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parrotCityVets Exotics and Small mammal service is led by European Specialist Livia Benato, a Certificate holder in Zoological medicine and Diploma holder in Small Mammal medicine, the first to be based in Exeter. Livia joined CityVets in October 2015 and is a permanent member of staff. Livia is available to offer both first opinion appointments to CityVets Clients and referral consultations for external cases. 

Our new extension hosts an exotics ward at the Heavitree site, along with the new surgical and imaging facilities including installation of CT scanner.  This ensures that CityVets is totally equipped to accept a wide variety of cases for both companion animals and exotics and small mammals.

The term ‘Exotics’ covers everything from small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, rats and hamsters to reptiles, including lizards, tortoises, terrapins, and snakes, through to small and large birds such as parrots, raptors, cockatiels, budgerigars, chickens and more!

Species seen by our Exotic & Small Mammal team include:

Rabbits Budgerigars Water and Bearded Dragons
Guinea Pigs Amazon parrots Pythons
Chinchillas Macaws Boa Constrictors
Rats Senegal parrots Corn Snakes & other species of snakes
Hamster Cockatoo Parrots
Mice Love birds Gerbils Raptors
Skunks Coatis Cockatiels
Ferrets Geckos Chickens
Pygmy Hedgehogs Terrapins African Grey Parrots
Degus Tortoises  
Sugar Gliders Turtles  

If your species of exotic animal is not listed, please call CityVets in Exeter for guidance, as this list is not exhaustive.

Rabbit Information

At CityVets we encourage and promote a responsible approach to the healthcare and welfare of all pets. We offer a specific Health Care Plan for rabbits, which is paid monthly via direct debit.


Every year your rabbit should be vaccinated against fatal infectious diseases: Myxomatosis and two strains of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHDV1 and RHDV2).

A triple vaccine is now available at CityVets and is strongly recommended for all indoor and outdoor rabbits.  The new vaccine will provide the necessary protection and help towards preventing this disease from spreading further for domestic and wild rabbits.

CityVets Heavitree is a Gold Standard Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF) practice.

CityVets St Thomas has been awarded Silver Standard from the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund. These awards recognise that we are dedicated to providing outstanding care and facilities with knowledgeable clinicians to improve the health and welfare of domestic rabbits.

More information on husbandry and housing for your rabbit including campaigns such as ‘A Hutch is not enough’ can be found at The Rabbit Welfare Fund. Our friendly team of clinicians are also happy to discuss any management queries you may have to provide your rabbit/s the best possible environment.

Is it time for tortoise hibernation?!

turtleNot all species of tortoise hibernate, if you own a species that does, it is important to understand that hibernation is a crucial part of tortoise management.

It is part of the natural seasonal variation and gives tortoises a metabolic rest. If tortoises do not hibernate, the increased metabolism and food intake could lead to abnormal growth.

When the days get shorter and the environmental temperatures decrease, tortoises get ready to hibernate.

Hibernation can be a critical time for a tortoise and careful planning is necessary for a successful outcome.

We also offer pre and post hibernation checks with one of the Exotics & Small Mammal team and can run a faecal float test at this time to check for worms.

Client Information Sheets

Rabbit Nutrition

Rabbits and Fireworks

Tortoise Hibernation


  • 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 |