Welcome to the SEAVS Scoop newsletter. We will update this newsletter with new articles and with "whats up" at SEAVS throughout the year! Check back often for updates!

Curbside Pickup due to Covid-19 as the "new norm".


Do we have a current email address for you? Please send an email to so we can check your file!



**Effective Immediately: May4, 2020 -- COVID-19 CURRENT SEAVS Client Protocol**

The health and safety of our clients and their animal companions, as well as the SEAVS team members, is always our top priority.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, please follow the guidelines stated below when visiting our practice. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

STARTING 06/01/2020

Hours adjusted:


Saturday 8AM-4PM

Guidelines to bring a sick patient or emergency to SEAVS:

  • Remain in your car and call us to retrieve your pet.

  • We are currently only seeing sick patients/emergencies. Annual physicals, elective surgeries, such as neuter/spay and all non-essential grooming appointments will be seen at a later date. We will notify clients via email when we are back to normal operation. Email so we can update the email address in your file.

  • Prior to your appointment, please ensure that you have called in to complete your registration/file information.

  • When clients arrive for their appointment, they should contact our office at 703-281-3750 to alert our team they have arrived and what type of vehicle they are in. All clients are to remain in their vehicle and our staff will come to them to bring their pet in for their appointment.

  • We ask clients to remain on-site, in their vehicle during their pet's appointment so that they are immediately available should we have any questions and in order to return their pet as quickly as possible to reduce the pet's stress.

  • If any additional information is needed prior to performing our exam/diagnostics, or any additional tests are needed beyond the examination, the doctor will call to discuss.

  • Once the pet has been fully evaluated, the doctor will contact the client - via phone to go over their findings, recommendations and answer any questions they may have.

  • The client's call will then be transferred to a client service representative that will collect payment via credit card over the phone. We will only be accepting credit card payment(No cash or check) at this time. You can apply for Care Credit if you do not have a credit card or need assistance with payment.

  • For prescription pick up: Pay ahead for curbside pick up or we can mail your prescription.

  • For surgery/observation pick up: Pay ahead and we will bring the pet out to your car.

  • Observation – Special diets that accompany the pet must be in a wipeable plastic container or a zip lock bag. We will not accept any other personal items/beds/blankets/toys.

  • Observation CLIENTS: yearly exams and bloodwork/fecal requirements can be done when you drop off for observation, you do not need to make a separate appointment.

  • Observation NEW CLIENTS: Mammals and Reptiles - Initial exams/fecals can be performed when you drop off for observation, you do not need to make a separate appointment. Birds - Will need to make an appointment ahead of time for disease testing and blood work.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Your SEAVS Team



COVID-19 in Ferrets (and hamsters)

Updated information on ferrets and Coronavirus has shown that ferrets can contract COVID-19. This is not a surprise, as it is already well known that ferrets can contract human influenza.

Ferrets that were experimentally infected with COVID-19 did replicate the virus and were able to infect other ferrets that they were in contact with. It is currently unknown, but thought to be unlikely that positive ferrets can pass the virus back to humans.

Because of this, we ask that ferret owners please take precautions and restrict contact with ferrets and other animals in your house if you have COVID-19, just like you would around other people.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19(or the flu), such as fever, shortness of breath, cough, lack of taste/smell or any other respiratory issues, please have someone else care for your ferret and other animals. You can resume their care, per CDC recommendations, once you are free of fever for 72 hours without the use of any fever-reducing medication and your symptoms have improved.

If you do not have someone to help you, wear gloves and a mask while handling the ferret, food/water bowls, litter pans, etc. Use a disinfectant cleaner on any surfaces that the animal may come in to contact with and wash your hands frequently. Do not cuddle, hug or kiss any of your pets while showing symptoms


Recent work with Syrian Hamsters has also found that they may be susceptible, so please follow these same guidelines.

We will continue to keep you up to date on any further information that is released about ferrets or other species affected by COVID-19



Out of an abundance of caution, it is recommended that those ill with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. Have another member of your household take care of walking, feeding, and playing with your pet. If you have a service animal or you must care for your pet, then wear a facemask; don’t share food, kiss, or hug them; and wash your hands before and after any contact with them.


Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease - RHD2

Click here for information.

SEAVS turned in an application to import the vaccine and we were denied. Currently, they are only allowing import of the vaccine in states that have the RHD2 virus in the wild populations.

They are limiting import because the vaccine is only made in small batches(it is made from the liver of rabbits that they infect with the virus) and the vaccine keeps going on back order as they wait for more to be made.

He also mentioned that the vaccine we are importing is not made with the exact strain that is in the US, so there is no proof that this vaccine will even protect rabbits.

The good news is that a domestic vaccine company is trying to develop a vaccine and they hope to have one available to everyone soon.

Join this Facebook group click here for updates and current maps detailing current cases.

How does your rabbit or guinea pig score on the "Chub-O-Meter"?


Ferret Adrenal Disease and Deslorelin Implants

Adrenal disease is a very common problem in pet ferrets and may affect up to 95% of the pet ferret population. It occurs in neutered or spayed ferrets, with signs typically seen around 3 to 4 years of age (but even as early as 2 years).The disease occurs as a result of the routine neutering and spaying of ferrets, which is required for them to adapt as household pets. Once ferrets have been “sterilized” (regardless of their age at the time of surgery) the adrenal glands, over time, will become receptive to sex hormones that are still produced by the pituitary gland. These activated receptors on the adrenal gland then trigger the production of high levels of feminizing hormones from the adrenal gland. The onset of this trigger (or adrenal response) is variable among individual ferrets, but if a ferret lives long enough, it will eventually be affected by this disease. Once the hormones are elevated, we then see the symptoms that cause the clinical syndrome known as adrenal gland disease in ferrets. Common signs include fur loss, itching, swelling to genitalia, increased aggression, and increased drinking and urination.

Adrenal disease can be both prevented and treated with hormonal therapy, especially if therapy is started early in life. If therapy is delayed and initiated at the onset of disease, pre-cancerous or cancerous changes to the adrenal gland may have already occurred. In these cases, the disease is more difficult to treat and may require surgery. The most effective hormonal therapy for treating this disease is the Deslorelin implant. This slow-release hormone implant is placed underneath the skin between the shoulder blades while the animal is anesthetized. Because of the seasonal hormonal cycle, it is best to place implants in the winter months of a ferrets first year of life or any time after a ferret has reached one year of age. In most cases the implant will last up to one year and it is recommended to implant ferrets annually. If you have more questions about adrenal gland disease or would like to get an implant for your ferret, please give the office a call to set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians.




CT scan of a Rabbit




Adorable patients


Big picture

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.




Scott J. Stahl, DVM, DABVP-avian

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.


Make An Appointment

Click here to get to the appointment screen or go to


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)


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