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Patient of the month!

This is Jonas. She came in to SEAVS for a healthy tortoise exam and to have a manicure and facial(nail and beak trim). Jonas is so curious about everything and everyone she meets and comes running to greet you in her enclosure! Tortoises her size are so strong, we have to sedate them in order to dremmel their nails and beak. While sedated, we can give her an oral exam and can more easily palpate her abdomen for abnormalities. Jonas is a yellow foot tortoise(Chelonoidis denticulatus) and she loves eating greens and healthy fruits such as berries, melon and papaya.


Dr. Stahl graduated from the University of Richmond with a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1985. He went on to earn his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1989. He became board certified in avian practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) in 1996. In addition to working as a clinical veterinarian in practice, Dr. Stahl is currently an adjunct professor of avian and exotic animal medicine at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services (SEAVS) was founded by Dr. Stahl in Vienna, VA, in 2003. He had always felt that birds and exotic animals deserved the same quality medicine readily available to more traditional pets, such as dogs and cats. His vision was to establish one of the largest avian and exotic exclusive veterinary specialty practices in the world. In 2009, Dr. Stahl moved SEAVS to a new, state-of-the-art, 5000 square foot facility in Fairfax City, Virginia, to accommodate the growth of the practice and the demand for exotic animal veterinary care in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Since its inception, SEAVS has grown from just two doctors and a handful of other staff members, to a six doctor practice employing around twenty five technicians, assistants, and receptionists.

Dr. Stahl has personally trained over 200 veterinary students during his three decades of practice. SEAVS has continued this tradition, and its doctors and staff help in the training of both national and international students and veterinarians with a passion for avian and exotic animal medicine. SEAVS has been approved by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) as a training facility for the avian residency curriculum. The clinic also runs a competitive year-long internship program for licensed veterinarians looking to practice and expand their experience and training in avian and exotic medicine.

As an active academic contributor to the field, Dr. Stahl has written over 150 scientific and popular papers and articles, as well as chapters in various textbooks. In 2019, he co-authored Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery, 3rd edition. He is a renowned lecturer who frequently speaks at both national and international conferences and events. His professional areas of interest and research include endoscopy, endoscopic surgical techniques, ultrasound, and reproductive medicine and surgery.

Dr. Stahl resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and two daughters. His family and the clinic keep him quite busy, but in his free time he enjoys competitive cycling, breeding lizards and snakes, and playing ukulele.

Dr Emily Nielsen - Associate Veterinarian

Dr. Emily Nielsen joined the SEAVS family in 2016 as an intern and has since become an associate veterinarian here. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in Biology and Chemistry from the University of North Texas and Cum Laude from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, where she published a research paper on ball python reproductive cycles in the Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery.

Dr. Nielsen was born in Canada, but spent the majority of her childhood in Australia prior to her move to the United States in 2006 to attend college. She has had an interest in exotic animals since before she can remember, and was an avid breeder of lovebirds and rainbow lorikeets in Australia. She now has a ball python and boa breeding program, in addition to a menagerie of pets including her two dogs, and a collective of guinea pigs, chickens, rats, mice and a variety of lizard and frog species. Dr. Nielsen feels that owning the exotics she treats is important because it helps her understand the variety of issues that can arise with them from day to day.

When she’s not working at the clinic, Dr Nielsen is an avid outdoorsperson and enjoys hiking, snowboarding, water skiing, and competitive horseback riding in dressage. She also enjoys running and plans to complete one marathon on each of the seven continents!

Currently, Dr. Nielsen is making good progress towards her Board Certification in Exotic Companion Mammal practice and is looking forward to a long career here at SEAVS: “I love the clinic and I love the clients and can’t imagine wanting to work anywhere else”.❤️❤️

We are so lucky that she joined our team and continues to work toward her goals with us here at SEAVS! She is an amazing mentor to our interns and resident and a devoted exotic animal veterinarian.

SEAVS Recommends:

Is Dr Stahl retiring??? Email from 10/1/2019

Dear SEAVS clients,

As many of you know, Dr Stahl has been seeing and treating exotic animals in the greater Washington D.C. area for the last 30 years. He became one of the first board certified Avian Veterinarians in Virginia in 1996. He has lectured for exotic animal conferences and universities all over the world, written many papers and book chapters on exotic animal medicine, and recently co-edited and authored the 2019 third edition of the world renowned Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery textbook.

Dr Stahl opened Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services (SEAVS) in 2003 and over the last 16 years SEAVS has grown from a staff of 1 veterinarian, technician and receptionist to a thriving, 6 doctor, 25 support staff practice.

Dr Stahl and the SEAVS team have always been committed to teaching and mentoring young professionals with the goal of increasing the number of veterinarians and technicians that can provide exceptional care for avian and exotic animals. SEAVS has trained hundreds of veterinary professionals through our externship and internship programs and our Avian Residency.

Currently SEAVS has two veterinary interns and an avian resident. Veterinary interns and residents are veterinary graduates that have committed to an additional year(intern) or years(resident) of intensive training in avian and exotic animal medicine. Our interns and residents quickly become experienced, as they are seeing avian and exotic patients only (i.e. no dogs and cats), are assisted by our experienced veterinary technical team, and may consult with Dr Stahl and Dr Nielsen on cases. Our current Avian resident is Dr Susan Baley who completed a one year avian and exotic internship at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, Texas prior to joining us. She is an experienced and skilled clinician and is committed to becoming board certified in avian medicine through her mentorship with Dr Stahl. Although we have a teaching mentality at SEAVS we want to assure you our veterinarians are experienced and comfortable seeing your avian and exotic pets.

You may now be thinking, what? Is Dr Stahl is retiring from practice? No, he is old, as we remind him daily (grin), but he is not quite ready to retire from practice with two daughters still in college, and future weddings, etc.

However due to his overwhelming responsibilities as the owner and director of the practice and the need for him to be available to mentor our veterinarians (thus being involved in as many of the cases as possible) it is necessary for Dr Stahl to reduce the number of appointments he is able to personally see. By doing so he can share his 30 years of experience and knowledge with all the veterinarians at SEAVS, while increasing the opportunities for our clients to have their pets seen with his input.

With these considerations in mind, SEAVS will increase the pricing rate for Dr Stahl’s appointments to reflect his vast experience in exotic animal medicine and board certification in avian medicine. Pricing for our other veterinarians at SEAVS will remain the same. Our hope is this may encourage many of you to get to know and trust our other veterinarians and SEAVS team.

Thank you for your many years of support. We look forward to continuing to provide the best veterinary care for your avian and exotic pets in the future.

Jennifer Hutchins LVT,

SEAVS Practice Manager


Monday- Friday 8:00AM-8:00PM

Saturday 8:00AM-4:00PM


* SEAVS is also closed New Years, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving(Thurs and Fri), Christmas (25th and 26th)

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