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Today, a baby donkey needs my Junior Vets' protection...
..Isla the dog has tests that could change her life
and what are those things?
Ah, yes, alpacas. Giving us the run-around on a Scottish farm.
I'm Alex Riley. This is Junior Vets.
Pets. Wildlife. Farm animals. All in need of expert help.
And at Edinburgh's amazing vet school,
six raw recruits have arrived.
They're working alongside the school's top-notch team.
-I just did that!
And they are being pushed to their very limit...
-..as they help to save the lives of sick and injured animals.
Six new Junior Vets. But I can only choose one winner.
This year's Head Vet is...
Now, if you were thinking that Junior Vets
was just about fluffy puppies and kittens,
-then you realise now, I think, that it's a whole lot more.
Today is no exception.
Today's pairings are as follows - Josh and Molly,
-Robyn and Bonte...
Nyatepe and Jamie. What are you waiting for? Go on!
Those animals aren't going to help themselves, are they?
It's been an action-packed start for all my Junior Vets.
So far, Josh has managed to keep his cool when the vet work
has become noisy and stressful.
But how will he cope when things get a whole lot more stinky,
dirty and messy?
Bonte came here hoping to get loads of close-up animal care,
but she's about to find out that there's a little bit more
to vet school than looking after horses and dogs.
'Ah, this is the life.
'A lovely stroll in the countryside with my Junior Vets,
'Bonte and Robyn.
'Actually, we've got some VIP vet work to complete here
'with some rather strange-looking patients.'
Have a look up there.
MUSIC: "Fiesta" by The Pogues
After a while, we eventually worked out what we were doing.
-Are they alpacas?
-They are alpacas. Very good.
Not your typical Scottish farm animals, are they?
Cos they're from Peru and Bolivia, the Andean mountains.
They live at very high altitude where there's not much oxygen
and they are very highly-prized for their fur.
Drake, Raleigh, Lucifer and Leo look a bit odd
because they've just had their prize fleece sheared off.
It makes lovely soft rugs, apparently.
I don't know if I like them or not.
They were quite funny, but they're a bit weird.
They now need some vetting attention
so we're teaming up with farm vet Andy and alpaca owner David.
We're going to check on the alpacas' teeth if they need some dentistry
done and then we've got to sort their toenails for them
because they can get long and it can get difficult for them to walk.
In the wild, alpacas' toenails get worn down on the rocky slopes
they live on but that's not going to happen on this soft grass, is it?
So this lot could suffer painful foot injuries
if we don't get them clipped.
Before we can do that, though, we've got to get the alpacas
from there into these pens so we can work on them.
I've got a feeling this could be very, very tricky.
-Can they spit?
-Yes, they do spit, yeah.
If they feel threatened, they will spit.
Most of mine aren't bad, actually, but there is one that is...
He's a bit of a rascal.
That bad boy is Drake, who isn't a big fan of having his nails clipped.
He tends to let the vets know this by spraying them with grassy spit.
-It's going to be fun.
-I know! I don't know how we're going to do this.
It's going to be tough, no doubt, but this job needs doing.
Time to head 'em up, move 'em out and trim those toenails.
MUSIC: "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" by Ennio Morricone
-AS A COWBOY:
-Watch your back, Drake, there's a new vets team in town.
'And we've got you and your pals firmly in our sights.'
Ahem, sorry about that. Got carried away with the cowboy theme there.
Rounding up these alpacas is going to take bravery, stealth
and lots of agility.
I think we have to try and get them in there, but it looks really hard.
And they're off. Let's go!
# One way or another... #
Run that way, Junior Vets.
Andy sort of gave us, like, this dead simple plan.
-You had to stand still and hope they don't come running to you.
Bonte shows no fear, going straight for Drake.
But he's not coming quietly.
-Ah, we seem to be getting somewhere.
-Just walk towards him.
# One way or another... #
It took us a while cos they kept running past us.
# I'm going to getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha
# One way or another. #
Later, hang onto your goggles as we discover why sharpshooter
-Drake has such a bad rap.
Back at vet school, Jamie and Nyatepe have been called in
to help vet Scott, who has a poorly patient with a mystery illness.
Right, guys. This is Isla. She's your patient today.
-Is she a bull mastiff?
-She's not a bull mastiff.
That's quite a good guess. She's a boxer dog, OK?
Three-year-old Isla might look healthy
but previous blood tests suggest she could have a serious kidney problem.
That wasn't something that we expect to find
so we want to investigate today
whether that's something we have to be worried about.
Does it involve an X-ray or anything?
I don't think we're going to do an X-ray to begin with.
One of the things that gives us a lot of information about how
the kidneys are functioning is looking at a urine sample.
How do you think we'll go about getting a pee sample from her today?
-Put a cup under?
-Put a cap under her, yeah.
-So we're going to see how we get on, OK?
Just a wee job for our pet detectives first, then.
They're going to jump in and grab a sample when Isla decides to pee.
Just be watching out as we go up, just in case she squats to pee, OK?
Cos you're totally in charge.
I was walking Isla
and Nyatepe was the one who had to be quick on the draw.
Just be ready to catch her, OK?
Got one chance to do this and if you miss it, then that's it.
It's not, like, every day you get a dog and take a wee sample
so it is quite weird.
Weird indeed, but without the wee sample,
we might never get to the bottom of what's wrong with Isla.
-I don't think we're doing very well here, are we?
No. Just couldn't get her to wee, could we?
With no pee in their pot, Scott decides on a different,
more direct way of getting the important sample.
What we're going to do is use this ultrasound machine
to look at her bladder first of all
and then we'll try and pop a needle in
to get a sample from her bladder directly, OK?
The ultrasound machine will help the team see inside Isla
so they can locate her bladder
and then collect a urine sample using a syringe.
Do you want to come round, then, and we'll start clipping her tummy.
This may seem strange but it's the easiest way of getting the sample
that might help us discover what's wrong with Isla's kidneys.
-So we want to clip all of this here, right up to here. OK?
Isla will be sedated but awake for this.
She's a bit nervous, so Jamie does his best to keep her calm.
-Good girl, Isla.
-Everyone's ready to get that all-important sample.
And later, the team finally get to the bottom of Isla's illness.
So, can you notice anything abnormal in the kidney area?
This is the Scottish Borders Donkey Sanctuary.
It's full of - you guessed it - donkeys!
Nearly 80 of them, all arrived here because they needed a good home.
Rescued donkey Rebecca has a new arrival herself.
Six days ago, she gave birth to daughter Poppy.
And Junior Vets Josh and Molly have the pleasure of being
the first ever vets to treat proud Rebecca's tiny foal.
You like me? I'm taking this one home.
It's loving me to bits.
Newborn foals and their mums can easily become ill
so my Junior Vets are joining vet Morven from Greenside Vets
to make sure mum and daughter are fit and healthy.
They are quite stressed when they're foaling
and they can be prone to getting infections.
So, we want to just make sure that everything's back to normal
and everything is ticking over OK.
An infection could be a big problem for Rebecca but it would be worse
for little Poppy, who needs milk to survive and grow strong.
-Now, can you hear her heartbeat?
-Should hear a nice "lub-dub, lub-dub".
Basically, it just sounded like, really, it's a healthy donkey.
We're going to have a listen to her guts as well.
And what you want to hear is a good gurgle.
-I think I can hear it.
Sometimes it just goes "gurgle, gurgle"
and then you might get a big flush, like a toilet.
-Yeah, I just got another one.
I heard really loud sounds coming from Rebecca's stomach,
which meant that she was healthy.
Another one! That's a really loud one.
That's what we want.
Mum Rebecca is getting a little bit grouchy and Josh has worked out why.
-Whoa, whoa, whoa.
-I think she just wants to see her baby.
She just moves around fast so she can just keep an eye on it.
That's exactly right, Josh, yeah.
As long as she can know where her baby is, she'll be quite happy
for us to have a listen and have a poke and prod at her.
So, the last and most important thing to check with the mare
-is to take her temperature. If her temperature...
-Is that by her bum?
-Yeah, we do. Yeah.
Hm, a job involving a thermometer and a donkey's bum.
Who's going to be up for a job like this? Ah, well volunteered, Josh!
Just pop it up her bum. Just in there.
I found it funny because I had to just check the stomach
whilst Josh had to literally really go in.
This check will give Josh Rebecca's body temperature -
too high and it might mean the new mum has an infection.
I just found it really smelly and horrible.
Like, smells really horrible.
What is the average level for a donkey?
It's usually sort of between 37.5 and 39.
-Okey-doke. Which is probably a wee bit low, actually.
Low is all right.
She's obviously doing a good job at keeping herself cool.
So, no nasty infections but there are still important tests
to carry out on mum and her foal before both get an all clear.
Later, donkey work gets all scientific as Josh
and Molly go hunting for nasty parasites.
It's like a milkshake, really. I don't think it will taste nice.
Back at the small animal hospital, Jamie and Nyatepe
are investigating three-year-old Isla's worrying kidney problem.
They need to take a pee sample right from Isla's bladder.
You just want to hold the probe right over there
and press down slightly, so we can see where the bladder is, OK?
Nyatepe positions the probe
so Scott can carefully insert the syringe into Isla's bladder.
-And then we very gently take the needle out. OK.
-So, that's us.
While Isla has a well-earned rest,
the team head down to the lab to complete Isla's tests.
One of the things that we look for is how concentrated her urine is.
Your kidneys should be able to produce concentrated urine
and if they don't, then that is an indication
that the kidneys are not working properly.
First, Jamie uses a gadget called a refractometer
-to check Isla's wee is the right concentration.
Nyatepe then completes further checks...
Quite a few of them are changing colours.
-That confirm Isla's wee is a healthy colour.
That is a concentrated, normally concentrated urine sample.
Does that mean that she's good,
that she can be sent home, or could there be a big shock or...
It's so difficult because we...you just never know
and we still have to be prepared for surprises as there always can be.
After all the tests we did,
we didn't know what was wrong with her, did we?
So we decided to put her under an ultrasound scan
to see what's wrong with her kidneys.
This scan could give Isla the all clear or uncover a serious problem.
Again, just comfort her head in there.
-Make sure she thinks she's OK.
-It's OK. Don't worry.
So, are you OK to turn the lights off? Thanks.
Jamie thinks he may have spotted Isla's kidney.
You can sort of, like,
-see a little circle with something light in the middle.
And actually, that circle that you're seeing in the middle
of the screen is actually the kidney that we're looking at.
So, can you notice anything abnormal in the kidney area?
Scott's expert eye can tell Isla's kidney does not look right.
It's not exactly as we would expect the kidney to look.
A healthy kidney would look light on the screen
but Isla's looks really dark and it's a funny shape.
Our investigations were all looking very positive
but the ultrasound, at the moment,
potentially indicates that this isn't actually 100% normal.
The scan suggests Isla has kidney disease and sadly,
this will almost certainly shorten her life.
After all their efforts,
it's not the news the team were wanting to hear.
Does this mean we might have to keep her in for a bit longer?
I don't think we're going to have to keep her in today,
but it does mean we are not going to be able to necessarily give
her the clean bill of health that we wanted to.
I think this does show the benefit of doing what we've done today.
-Now then, Isla. Is it all right to stroke her?
-Yes, of course.
-How is she?
-It was, like, really positive...
-When we first did the wee.
-..before we did the ultrasound.
-But then we did the ultrasound...
-And we discovered something wrong.
Part of vet work is obviously,
you know, things aren't going as well as expected.
-At least you picked this up when the dog was still healthy.
I think it just shows you've got to always keep your mind open
and make sure you're being as thorough as possible.
We just have to do the best we can
and just hope she stays well for as long as possible.
It's been a challenging day for everyone.
How did my Junior Vets cope, Scott?
I think they did really well, actually.
I think having to deal with the slightly more negative news
towards the end of the day is really difficult
and I still struggle with that.
And I think, for them, being at the stage they're at,
I think they coped with it very well.
If you had to pick one, which would you pick as the best of the day?
I would say Jamie was, for me, a standout.
I can see him being a really good little communicator,
so I think if he did, you know, decide to go and be a vet,
I think he would be great from that point of view.
At the donkey sanctuary,
Josh and Molly have been getting all vetty with new mum Rebecca.
Now they're about to complete her six-day-old foal's
first ever vet check.
With it being newborn, it's not that used to being held as well,
-so it might be a bit of a wriggler for us.
If I hold its little tongue out like this...
Say "ah", Poppy.
-All good. Or is it?
-What's that black line there?
Occasionally they get a bit of pigment on the inside of their eyes.
It's completely normal. Nothing to worry about at all.
Now, one more important check to do
and this one can't be done by examining Poppy or her mum.
A clue - it's a bit of a stinker.
Now, this is a nice, fresh poo sample and what we're going to do
is take a little bit of it to see if there's any worm eggs in there.
If they find worm eggs in it, it means mum Rebecca has tiny
parasites living inside her which can make her feel very ill.
Oh, my gosh! Squidgy!
Worms can be life-threatening for an adult donkey and they can
affect the quality of her milk and that would harm her foal, Poppy.
I don't think being a vet is very glamorous.
-I don't think I could do this every day.
It stinked really, really bad.
Okey-doke, guys. That's us got enough poo.
And we'll have a look at this under the microscope and see
if we can find any worm eggs, OK?
So, we'll tip it all out of the tub.
This just mashes up the poo sample so that it gives
the worm eggs a chance to escape from the dung and float out.
It's like a milkshake really. I don't think it will taste nice.
Josh's handiwork turns the donkey poo into a liquid.
If there are dangerous worm eggs hidden in the poo,
this will make them easy to see.
I actually have a picture here to show you guys
so you can know what you're looking for.
-Any nasty eggs, Molly?
-Yeah, I can actually see something.
-And Josh confirms what they've found.
-So, what can you see down there?
-Quite a lot of eggs.
Mum Rebecca does have worms but it's not all bad news.
The team have caught it early, before they can make her ill.
Worming medicine will soon sort her out,
which means little foal Poppy will get good, strong milk from mum
and can live a long, healthy life herself, thanks to my Junior Vets.
It's one thing with the veterinary profession that with the glamour
and playing with the little babies also comes downsides,
when you have to deal with the back end of animals
and deal with the poo and they coped really, really well with it.
Checking the temperature, it was horrible when you had to stick it in
and I felt sorry for the donkey but then it's for her own good.
You did really well today and the thing that actually very
impressed me with him was when we were doing the worm egg count,
being very quick on the uptake that when we saw quite a few of them
then we needed to actually worm Rebecca.
Both of them were absolutely fantastic. They were stars today.
Junior Vets Robyn and Bonte have been given a right old run-around
down on the farm as they tried to round up and treat
these flighty South American alpacas.
They need their toenails trimming
so they don't develop painful foot problems and go lame.
But there's definitely no sign of any lameness at the moment.
Finally, we catch up with little Leo
but there's still three more to go, including pack leader
and official bad boy, Drake, who isn't so struck on vets.
Come on, then.
Ah, owner David is going to use the tried and tested tasty-treat tactic.
-He's, like, eating the food and then going back.
-That didn't work.
-He's quite smart, that one.
Cute as Drake looks, the Junior Vets need to be cautious.
Because alpacas will cough digestive grass back up
and spit it out anything they see as a threat.
-In this case, vet Andy.
-Oh, thank you.
Yes, well done, Drake(!)
I really didn't want him to spit at me because it was all,
like, green and grassy and just, like, sprayed it everywhere.
Hotshot Drake may have run free but the team have finally
got their hands on his pals, Lucifer, Raleigh and Leo.
-Are we leaving the grey one?
-I think we might leave the naughty alpaca for today.
-Good idea, Andy.
The Junior Vets are ready to get on with the important job
of alpaca toenail trimming.
First up, Raleigh.
Bonte places a towel on his head to calm him down
and Robyn makes a start on those nails.
That's all right. And that, just get that.
'They had really long toenails, didn't they?'
-They'd curled right around.
Now the Junior Vets check Raleigh's unusual teeth.
He hasn't got any teeth at the top. He has a hard pad.
And his bottom teeth come up. They touch the hard pad.
Is that why the shape of their mouth's like that?
-Cos that bit's rounded?
-Yeah. That's hard gum.
He picks up the grass and grinds like that.
-They are a bit long.
-Do you think these are a bit long?
Because Raleigh eats mainly grass at the farm,
the Junior Vets need to help grind down his teeth a bit.
-Just put it here.
He won't feel a thing but it might make him a bit grumpy.
-Have we got these on because he's probably going to spit?
Be careful, girls. You're within striking distance.
They have to dribble it onto the wee disc when it's spinning
so his mouth is moist and the disc cool so it doesn't get too hot.
-So, we're nice and smooth there.
-It's really furry.
We'll let Raleigh get back to his friends.
If you get out the way, girls,
-I think he will probably get up and run along.
Ah, more customers. Robyn's not too keen.
I'm a bit scared in case I get kicked or spat at or something.
-But Bonte confidently finishes up.
-Don't be shy.
We'll go nice and quick because Lucifer's a little bit nervous.
Impressive, Bonte, and finishing off there with a bit of nail polish.
OK, apparently that's antibiotic spray to stop any infections.
-I knew that.
-Shall we just let him run? Do you want to open the gate?
Done. Satisfied customers all with neat, comfy feet and tidy mouths.
Well, almost. We'll have you next time, Drake.
It felt like...another once-in-a-lifetime thing.
So what do you think, Andy?
The Junior Vets have both done really well.
You could see when we started moving alpacas that they were a bit
afraid of them, a bit afraid of being kicked or spat on but Bonte,
you know, she really got in there.
I think that shows really good progress.
On alpaca pedicures, Bonte is the winner today.
At the start, it was quite hard to get them in but I think we managed.
It was a bit scary when the grey one just ran at you.
I thought it was going to spit and I didn't want it to go in my hair!
The Junior Vets are now all back at vet school
in their nice clean scrubs and not a germ in sight.
And they know what's coming now.
I'm about to name my standout Vets Of The Day and then line up
extra work for those who didn't stand out quite so much.
I think you're starting to realise the work isn't just about
having a strong stomach when you're in the middle of an operation.
It's all about sensitivity and understanding
the feelings of the patients and their owners, often.
And our winners today have been chosen on that basis.
Josh and Molly didn't let dirty work get in the way of helping
tiny foal Poppy and mum Rebecca.
Josh's gentle touch was so impressive today.
Nyatepe and Jamie also had a lovely bedside manner
as they tried to solve Isla the dog's mystery illness.
Great patient care from Jamie.
And Robyn and Bonte showed lots of bravery as they rounded up
and helped treat galloping alpacas
and brilliant animal handling skills from Bonte.
I'm doing something slightly different this time.
We're not choosing a team.
I'm going to single out individuals.
-..Jamie - you are my three Vets Of The Day.
Congratu... Come on, let's have a big round of applause.
Come on! Whoo! Well done! All right! You three, Junior Vets!
Great work by all, but three standouts.
-It feels amazing.
-I can't believe we won.
Tidy work, you three. You three, get tidying!
Fancy getting vetting yourself?
Get over to the CBBC website right now
and you'll find a special patient needing your expert help.
Next time on Junior Vets, a birth in a barn,
major surgery for an old pooch
and super-huge, super-fast birds need their medicine.