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Hi, I'm Rory.
Today I am in Manchester, in England,
to meet Cadence, who has a big fluffy friend she wants me to meet,
and it needs to go to the vet.
This is going to be great.
And I'm Ferne.
I'll be finding out how the vets here at a zoo in Winchester
help to keep some of their cheekiest animals happy and healthy.
# Ferne and Rory tell a new story
# Of some poorly pets
# We will take them Show you how to make them
# Better at the vets
# Vet Tales These are our vet tales
# Vet Tales Ferne and Rory's Vet Tales. #
Hi, I'm Cadence and this is Holly.
She's the most lovely dog.
She's a Newfoundland.
She's very fluffy. And big.
We play together lots and lots.
I help look after her.
I love Holly.
-Hi, Cadence. Hello, Grandma Elaine.
-And this can only be Holly.
That's a whole lot of dog, isn't it?
-Do you want to go on a walk with me and Holly?
-I would love to.
-Shall we go?
Cadence, I don't think I've ever been for a walk
with such a big dog before.
Just look at those paws. They're massive.
Let's have a seat. What a beauty!
Yes! So, tell me, how old is Holly?
-Four years old. And she's been visiting the vets recently?
-Why is that?
-We take her to the doggy weight loss class.
-Oh, I see.
It's really important that your dog
is the correct weight to stay healthy.
Your vet can tell you what the right weight is
for the breed of dog that you have.
And your vet has been saying that
Holly needs to lose some weight, right?
So, what have you been doing to help her lose weight?
Giving her less food.
Right, so you measure it out so she doesn't get too much.
That's a very good idea. And what about exercise?
-What do you do with her?
-We play with Holly and we walk her.
So, you take her for walks and you play with her, which is great.
You measure her food and you take to doggy weight loss class.
And I hear you're going with her today, is that right?
-Do you want to come, too, Rory?
-I would love to. Shall we get going?
-Come on, then. Come on, darling. Come on.
This is Kate.
She's been a vet for 12 years
and performing surgery is her favourite part of the job.
She's allergic to long-haired rabbits,
and the smelliest patient she's had to deal with was a seal.
Come on, you. This way.
-Hiya, guys. Do you want to come through?
-Hi. Hi, Cadence.
Oh, hello, Holly.
-So, how has Holly been getting on, then?
We decided she's got a little bit too much weight,
-so we gave you a special diet, didn't we?
What was in that diet?
The special diet has loads of fibre in it, so it makes her feel
full for longer, so it means she doesn't pester too much for treats,
and it means she loses weight gradually, which is fantastic.
Yeah, that's good. So, what are you going to do here first, Kate?
So, first of all I'm going to give her a full checkup
to make sure she's really nice and healthy.
So I'm going to look at those beautiful eyes for her.
-They look healthy?
And then the slobbery mouth.
Let's have a look in that mouth. What can you see in there?
Just slobber, really. Yes. Under all that slobber there are some teeth.
Then we check her ears for her as well.
So, in there I'm looking for any signs of infection.
And sometimes I'll even give them a sniff.
What are you smelling for there, Kate?
If they don't smell good, there's probably an infection going on.
So it's really useful just to have that nice little check as well,
make sure everything's OK.
So, next up, we're going to use
this special tool to listen to her heart.
Good girl, Holly. She's such a big girl.
-Cadence, would you like to have a listen as well?
Here you go. Put those in your ears and if I put that down there,
can you hear her heart?
-What does it sound like?
-Yeah, that's right.
Now, obviously, Holly has been carrying a bit of extra weight.
What sort of problems can arise if a dog is really overweight?
If they're overweight, they have too much fat around the heart
and the kidneys and the other bits and bobs that are inside.
-And that can make them unhealthy.
And for somebody like Holly, as well, it's too much on their joints
so that she can get some pain and things like that.
-So we really like to get them nice and lean.
-OK, that's good.
So now we need to see how well this weight loss is going.
So because every dog is different, we don't use our eyes,
we actually use our hands.
So we can shut our eyes and feel over her ribs,
to see if you can feel them go up and down, and up and down.
And see how thin she's getting.
You can feel them.
That's good, is it, Kate? There's not too much fat on there?
She's doing really well. We're really chuffed with her.
-So, next step is to go
and see Danielle for her weight clinic.
-Come on, then. Come on, Holly.
Let me explain. The most common reason for dogs being overweight
is that they eat more food than they need to,
and exercise less than they should.
Being overweight causes the dog's heart and lungs to work harder.
Their joints can get sore and they can develop diabetes,
which affects their blood sugar levels.
The best way to help your dog lose weight is to play
and exercise often, give healthy dog food, and limit their treats.
In nurse Danielle's weight clinic,
there are big dogs and small dogs.
But they all have one thing in common.
Can we bring Bert up, please, Anne-Marie? Good boy.
They've been given a meal
and exercise plan to follow to help keep them healthy.
Danielle weighs and measures them every month to see how
-they're getting on with their weight loss.
-Well done, Rinty.
-You've lost a kilo. Good boy.
Cadence, do you want to bring Holly round now?
She's looking good.
-Danielle measures around Holly's chest and then her tummy.
-We are, 81 on her tummy.
And then let's do her neck.
And what's a good measurement around
the chest and the tummy and the neck?
It can all vary, but even with the same breed, my aim would be
-to get her maybe to about 80 on her tummy.
But I go more for how they look and what they are on the scales.
So at the moment what we want to do is, when we look down on Holly,
we want to see a little bit of her tummy, waistline, don't we?
-Yeah, can't quite see that yet, can we?
Shall we pop her on the scales now and see what she's lost?
Hopefully she's lost - what do you think?
-10 pounds! Exact.
Here we go. Up here - come on.
Lie down. Come on. Good girl. Can we get all four up?
Not quite, here we go. Come on, come on. No cheating.
-How's it looking?
So she's actually lost another 300 grams
-since last time she was in, which is really, really good.
-Hasn't she done well?
-Yes, good girl.
So, the next steps with Holly.
We've got her on a weight-specific diet,
and then what we're going to do is introduce another two walks.
You have to do it gradually,
because otherwise it can affect their joints. Cut down on her treats
and then we'll re-weigh her again in another three weeks' time.
Okey-doke, brilliant. Well, you've done fantastically well.
And while we get you ready to go home, let's see what else
happened at the vets today.
The veterinary practice is a busy place today.
Behind the scenes, there are some important tests being carried
out on some of their patients' blood.
Danielle is looking after a French bulldog, Rumple.
She's here because she's due to have puppies very soon,
and the vets want to keep an eye on her.
Little Pip is being really well-behaved for her checkup,
and after having one of his teeth removed,
Chip the cat is really looking forward to going home.
I've had a brilliant time meeting you, Grandma, and Holly as well,
and I'd like to come back soon and see how you are all getting on.
-Is that all right?
Now, I wonder what Ferne's been up to.
This zoo near Winchester has lots of amazing wildlife.
Today, I'm in for a treat as I'm getting to meet
one of my favourite animals.
Hiya, Justine. Hi, Mark.
Justine is the head vet here at the zoo, and Mark is
the keeper of these cheeky little chappies.
-These are meerkats, aren't they?
-Yes, they are.
Meerkats originally come from South Africa
and as you can see, they love digging.
They live in tunnels where they can escape and hide from danger, too.
So how many meerkats do you look after?
We've got seven meerkats in here and they're all males.
-And a group of meerkats is called a mob, isn't it?
-That's right, yes.
Mob of meerkats.
So, Justine, what else are we checking with these little guys?
So, today we're going to check their weights to make sure they're
-not getting too fat.
-Oh, OK. How are we going to do that?
So we're going to try to get them on to the scales one by one,
by giving them some of their favourite treats,
which are mealworms.
Wow, OK. This is going to be a bit tricky, isn't it, Mark?
Yeah, it is tricky. You've got to be patient with this, yeah.
Justine, why do we need to keep an eye on their weight?
So we need to check their weight
because they've been getting a little bit fat in here,
because they've got a lovely enclosure
where everyone can see them really clearly,
but some people have been giving them human food
and treats which they shouldn't have.
-And that can actually make them poorly.
So, naturally meerkats are omnivores, which means they like
to eat lots of different things like fruits, nuts, seeds and insects.
You can see that these guys are loving their mealworms.
They're not really supposed to tuck out on chocolate, are they?
Not at all, no.
So we try and give them
a similar diet as they would have in the wild here.
Mark, how can you tell whether
these little meerkats are getting a bit tubby?
Well, we look at meerkats in the wild, so we can work out
from that what is a natural weight range and a natural body condition.
So we have to monitor their weight on a regular basis,
so that they are always within that weight range.
So that little one there is 1.26 kilos.
Is that an OK weight for a meerkat?
-Our target weight for a male meerkat is one kilo or less.
So that's a little bit over.
-This is Kova.
-What's he? He's 1.1.
-That's not too bad.
Definitely going in the right direction.
-How are we going to reduce their weight?
-So we're going to do
a couple of things. We're feeding them a slightly different diet,
so more insects, which is more like their wild diet.
We've also put some signs up so we can tell the public that it's
really important not to feed them any other treats.
So hopefully they'll start to lose some more weight as well.
Justine and Mark, thank you so much for letting me come
and see how you manage this little mob.
It's been really fun
and hopefully they can get their weight down a bit more.
-Good luck with it.
Not long ago I met Cadence,
her gran, Elaine, and fluffy family dog, Holly.
Holly was a bit big and had to lose some weight,
so I'm back to see if she's managed to reach her healthy weight.
-And hello, Holly. Good to see you.
So, Cadence, has she been sticking to her diet and exercise plan?
-Yes, she has.
Well, there is only one way to find out how well she's doing.
-Let's get her on those scales, Danielle.
-Come on, darling.
On here. Good girl. Well done.
-Well done, Holl!
-Stay there, darling.
She's lost nearly a kilo.
-So she's done absolutely fantastic. Well done.
-Well done, Holly.
-So, Danielle, are you happy with that?
-I'm very happy with that.
She's done really, really well.
So the plan is to carry on as were going
and we'll see you in a few weeks.
Fantastic. Well done, Holly.
Cadence, it's been great seeing you and Holly again.
And I hope you've enjoyed finding out all about Holly
and her amazing weight loss.
-See you again soon for more Ferne and Rory's Vet Tales.