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I'm Stacey Dooley and we are back
for another series of The Pets Factor,
checking in with awesome vets
helping sick pets get back on their paws
again and the best part for me is I get to hang out with loads of
cool animals, like these guys.
Meet passionate pet lover, Cheryl.
And that is how she broke it in the first place.
The biggest softie of them all, gentle James.
Hello Stu. Come on, come for a little swim.
The vet who talks to the animals, Cat.
You are a snorty pig!
Oh, no, don't eat the tape measure.
And the one with all the best moves, Rory.
Look at that... Oh, wow, that was a snog!
They're the vets with The Pets Factor.
Coming up on today's show -
James's patient, Ziggy, has a poorly tail,
which is giving him plenty to bark about.
Rory has a worrying emergency on his hands.
Good morning. Morning.
And vet, Cat, helps some hero dogs to save lives.
You're such a good boy, aren't you?
First, we're off to Bristol to catch up with James.
Gentle James always has a smile and a cuddle for the animals that come
-to see him.
There is nothing that brightens up my day more than a waiting room
full of waggy tails. I love it.
We all do.
And James's patient today is loving
the attention he's getting at the practice.
Hi, there, have you got Ziggy?
Hello. Aren't you sweet?
Oh, yeah, hello.
This lazy lurcher loves lying about on the sofa,
but when Ziggy hears "walkies",
it really gets his tail in a spin and he's ready for take off.
Unfortunately, though, it sometimes gets him into trouble.
And a recent walk in the woods was no exception,
but this time it's serious.
So, it's off to the vets to see if they can fix it.
Right, so, do you just want to tell me what's been going on?
Yep. He went in the woods yesterday.
Didn't realise till I got home.
So does he have a very waggy tail?
-He smacks it against things and then...
Yeah. It's quite a common problem that we have with dogs with quite
thin skin and a very waggy tail basically,
so every time the tail hits up
against a wall or a chair or something it...
Oh, hello. Hello. Hello.
Every time it hits against something, it causes a wound.
What you doing up there?
It's a case of a dog who's happy for his own good.
He's wagged his tail so much that it just won't heal.
And the solution to this might seem a little bit drastic.
I'm going to suggest that we actually amputate his tail tip,
which I know sounds a little bit extreme but as soon as you get a cut
there, one wag of his tail...
And it's not pleasant for him because
he's constantly got a wound there that hurts.
Ah, poor Ziggy,
it's not quite as bad as it sounds
because I'm only taking a small portion of his tail,
but I'll still make sure he's plenty to wag.
See you later.
You be good! Don't be naughty.
Did you hear that, Ziggy? "Don't be naughty."
I'm sure he won't be.
-Come on Zigs.
Just give your little bottom a push.
There we go. That's it.
But did anyone mention he doesn't like to be on his own?
He's going to bark the house down, I think, isn't he?
Ah, Ziggy! He's not in any pain, but
I think he just wants some attention.
It looks like it's going to be a lively morning at the practice.
That was bliss!
I might go for a little nap.
Don't worry, Ziggy, you'll be getting plenty of attention soon.
Come on, big man!
Next, we're off to see Rory in South London.
Although he works at a small practice, some days can be nonstop.
This must be Betty.
I'm still a growing lad and if I get
a spare five minutes all I want to do is eat.
And my favourite sandwich?
Salami, salad and salt and vinegar crisps.
It defo needs a bit of mayo on that, though.
But tonight there's no time to even think about food...
..as an emergency case has just come through the door.
-There we go.
-This must be Ruskin.
Yeah, that's Ruskin.
Owners Olivia, Amy and their mum Rebecca have brought in Ruskin,
who's feeling awful right now.
Like every cat, when Ruskin's got to go...
..he's got to go.
And although Ruskin is always busting,
he's been struggling to do his business.
So, he needs to make another little visit to Rory at the vets.
-What's going on?
-He's not happy.
He was sick a couple of times.
I think just not really himself.
Ah, you're so petrified, aren't you, sweetie?
Honestly, he's frightened of his own shadow.
This is all just too much.
He's got quite a large bladder.
I'm actually going to try and express that.
If I can just pop him over to you,
just put a hand on him to make it him a bit for comfortable.
Ruskin's bladder feels really hard and swollen,
so Rory thinks it's time to give him
a gentle squeeze to help get the wee out.
This is probably going to go all over my hand.
-I know! I know!
-Despite pressing on his bladder, nothing is coming out.
-..that he may be blocked.
-OK, he might have a blocked bladder.
One more time, fella.
RUSKIN MEOWS LOUDLY
-I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
The situation is becoming really serious.
If I can't unblock him,
he needs to go to an emergency out-of-hours service.
-Oh, my God. OK.
-So it's quite serious.
Hopefully, we're going to be able to do something now.
OK? He is nice and strong, but we need to get his bladder unblocked.
If I don't get that wee out of him super quickly,
his bladder could burst.
Or, those toxins could all build up,
go back into his blood and poison him.
Is that sore?
I am determined not to let this happen to Ruskin.
Later, Rory needs backup...
-Can I grab you, please?
..to save this desperately ill cat.
And James gears up for some messy surgery.
Tails bleed a lot.
So, we kind of have to act quite quick.
But first, let's see what's in store for vet, Cat, in Sheffield.
Cat always has a cool head when it
comes to sorting out the city's poorly pets.
And then you wrap her up, like a little piggy parcel!
There you go. It's like feeding a baby!
In this job, you need to think on your feet and expect the unexpected.
But today the waiting room is full of healthy dogs
who aren't here because they need help, they are here to help others.
So, we're here this morning because the pet blood bank are visiting and
they're a charity who come and see us at the practice once every month
and they collect blood from our patients.
The doggy donors here today probably
have no idea of the amazing job they are doing.
Cat, on the other hand, couldn't do without them.
We have emergencies all the time at the practice.
And sometimes, just like humans,
dogs need to be given blood to make them better.
I just want to order some pet red blood cells, please.
When this happens, we call the charity
and blood arrives within the hour.
It's a real life-saver.
And one of those life-savers is Hannah's dog, Tops the Greyhound.
He's just one of the many regular donors at the practice.
When Tops donates blood,
I think it's quite heroic.
And his family have a special reason to be so proud of him.
Our previous dog, Dusty, received some blood.
Dusty had a big operation to remove a tumour in his lung and without the
blood, basically, he wouldn't have survived the operation.
Now Tops is helping others like Dusty
and he's been giving his blood for two years.
Tops absolutely loves it.
He really enjoys it.
He's laid back.
When they actually do the procedure, he's almost dropping off to sleep.
He's so relaxed.
Today is Top's seventh donation and it looks like
he can't wait to get started.
Well, he's quite an expert at it now, isn't he?
You're all set, ready to go, aren't you Tops?
Ah, well done!
Tops knows the drill.
It's up on the table for a cuddle.
So, we just have to clean his skin so that it's nice and sterile.
He doesn't even notice the needle going in.
You're such a good boy, aren't you?
Now Tops gets to lie back and chill out.
So, we take just under a pint of blood.
Tops' is speeding along nicely at the moment.
Each bag of blood that Tops gives can be donated to four dogs.
So far he's saved at least 28 lives, which I think is incredible.
And Tops isn't the only hero here today,
11 dogs have come to the practice,
potentially saving 44 of their doggy pals.
Hi! How is he doing?
Was he very brave?
Pretty much slept the whole way through the donation.
-Chilled out boy.
-Having a lie on a lovely comfy bed and look at this,
It's like spa treatment.
He'll want to stay here all day.
He's absolutely loving this.
# We could be heroes... #
Who's a good boy?
It's all in a day's work for Tops
and he knows the best bit is still to come -
a tasty snack, a new toy and a cool neckerchief.
It's amazing thing that your dog can do, isn't it?
And as you can see, it doesn't take...it doesn't take much.
-It's not difficult, is it?
It doesn't hurt, even.
Does it make you proud of him, to think how many lives he's saved?
Mate, hey! I'm talking to you.
Time to get back to Bristol with James and Ziggy.
This noisy lurcher is about to have the tip of his poorly tail removed,
after cutting it in the woods.
A bit of sleepy juice there. Hopefully you'll go a bit more calm.
And now Ziggy is out for the count, the team are ready to go.
-Are you ready to chop off a tail?
-I'm ready to chop off the tail.
Without surgery, Ziggy will always be in pain with his wounded tail,
so the best option is for James to remove some of it.
But that's not as simple as it sounds.
The most important thing for this is
to get my initial incision the right shape.
So, it needs to be neat and it needs to heal as quick as possible.
If James doesn't get this right, though,
Ziggy might have to have further surgery
to trim even more of his precious tail.
Tails bleed a lot, so we kind of have to act quite quick.
Otherwise, the whole theatre just gets covered in blood.
-If you're squeamish, look away now!
I've got a few vessels that I've...
It's already starting to bleed quite a lot, as you can see.
James needs to stem the blood flow quickly...
..using forceps to clamp the vein.
You just end up with so much blood.
With the blood flow stopped,
he can safely remove the damaged section of Ziggy's tail.
This is precision work.
You can take it off, but you definitely can't put it back on.
Moment of truth.
There we go. That's our little tail.
With the damaged tip removed,
James now makes sure Ziggy's new-look tail
will make him the envy of his friends.
What we don't want him to do is to go out and bash his tail and
then everything is all opened back up again.
And that's a "tail" with a happy ending!
That's good, he can wake up.
I'm going to need your earplugs again, I think.
I think everyone is going to need their earplugs.
Enjoy the peace while you can,
because it's not long before Ziggy is ready for his grand finale.
ZIGGY "SINGS" ALONG TO NESSUN DORMA
I think it's time for Ziggy leave the building.
Here he is!
Oh, there you go!
-How are you?
-That's all he wanted.
How are you? Has he been noisy?
Well, I mean, I'd be lying if I said he's been sitting in his cage all
quiet, don't get me wrong. I think he's ready to come home.
Off you trot, Ziggy. Rest your new tail,
and you might want to give those vocal cords a rest as well.
Excuse me, will you come down, please?
Let's head back to London to see how
things are going with Rory and Ruskin.
Rory is in the middle of an emergency.
-Can I grab you, please?
Poor Ruskin, the four-year-old cat, is bursting for a wee.
But hasn't been able to get it all out.
He is very, very, very nervous.
I know, I know.
Rory and vet nurse, Zoe, are having one more go at gently squeezing his
belly to force the wee out.
This is definitely a job for vets only.
When a cat can't go to the toilet properly,
you know you're in trouble.
So if I can't get Ruskin to pee by pressing on his belly,
the only other option is a risky surgery.
But it looks like Rory's persistence is starting to payoff.
-Oh, he's done a wee...
Great. Well, that's really good news.
And finally, it's relief all round.
There we go, good.
Really, really good news.
Well done, you're being so good.
I was concerned that we weren't going to be able to do that.
That wee absolutely stinks,
but I cannot tell you how relieved I am to see it.
Look what mess you've made, eh?
That was all you. And poor Ruskin, he must be feeling so much better.
Time to deliver the good news to his anxious owners.
I've managed to make him pee.
He's actually chilled out a huge amount as well.
I think he was a little bit sore...
-Was he in pain?
-..a little bit sore in there.
-I've just completely emptied his bladder manually.
-And he did cover the floor, of course, but that's fine.
I'd much rather him do that.
Give him lots of love, girls.
-He's feeling a little bit better.
I think you can see, he's still sort of terrified.
-I think he is actually...
Not in pain.
Ruskin has been through a lot and he must be exhausted,
but with the help of some pain relief,
he'll be back to normal in no time.
MUSIC: Passport Home by JD Cooper
I'll tell you what, that's a busy end to the day,
but I'm so relieved that that wasn't blocked.
If that had been blocked, we'd have been in trouble and we'd be
here till gone ten o'clock.
Well done, Rory, mate, that is some top vetting.
Next, we're in Bristol to catch up with James and Ziggy the lurcher.
It's a week since Ziggy had his tail operation
and James's favourite noisy dog is back for a checkup.
Oh, mister. Now, then.
Oh, I've missed you.
Now then, chappy, let's have a look.
-That looks great, doesn't it?
I'm so pleased with that.
It's healed up brilliantly, and it's not going to split open again,
which was always the worry.
Now James is happy, he can remove Ziggy's stitches.
All right. Be brave, Ziggy.
Oh, moving target.
The cleverest dog.
Hang on. Three, two, one.
-What a brave boy.
Check out your new tail style, Ziggy.
Do you like your new tail?
Do you think it's the bee's knees?
Hey? For once, Ziggy is speechless.
Are you chatty? I spoke too soon.
-Bye. Bye, Ziggy.
Wow, Ziggy! You have got a right pair of lungs on you,
but it's good to see that tail wagging,
even if it is a little shorter.
Now, remember Ruskin,
the cat who couldn't go to the loo?
He's now well on the road to recovery,
and with lots of love from Olivia and Amy,
he's getting his appetite back, too.
Next time on The Pets Factor -
Cheryl performs some serious surgery to repair Coco's dodgy knee.
Every time she tries to walk, her kneecap dislocates.
And Rory hits the road to help a hedgehog
who's got into a bit of a "prickle".
Yeah. That's looking quite nasty.
Actually, it's gone fairly down as well.