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Hello, the vets.
Smells of what?
I'm Stacey Dooley, and when it comes to pets,
I just cannot get enough.
But sometimes, they do get sick,
and when that happens, they can come to places like this,
where vets are on hand to bring back waggy tails and happy purrs.
Meet passionate pet lover Cheryl...
And that is how she broke it in the first place.
..the biggest softie of them all, gentle James...
Come on, Smallie, 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.
Oh, look at that. Wow, that was a snog.
They're the vets with The Pets Factor.
Coming up on today's show...
Cheryl performs some serious surgery to repair Coco's dodgy knee...
Every time she tries to walk, her kneecap dislocates.
..James helps supersize Ellie take the weight of her aching bones...
We need to get her some swimming badges, don't we?
..and Rory hits the road to help a hedgehog
who's got into a bit of a prickle.
Yeah, that's looking quite nasty,
and actually, it's going further down as well.
First, we kick off in Essex with Cheryl.
Hello! Come on in!
She's one of the smiliest vets around.
She loves all her patients.
Ask her to pick her favourite...
..and she can't.
They can be furry, hairy, slippery, I don't care.
All animals are special.
But some patients are extra special,
and Coco the King Charles Cavalier is one of them.
Cavaliers are the best dogs ever.
I've got one myself, and Coco,
she's just got the biggest, saddest eyes I've ever seen.
And right now, Coco's got good reason
to be looking down in the dumps.
Most dogs are born with a groove.
But not Coco.
She's missing the groove in the bone where her kneecap should fit.
That means her knee slips out of place, so she can't walk properly,
let alone dance.
Coco needs to boogie on down to the vets
to help her feel groovy.
Coco's owners, David and Tina, run a dogsitting business,
so she's always got plenty of pals around.
But Coco loves her family most.
In the morning, she will get in the bed, cuddle you.
She just wants to be loved.
Because of her knee, Coco struggles with stairs,
and although she joins in with the other dogs,
she will slow down as she gets older.
It's better to have the operation now, while she's 16 months,
rather than four or five or six years of age,
when it will be harder to do.
Back at the vets, the X-ray clearly shows Coco's problem.
Her left kneecap is out of place.
So, it should be just like this one, the right one,
top of her knee and this one's moved to a different position,
which means that she can't bear weight properly
and it's constantly moving.
So, what we're going to do today is
deepen the place where her kneecap should sit,
so that her kneecap can no longer dislocate.
Morning! It's Coco!
-Look, it's Cheryl!
-Good morning, Coco!
I've known Coco since she was eight weeks old,
and her knee's been a problem for a long time.
We really need to sort it out.
It's OK, Coco, don't worry!
She's got such worrier eyes, hasn't she?
-You'll be fine.
You know we'll look after her, treat her like a precious baby.
When an owner leaves their pet with you,
they're trusting you to look after them properly,
and that's a really big responsibility.
You're going to be fine, my baby girl.
Come on, Coco. Good girl!
The pressure's really on for Cheryl,
to do everything she can for this much-loved pet.
Come on, big man!
Let's go to Bristol now, to see James the vet.
There are more than 20 staff at this busy Somerset practice...
-One, two, three!
..all working hard to help pets in need.
One of the best things about this job is the team.
You look like Noddy.
Cos I could have made that as it said.
It's really good.
We have a lot of fun, but we also work really hard.
I totally rely on them.
-How have you got a hair in there?
-It's a dog hair.
There it is. It's there, don't move now.
-Aww! Did you get it?
-I think that was skin.
-I think I need a doctor.
What?! It really hurt!
Do I need to go to hospital?
But as well as complex surgeries,
this practice offers all sorts of alternative treatments for pets,
Hydro is ace.
When dogs are struggling to walk,
this treatment really gets them on the move again,
and our hydro nurse George is boss at it.
We even had a cat in there.
London fashion show, eat your heart out.
This is a catwalk, isn't it?
But next in line for the hydro treatment
is Ellie the Leonberger.
And at 46 kilos, she could be a bit of a handful.
As a young pup, jet-setter Ellie loved to travel.
She's been to loads of different countries.
But as time goes by,
poor old Ellie's joints are seizing up,
and she's struggling to stay on the move.
So, Ellie's travel plans are now on hold.
These days, she's much happier lying around on one of her four beds.
She's a real diva dog, is Ellie.
She doesn't like getting her feet wet.
She doesn't like walking. She'll walk about six feet,
she'll do her business and then, "Ooh, can I go home now?"
Shall we go back now? Come on, then. Now she's keen.
She does struggle a little bit getting up,
and when we come back, even from a short walk,
she can walk with a bit of a limp.
It seems the years have taken their toll on poor old Ellie,
so it's off to the vets.
As Ellie gets older, her muscles have weakened,
but if anyone can help her, it's our hydro nurse, George.
Before Ellie has her water work-out,
George needs to see her strut her stuff,
so she can suss out exactly what the problem is.
I'm having a look at her,
and I'm just seeing the way that she moves her hips.
She is swinging her hips slightly over to that right-hand side.
So, Ellie, it looks like there is work to be done here,
but you're going to have to get your feet wet.
Shall we go and have a swim?
I'm not sure how we're going to get her in this water,
but maybe I'll have to go for a swim as well.
-Stick around to see if the team can persuade Ellie...
-Come on in!
..to take to the waters.
It's really scary, isn't it?
She's like, "I'll go around the side."
And Cheryl gets a work-out fixing Coco's slippery kneecap.
This is actual physical work.
That's why I didn't do arms yesterday at the gym.
Time to see vet Rory.
When he was a teenager, he used to volunteer at a wildlife hospital.
And now, he's taken the day off work
to go back there and help out.
I used to go every week when I was a kid at school.
It'll be nice to see some wildlife. I don't see much in London.
This is Oak And Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre.
It helps thousands of sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals
Rory! Long time no see!
Serena set up the wildlife hospital in 1994,
and has known Rory since he was just 14.
We've got quite a few.
This is mainly hedgehogs.
We've got sheds and sheds of them.
It's a busy time for hedgehogs at the centre,
and they've currently got 125 prickly patients.
Hey! Look at you!
Obviously, I love domestic pets,
but getting up close and personal with a wild animal,
that's the best.
You are a little escape artist, aren't you?
Each hedgehog at the hospital needs cleaning out every day.
Knock, knock, room service!
Rory needs to roll back the years and roll up his sleeves.
All the smelly stuff.
I never got bored of looking after wild animals when I was a teenager.
I've lost count of how many I cleaned out over the years.
Throwing it everywhere, of course.
You're making more of a mess, Rory.
Maybe you should stick to vet work.
Go on! Yeah, you can do it. Go on!
Go on! Go on!
Yeah, there we go!
Whilst you're here,
any chance of you looking at a couple other patients,
-if you don't mind?
-Not a problem at all.
Come on then, little one.
Gus the hedgehog was found in someone's garden
in the middle of the day.
If anybody sees a hedgehog out in the daytime, instantly,
alarm bells ring. You know, hedgehogs are nocturnal,
they shouldn't be out in the daytime.
Luckily, he was picked up by the person,
and that's when we discovered it's a horrible, nasty wound and abscess.
Yeah, that's looking quite nasty,
and actually, it's going further down as well,
just this bit here.
-I mean, it looks like it's already starting to heal.
I expect someone's been cutting their grass with a strimmer,
and just not noticed this little fellow in the undergrowth.
It's something we see quite a lot.
With his wounds on the mend,
all this poorly hedgehog needs to do now is pile on the pounds
to build up his strength.
Weight was at 836. That's....
I hope that's gone up, because it is quite thin.
All right, trouble, 836 to...
That's how much weight it has put on in four days!
More than 100g?
Gus is really putting the 'hog' in hedgehog!
And if he keeps eating at that rate,
he'll be ready for release very soon.
It's lovely to see him.
It's been absolutely fantastic having him here for the day.
Very proud of what he's achieved as well.
It's going to be fine. You'll be back out in no time.
Hi! Caught you!
Time to get back to Essex with Cheryl and Coco the Cavalier.
She's about to undergo some major knee surgery.
Coco needs to improve her groove - the groove in her kneecap, that is -
so she can boogie on down with all her friends.
Of course I want to do my best for every patient
that comes through the door,
but I know Coco and her owners really well,
so it just adds to the pressure.
-Good girl, scary bit.
Once Coco's anaesthetised, it will be down to vet nurse Nick
to make sure this beloved pet gets through the operation OK.
And with Cheryl scrubbed in, the team are ready to go.
So, every time she tries to walk, her kneecap pushes out of place,
so it dislocates.
So, her kneecap is in, and then every time she tries to walk,
it goes out, and then it goes in, and then it goes out.
Coco's kneecap should fit neatly into its groove.
But as Cheryl gets inside,
it's plain to see why it keeps slipping out.
Wow, it's really shallow.
If you're squeamish, look away now!
This is where her kneecap is meant to sit,
so it's meant to be, like, really deep
and you can see that, basically, there's, like, no groove.
So, we can just deepen this groove,
and that will be the only procedure that we need to perform,
We're definitely going to be giving Coco her groove back.
Cool! Have we got our hacksaw?
Yep, you heard it right.
It's the only way Cheryl can cut through the bone
and create this new groove.
Oh, wrong way around.
Blade needs to go on the outside.
Don't worry, Nick.
I guess it's not everyday you need a hacksaw in an operating theatre.
Glamorous assistant, aren't you?
Second time lucky,
and Cheryl can start widening the groove for Coco's kneecap.
We're getting up close on the op now,
so look away if you need to.
You don't realise that this is actual physical work.
That's why I didn't do arms yesterday at the gym.
I am very impressed with you, Cheryl.
Cheryl thinks she's made the groove the right size,
but she needs to test Coco's kneecap
to make sure it will stay in place.
We have deepened the groove, and now the patella is sitting in place,
like, really well, so that's really good.
It's got a nice ridge so it can't pop out,
and now we're going to do what's called
the imbrication of the fascia lata,
which is the second stage of the operation.
Imbrication of the fascia lata is a fancy stitch.
It keeps everything tightened and in place.
With the fascia lata expertly imbricated, the op is almost over.
Now it's finally done and it's all gone well.
Now I'm really, really relieved.
So Coco's probably going to feel a little bit drowsy when she wakes up,
and a little bit uncomfortable. Then she should feel like,
"Wow, I can walk with a straight leg!"
Stick around to see how Coco gets on with her new and improved groove.
Excuse me, will you come down, please?
Time to get back to Bristol and catch up with James and Ellie.
This jet-setting Leonberger has been all over the world.
But her achy bones have put her travel plans on hold.
Today, she's going to have hydrotherapy for the first time,
which might just help get her back on the move.
So, the treadmill is almost like going to the gym for the first time
and doing weights, so it's quite a hard exercise for her to do.
Well, Ellie and exercise don't really mix,
so George has really got her work cut out
to try and get her on that treadmill.
You coming in? She's like, "I'll go around the side."
Come on then, come this way!
-Want to come see Mummy?
-That's a good girl!
But after a reluctant start, Ellie is ready to go.
The resistance is going to help build the muscle up.
It's a bit like when you go to the swimming bath
and you're doing breaststroke.
That sort of feeling going through.
So it's still quite difficult.
She's still going to be toning her muscles.
Ellie will feel much lighter in water.
She's going to exercise these achy legs without being in pain.
So she is really flexing these back legs.
-It must feel nice. At long last, you can walk like you used to.
It looks like Ellie's starting to enjoy this.
I knew you were a diva dog, and now you have your own spa day.
You're a pampered pooch.
Well done! That's your first one complete.
It's going to take a few weeks of these sessions
before Ellie will feel any difference.
But just a week later,
and this old girl is taking it all in her stride.
She's pulling in the crowds.
Hi! How are we doing?
-How is she getting on?
Swimming very easily.
She looks very happy now, doesn't she?
My very first patient was a Leonberger,
so I have a real soft spot for this breed.
They are such gorgeous dogs.
So have you seen a difference in her already, or...?
Her first day or so, she did seem to be less stiff certainly.
Cos she's only had...
This is only her second session yet,
so we're sort of at the very beginning.
And after a few more sessions like this, it shouldn't be too long
before Ellie can enjoy her jet-setting lifestyle again.
That deserves a...
I don't know what we give them, a big medal,
so we need to get her some swimming badges, don't we?
Let's get back to Essex and catch up with Cheryl and Coco the Cavalier.
Coco's had a major operation to try and fix the problem with her knee.
It went perfectly.
Come on, Coco.
And now, wearing a collar to stop her licking her wounds...
..Coco's ready for home.
Would you like to go into room three?
-She has been patient of the day.
-Has she really?
-Yes, she has!
Her tail is wagging...
Coco's going to need lots of TLC,
but I know her owners will definitely be up for that.
And a month later,
well, she's loving life!
Coco is doing brilliantly!
She's now running around, although limping around on three legs,
so hoping the next couple of weeks, she'll be 100% better.
And it's not just Coco who is full of beans.
Her doggy pals are happy to see her back on her feet,
even if she is only using three of them at the moment.
She's got a very smiley face and a bounce. She's a wonderful dog.
Coco certainly has her groove back.
What an adorable little dog she is,
and so lovely to see her running about with her mates.
Now, I wonder how Ellie's getting on after those hydro sessions.
Well, this old girl still needs a bit of help,
but she's already back to her jet-setting ways.
You should have all your swimming badges by now, Ellie.
Keep up the good work, girl!
Next time on The Pets Factor...
Vet Cat uncovers a case of mistaken identity
for Rocket the rabbit...
That looks a bit girlie to me.
Are you a girl?
..and James plays midwife to pregnant pig Dotty.
That piglet is seconds old. We just watched him come out.
Cheryl performs some serious surgery to repair Coco's dodgy knee. James helps Ellie the leonberger take some weight of her aching bones with hydrotherapy, while Rory hits the road to help a hedgehog who has got into a bit of a prickle.