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About the Doctors

Michael J. Schatzle, DVM

Dr. Schatzle (pronounced Shats-Lee) was awarded his Doctor in Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2003. He excelled in his studies while at CSU to graduate first in his class of 134. He graduated Summa Cum Laude and was a member of the exclusive Phi Zeta Honor Society.

Upon graduation, Dr Schatzle moved back to his native San Diego to pursue his career in veterinary medicine. He joined La Costa Animal Hospital in 2004 as an associate veterinarian; and with his purchase of La Costa Animal Hospital in January 2007, Dr. Schatzle became lead veterinarian and chief medical director of the practice. Dr. Schatzle is an active member of the American, California, and San Diego Veterinary Medical Associations as well as the American Animal Hospital Association and the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Dr. Schatzle is an extraordinarily dedicated veterinarian whose intelligence, attention to detail, and patience have won him the endless praise of his clients. He takes communication very seriously and devotes whatever time is necessary to assure that his clients understand their pet’s condition. He feels that this is vital in order for owners to make educated decisions about their loved ones’ care. His love for the animals he treats and his genuine concern for their owners shine through on a daily basis.

In his spare time, Dr. Schatzle enjoys cooking, gardening, catching a good movie, and rooting on the San Diego Padres. He currently lives in Carmel Valley with his wife, two daughters and their rescued terrier, Hoover, who can often be found performing tricks at the hospital.

Click here to send Dr. Schatzle an email! Please note Attn: Dr. S in the body of the email


Joseph A. Ecker, DVM

Dr. Ecker earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Western University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2011. After graduating veterinary school Dr. Ecker completed a one year rotating internship, where he was trained by board certified specialists in the areas of internal medicine, surgery, and emergency and critical care. Following his first internship, Dr. Ecker underwent extra training in surgery by completing a second internship focusing solely on surgery.

As a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Ecker enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine and he especially values developing close relationships with his patients and their owners. Dr. Ecker has been praised for his listening and communication skills, and he strives to work closely with pet owners to keep their loved ones in their best health. Dr. Ecker understands that pets are members of the family, and he is dedicated to providing the highest quality of medical care for each of his patients.

Dr. Ecker grew up in Carlsbad and Encinitas, and he is grateful for the opportunity to serve his community and practice medicine at La Costa Animal Hospital. Outside of the office, Dr. Ecker enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, snowboarding, and going to the beach. He lives in Encinitas with his wife and their young son (and another on the way!), two dogs, and bearded dragon named Muffin.

Click here to send Dr. Ecker an email! Please note Attn: Dr. Ecker in the body of the email

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