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Pet Advice Categories

At CityVets we are proud to provide our clients and their pets with the highest quality, professional and caring service.  We are always here for our clients and their pets, providing our very own CityVets 24 Hour Emergency Service, ensuring continuity of care at critical times, day or night. We devote the time and resources necessary, to plan and instigate an affordable treatment plan that is most appropriate for the individual animal and their owner.

Excellent communication and client trust is a very important part of this process enabling us to make decisions together. We always aim to provide the best value veterinary care for our clients.
As well as providing excellent routine medical, surgical and preventative health care for our patients, we are very well equipped to deal with the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of more complex medical and surgical disorders and emergencies not normally undertaken at most Veterinary surgeries.  This is because we have Veterinary Surgeons that have undertaken and gained advanced expertise following further training and certification in the fields of: Exotics and small mammals, Soft Tissue and Orthopaedic Surgery, Cardiology, Ophthalmology and Animal Behaviour.  We also have Veterinary Surgeons that have particular interests in Dermatology, Dentistry, Medicine and Birds. We have our own in house qualified Animal Physiotherapist to help in the recovery and rehabilitation of our patients, should they need it.


First vaccinations for your new puppy take place between 8-10 weeks of age. Your puppy should be routinely vaccinated against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis. The initial vaccination course is two injections, two weeks apart. A week after the second injection you will be able to take your puppy outside and socialise with all other dogs.

Depending on whether you plan to travel with your puppy and where you are likely to walk them, you may want to discuss the requirement for Leptospirosis 4 with your clinician.

To maintain immunity vaccinations should be carried out annually. The initial puppy vaccines and the first year booster are imperative to create an immunity. After this some people will elect to have the titre levels tested rather than receive an annual vaccination. We are happy to offer this service which requires a blood test to be taken to check for antibody levels to the various diseases. After this some animals will still require a vaccination of the antibody levels are not sufficient to provide protection. For titre levels we recommend 6 monthly checks.

We also recommend vaccinating dogs against kennel cough which is caused by a mixture of bacteria and viruses (Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Parainfluenza virus). The vaccine is given every 6-12 months and is especially important if your puppy is going to be highly sociable or going into kennels.


We believe pet insurance is essential; insurance takes away the financial concern when your pet requires treatment. An accident or long term medical condition can easily mount up bills into hundreds if not thousands of pounds. Vets can do more for animals now than ever before but it is important you consider how you would cover the costs if your pet needed treatment.

Benefits of insurance

  • Financial peace of mind in the event of an illness or injury
  • Improved treatment options and outcome
  • Ability to make decisions based on what’s best without worrying about the costs involved.

Policy types

Lifetime policies

  • Cover for a set amount each policy year

  • No time limit on how long you can claim on each illness or injury for

  • Ideal for ongoing conditions

  • Maximum benefit policies

  • Cover provided up to a maximum amount per condition

  • Once you have claimed up to the limit the condition is excluded

12 month policies

  • Cover provided up to the limit for a restricted amount of time

  • After the 12 months the condition will be excluded from the policy

Accident only

  • No illness cover

  • Some will have time restrictions

We strongly recommend Lifetime policies as the most comprehensive way of insuring your pet and ensuring the best cover.

Other things to consider

  • Excess – the amount you will have to contribute before the insurance company start paying. Some policies will also have a percentage contribution.

  • Pre existing conditions – Most insurance policies do not cover conditions that existed before the policy was taken out. It is important to get the right cover at the beginning so that conditions do not get excluded when you try to change your policy.

  • Price – not all insurance is created equal and a thorough assessment of the policy is essential.

Worm Prevention

Young animals are at particular risk of suffering from the ill effects of worm burdens. Adult animals are capable of carrying and distributing worms without showing symptoms. Most of these parasites are specific to their host species but dogs can carry worms that can be dangerous to children if ingested.

Young animals should be treated every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age and then every 3 months thereafter.

If your pet is a hunting animal AND is in close proximity to young children they should be treated monthly throughout their lives.

Flea Prevention

Puppies can arrive in your home with fleas, pick them up from outside or from other animals; prevention is better than cure. Fleas can quickly become a problem in the house, one flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day, and for every flea you find there are probably 95 in the environment in the form of eggs and larvae.
To help protect against infestation your pet should be treated with a veterinary approved product to ensure they are protected from parasites commonly found in the local environment, which include fleas, ticks and mites. There are a number of different products available, each with their own benefits depending on risk and species. One of our clinicians would be happy to discuss the benefits of each product and advise you on the most suitable one for you.


Our official policies regarding the time of neutering are flexible and determined by a discussion between a Veterinary Surgeon, Veterinary Nurse and yourself, the client. This is because the right time to neuter your pet is a personal decision. Neutering times also often vary depending on the gender of your puppy.
In regards to female bitches we recommend that they are neutered before their first season at six months of age (except for Flat Coated Retrievers and Rottweilers, these breeds should have one season and be spayed before their second season). This advice is based on the evidence that early neutering in female dogs can reduce the incidence of mammary cancer by up to 99.5%.
Our current recommendation is to neuter male dogs any time after 6 months of age but ideally after 1 year of age, when they are fully developed (giant breeds only after 18 months of age).


has now become a legal requirement for all dogs over the age of eight weeks to be microchipped living in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The new law has been introduced with the hope of reuniting more lost or stolen pets with their owners and reducing the number of stray animals.
A collar and tag can fall off or be removed, but a microchip is a more permanent way of identifying your pet. You still need to make sure your pet wears a collar and tag with your name and contact details on as this is a legal requirement for all dogs when out in public.

A microchip is a small chip, about the size of a grain of rice, which is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades. Often a microchip is the only way to locate an owner if your pet goes missing. If your pet is ever brought into a rescue centre or veterinary clinic one the first protocols is to check for a microchip.

A microchip reader will scan your puppy to locate a chip, if one is found the identification number will be entered into a national database to locate your contact information. It is very important to update your contact information with the microchip database, if you are unsure of which database your pet’s microchip is registered with please speak to a City Vets colleague who will be happy to give you the contact information.

Do's and Don'ts


-Take the time to choose an appropriate diet for your puppy
-Follow guidelines on volume of food but remember that the feeding guides are purely that, ‘guides’ and each animal has its own unique metabolism that has to be accounted for when managing their diet.
-Use kibble as training treats
-Have fresh water available at all times
-Ensure toileting opportunities shortly after eating
-Regularly weigh your puppy to effectively manage food intake and increases


-Feed your puppy table scraps – this will create bad begging habits and selective feeding
-Leave them alone with chews that could be swallowed
-Leave food unattended in an accessible area

-It is also a really important time to get your pet used to a clinical exam.

-Look in their mouth and examine the teeth (especially the back teeth), lift their feet and play with their nails.
-Tooth brushing is great for dental hygiene and the sooner you start the easier it will be for you both.

Emergencies – 01392 250066

We are always here for our clients and their pets, providing our own 24 hour emergency service, ensuring continuity of care at critical times. In the event of an emergency please contact your usual CityVets branch, if this is out of normal working hours you will be given the contact number for the duty vet.

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  • Alphington | 12 Lovelace Gardens,
    Exeter, Devon,
    EX2 8XQ
    | T: 01392 493999 |
  • Heavitree | Rosary House,
    27 Fore Street,
    Heavitree, Exeter,
    EX1 2QJ
    | T: 01392 250066 |
  • St Thomas | 101 Buddle Lane,
    St Thomas,
    Exeter, Devon,
    EX4 1QS
    | T: 01392 250000 |
  • Whipton | 46 Whipton Village Road,
    EX4 8AW
    | T: 01392 465553 |