in a place where I could totally count on the staff and relinquish my worries to them. Dr. Sheafor was amazing -- so knowledgeable, so focused on making it easier on us since we had to travel so far, and so thorough in her analysis and recommendations. Dr. Norton was also incredible -- he fit us into his already tight surgery schedule for the next day, and was such a skilled surgeon. Kelly was focused on getting us scheduled for the first surgery since she knew we needed time for Livvy to recover and then to drive south for 4 hours. Dorothy was great at managing to get us in to see Dr. Sheafor very quickly. Everyone was so relaxed and yet so focused on helping Livvy and making things easier on me. And finally, everyone kept in touch with me through the whole process, from Kelly calling before surgery to let me know what was going on, to Dr. Norton who called after the surgery to let me know how it went and what he thought about the prognosis, to Dr. Sheafor who called as I was driving home to see how Livvy was doing, to Kelly calling again the following morning to check on Livvy, and again with Dr. Norton calling as soon as the biopsy report came in. Southpaws is just an amazing place!

  • Nothing but impressed - everyone was wonderful

    -Libby from Springfield, VA
    Pet Name: Dog Wrigley

    We were nothing but impressed by our experience at SouthPaws. Everyone, from the receptionists to the techs to the doctors, was wonderful- kind, prompt, and professional. We were very grateful for the ease with which we were able to get in touch with the doctors overnight. I especially appreciated Dr Brown's warmth, intelligence, and judgement. As a doctor and the daughter-in-law of two veterinarians, we all found comfort being in Dr Brown's hands and were grateful for her willingness to answer questions.

  • I would definitely recommend Southpaws to anyone

    -Margaret from Falls Church, VA
    Pet Name: Dog Sadie

    I took my 7 1/2 year Cavalier King Charles Spaniel here after discovering she ate some clothing and began vomiting and dry heaving. The facility itself is very large and outfitted with several chairs and sofas. We were greeted by a friendly tech and escorted to a private waiting. Dr. Cullen who was on staff that evening was amazing. He was very calming and took a conservative, methodical approach to the problem. Initially, he asked us questions about what happened and how my dog had been responding. He suggested an X-ray which revealed a large amount of fabric in her stomach. After seeking a second opinion from a radiologist on-call, he outlined our options and based on what we were seeing with my dog we decided to go with surgery. My dog has a cardiac condition and understandably I was concerned about putting her under anesthesia without consulting with her cardiologist. Dr. Cullen heard my concerns and agreed and was able to obtain her cardiology records which included an anesthesia plan. He also assured us by outlining in detail what the surgery would include and presented a detailed estimate with a range of possible charges. We were able to meet with the surgeon, Dr. Norton, prior to the surgery and he was wonderful. He was also very calm and agreed with the decision to move forward with surgery. My dog came through the surgery beautifully and we were able to pick her up late the following evening. During the day, the ICU doctor spoke to me twice to update me on my dog's condition. When we picked her up, the tech was very thorough about her recovery protocols and also very friendly and reassuring. Overall, I could not have been more pleased with the excellent care all the providers gave my dog while balancing my concerns. I would definitely recommend Southpaws to anyone. (I also posted this to Yelp!) Both Dr. Cullen and Dr. Norton were wonderful. We spent the majority of the time with Dr. Cullen and he was incredibly thorough and thoughtful in explaining our options and providing us advice. My dog has a cardiac issue and he went the extra mile to obtain her cardiology records in order to get her cardiologist-approved anesthesia plan. Dr. Norton, also, completely put me at ease about the surgery and was very helpful in explaining the surgery and recovery process.

  • For the love of my Fur Baby

    -Stephanie P from Warrenton, VA
    Pet Name: Simba

    All great pet owners reach a point where they become a pet mom or dad. I am no exception. My beautiful feline boy Simba is my wonderful equivalent of a kid. And when I came home to find him unable to move I was terrified. Luckily enough I had a friend who recommended the superb expertise of the staff at South Paws. Right away I could tell they were a different clinic. Not only did they allow for our tardy arrival but took him the same day with care and consideration of both my emotions and finances. Now I can take by boy home to hopefully spend many more wonderful years together.

  • Special People

    -Linda Wilkoff from Alexandria, VA
    Pet Name: Sydney

    Thank you, Dr. Knoeckel and your wonderful staff for the love and encouragement you provided to me. You see I am an older Aussie girl. My real home is in Newfoundland, Canada. I was here with my family visiting friends when I suddenly became very ill. My family vet, Dr. Downs sent me here right away because she knew I needed your care. Since yesterday, I have been able to once again get up by myself from the floor and walk. The receptionists, interns, and nurses have been patient and kind to me. I KNOW my parents have taken me to the best place. You are welcome to come to Newfoundland and take a walk with me. Thank you. Sydney Wilkoff

  • Saved My Dog

    -Joan Sullivan from Arlington, VA
    Pet Name: Witchy

    Witchy had a tumor that kept growing slowly. His vet told me that because of his advanced age she would not recommend surgery. Things changed when he started bleeding on the sidewalk when I had him out for an afternoon walk. I took him to his vet in a blood soaked towel and after an hour of trying all kinds of measures she stopped the flow of blood. They told that I could not take Witchy home, because he could start to bleed during the night. She told me that they had called ahead to VCA SouthPaws on an emergency basis. I was frightened beyond belief over the possibility that I might lose my dog. When I got to VCA SouthPaws everything seemed so calm and professional, it was a safe place to leave my do overnight as he would need to have surgery. Dr. Brock McGee handled the surgery the next day. Now Witchy is a different dog. Without his tumor, he has a second chance at a happy life. He has more energy to lead me one walks, jump over puddles, and mingle with other dogs. He eats with a gusto, barks at birds, and goes for hikes in the woods for hours -- it is amazing how much stronger he is -- like a younger self. I am so grateful to VCA SouthPaws!

  • Euthanasia Emergency

    -Teresa R. from Falls Church, VA
    Pet Name: Chanakya

    My pet, a regular patient at another vet clinic, had a very frightening (but expected) end-of-life crisis "after hours." Knowing that Southpaws is a 24/7 facility, I quickly took him to Southpaws for help. Thanks to Dr. Montgomery and other very kind staff, my pet was given immediate oxygen, sedation, and, at my request, general anesthesia so he could pass away in a comfortable sleep state without any more pain or panic. Dr. Montgomery was amazingly willing to talk me though the options and allow me to be with my pet throughout. I am very grateful.

  • Compassionate to the end

    -AJ's mommy from Falls Church, VA
    Pet Name: AJ

    VCA SouthPaws saw us on a Saturday night, 23:00. They took our AJ to be safe in their ER and made sure he was comfortable. He still had a catheter in and an IV in his leg from a previous vet who sent him home in this state. The doctors sat us in a private room, found out all the history they could about AJ and told us what their plan was for AJ's treatment. The doctors and nurses let us go into the ER to be with AJ, as long as there was no other emergency. Saturday morning came and we visited AJ and Dr. George sat with us to discuss AJ's health and prognosis. Dr George was always very honest but very compassionate. We decided to try keep AJ alive and leave the catheter in, hoping for his cystitis to clear and he could come home with us. Dr George and the rest of the team allowed us to visit AJ in the room anytime there was not another emergency. The staff is vast and during all the emotional stress, I only remember Dr. George but ALL the staff were very caring! We visited AJ the entire weekend, 3 times a day. Each time we would visit, the nurses and doctors would talk with us about how AJ was doing. AJ really missed us and they could see this, in the affection he was giving us. I would also go in to feed AJ, so that he would eat. All the staff were crying each time that they would see how loving AJ is and how sick he felt when we weren't there. I would always look to see that AJ was taken care of. AJ and all of his "friends" in the hospital always had clean linens for bedding. Always had clean water bowls and food available. The staff were in the room 24/7! Every animal in the hospital was cared for, very well. Dr George and her staff tried really hard to get AJ to be healthy but after days in hospital and no sign of change and no promise of improvement, we accepted the inevitable. Dr George walked us through the procedure of how AJ would be euthanized. She explained every aspect and assured us that he would feel no pain and it would be quick. I know that we could get it done and not be there when it happened but we chose to say goodbye to AJ and let him believe we still loved him. The staff gave us a room to be alone in with AJ. They removed as many of the medical paraphernalia as possible. His IV was left in for the last injection and that was it. All the staff members were crying when the decision was made. We were allowed to be alone with AJ and pet him. We were able to give AJ his favorite treats, play with him and hug him. The staff left us to have our privacy with AJ and when we had decided that AJ (WE) were ready to let him go, Dr George came in and did the necessary with us holding AJ. Without VCA and the staff at the Arlington location, I do not think our grieving process would've been easy. The staff gave referrals for counseling, pet cremation and even did paw and nose prints for us. AJ was well cared for and shown the medical care and love that we would've shown him.

  • Dr Siemering was like an old friend

    -Marti from Arlington, VA
    Pet Name: Dog Ace

    First time meeting Dr. Siemering and he felt like an old friend. I did not feel rushed and was encouraged to ask questions. He asked me lots of questions about Ace's history and what I have observed & done, which made me feel like Ace is not just a disease and bunch of lab results.

  • The Southpaws staff is the best I've ever seen

    -Richard from Rockville, MD
    Pet Name: Cat Iris

    This was a follow up visit checking for Iris after her Cardiology visit at CVCA. Iris was Dx'd with CHF/Restrictive Cardiomyopathy following a three day hospitalization and treatment for pulmonary edema. The visit was conducted in the usual excellent manner I've come to expect after using Southpaws as my Primary care vet for over a decade. Nothing needed to be done to improve the care my animal companions (and I) receive at Southpaws. The entire staff, from the reception desk to the nursing care to the veterinarians. The Southpaws staff is the best I've ever seen in more than 45 years of being a petparent.


General Practice

We have over 600 animal hospitals in 41 states and 4 Canadian provinces that are staffed by more than 3,000 fully-qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 400 being board-certified specialists.

The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments such as wellness, spay/neuter, advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), internal medicine, oncology, ophthalmology, dermatology, cardiology, neurology, boarding, and grooming. Services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


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Emergency Care


24/7/365, if your pet has a medical emergency, you can find us at the following address:

TEL: 703-752-9100

Click here for directions to our location.

VCA SouthPaws Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center is a fully-equipped 24/7/365 emergency hospital serving pets and their people in Northern Virginia and the greater Washington DC metro area. If you suspect your pet is having a medical crisis, our experienced team of veterinarians, technicians and assistants are here to assist you.

Our Emergency and Critical Care units can assist in all of the following situations requiring immediate medical attention: Auto accidents, traumatic injuries (fractures, bites, burns, lacerations, wounds), respiratory emergencies (choking, difficulty breathing), vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty urinating/defecating, shock, loss of consciousness, dizziness, staggering, tremors, seizures, paralysis, toxic reactions, poison ingestion, labor and delivery problems, blood in urine or feces, swollen, hard, painful abdomen, heatstroke.