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I'm Stacey Dooley. I'm mad about animals,
so it's upsetting to see them sick or injured.
But when they are, help is at hand at places like this,
where amazing vets work their magic to help make them better.
Meet passionate pet lover Cheryl...
And that is how she broke it in the first place.
..the biggest softie of them all, gentle James.
My name's Julie.
Come on, Swanny, 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. Oh, wow, that was a snog.
They're the vets with The Pets Factor.
Coming up on today's show...
Cat the vet helps a hungry hound who's piling on the pounds...
Because you're not able to exercise him, he is getting too big.
..it's a testing time for Rory...
..when he goes back to school...
Oh, sweetie! OK, you volunteered yourself.
..and James needs a steady hand to perform a very delicate procedure.
One slip now and my needle is going to go straight into his eye.
First, we're in Sheffield with Cat the vet.
Hi, guys, you all right?
She treats animals of all shapes and sizes.
Oh, it's not that bad.
-From wriggly rats...
-Hang on, hang on, hang on, hang on.
-..to humongous hounds.
The small animals are cute,
but sometimes they can be hard to keep hold of.
Oh, you are a wriggly wriggle. Eh...
Right, come back.
I like the big chunky ones, who aren't going to give me the slip.
So she'll have no trouble with today's patient.
Winston is a bruiser of a British bulldog,
and the latest addition to Michael's family.
He's 11 months.
Got him from RSPCA Sheffield five months ago.
Yeah, he's one of the family!
But this much-loved pet is eating them out of house and home.
Like his namesake, the old Prime Minister, Winston Churchill,
this bulldog is British through and through.
He loves all things British.
Especially the food.
But that big appetite comes at a cost.
He's piling on the pounds and that's hurting his dodgy hips,
making him clumsy...
..and the size of a small house.
Hopefully vet Cat can help this big boy out.
Winston! Come on, then! Let's have you. Good boy!
Just from watching him walk,
it's really clear that Winston's weight is holding him back.
Bless him, he's not the most elegant of movers.
He's not very good on them, is he? He's really quite pottering.
-It's mostly his back legs.
And he's a bit slobbery.
I'm covered in Winston's slime already! We've only just met.
Right, let me listen, see if I can hear your heart
amongst all that panting.
He's got a double whammy, really, because he's got these bad knees.
-And a bad hip.
-And he's got bad hips as well, hasn't he?
Because you're not able to exercise him,
-he is getting too big, isn't he?
-Yep, big boy.
If he can lose weight, life will get easier on his joints.
If he doesn't do well on these legs, then we are going to be looking at
something like hip replacements, aren't we,
-which is a really big surgery.
Hip replacement surgery is a major operation.
And Winston's got his dodgy knees as well,
which means he can't exercise, so he has got to go on a diet.
Have you come in to see our nurses about his weight?
-That may well be something that's really,
really worth your while, is to come see them, they'll weigh him,
they'll measure him, they'll give you calorie requirements.
Owner Michael has already been holding back on those treats,
because last time Winston was weighed, he was a whopping 33 kilos.
He's down to 31, so he's making steady progress.
Keep going, because he is losing weight and that is going to be the
key to his treatment, really, above and beyond everything else.
Oh, Winston, don't slobber on your new pal.
Anyway, he'll be back in a few weeks to see whether his new diet
does the trick.
Come on, big man!
Next, we're with James the vet, in Bristol.
The team here work round-the-clock to help the city's pets.
But when energy levels are low...
Thank you very much.
..they have a secret weapon.
-# Happy birthday to you! #
The ability to bake a good one is an essential skill in this practice.
And the best thing about having 38 members of staff
is that we get 38 birthdays!
And someone else with a birthday looming is Ollie the rabbit.
So, the last thing on his wish list is a trip to the vets.
He'd much rather be celebrating his seventh birthday doing his favourite things.
Chilling in front of the telly box and munching on, yup,
you guessed it, bananas.
He's bananas for bananas all right, but poor Ollie isn't seeing them
in their full golden glory.
Cos there's something wrong with one of his eyes.
He needs to see James at the vet's.
Owner Tanya has spotted a faint mark on the surface of Ollie's eyeball.
-It's quite hard to see just with the naked eye, isn't it?
-It is. Yeah.
-You've done well to spot that.
-How I've noticed it sometimes is when
-light's caught it a certain way...
-..and it's started to look
just like he had a little flat spot.
Ollie might have scratched his eye on a piece of hay
and it hasn't healed, so now there's an ulcer.
I can help, but it's not particularly pleasant.
What we're going to do is put some local anaesthetic into the eye,
and then with a very sharp, fine needle, I'm just going to scratch
the surface of his eye. And what we're really doing with that
is to try and stimulate the surface of the eye to start healing again.
If he is a little bit nervous with that, we might actually be safer
to give him a very light sedation so that he doesn't move at the wrong minute.
He has had a sedation before.
-And he didn't come out of that very well at all.
-Did he not?
-He was wobbly for hours and hours and hours.
It's 36 hours before I could get him to eat.
-Yes, so obviously it's very difficult.
This is a tough call.
Sedating Ollie might put his life at risk, but if he's awake
and he gets stressed, he might jump.
Not ideal if I have a needle near his eye.
I'm going to borrow him off of you, then, OK?
All right? Don't worry, we'll take really good care of him.
Poor Tanya. Gosh, I hope Ollie is brave today.
The first thing James needs to do is put some dye in Ollie's eye
so he can get a better look at his ulcer.
We've got some bright green fluorescence
that indicate that the surface of the eye has been damaged,
which is why it's glowing so bright green.
Now he can see where the problem is, time for some anaesthetic drops.
We're going to make sure this guy is totally numb.
Ollie shouldn't feel it,
but he will see me coming towards his eye with a needle.
If he jumps, that would be a disaster.
I hope you've got a steady hand, James.
If you could have the eye just facing me, that would be great.
Stay with us to find out.
Hey, are you there? I'm talking to you.
Back to Sheffield now, with vet Cat and weighty Winston the bulldog.
That's a good boy.
The excess baggage this big boy is carrying is
affecting his hips and making even walking a struggle.
Winston's dodgy joints are only going to get worse if he carries on
piling on the kilos,
so we've got to get on top of this problem and quick.
Michael's been trying to keep Winston's munching in check
for the past week.
So hopefully those scales will be tipping in the right direction.
-Right, Winston, it's your turn.
-Come on, sweetheart!
Can we go on the scales?
Nurse Ashley's here to weigh Winston.
Has he continued to fight the flab?
Come on, then.
30...1. No, 32.2.
-OK, come on, then.
The scales aren't lying.
Winston's weight has bounced back up by a kilo,
in just a week.
So, he should be around 27 kilos.
He currently is 32.5, so he's, you know,
5.5 kilos overweight.
-That's what's sitting on his back end.
Which is where we don't want, and we want to try and avoid it.
This is not good.
Winston's weight is heading in the wrong direction.
It should be going down and it's actually going up.
Time for a wake-up call.
I want you to pick this up.
-This is how much he weighs - overweight.
For every kilo that he's overweight,
it's the equivalent to a stone for a human.
So, you know, he's looking at being 5st overweight.
So, we want to try and reduce that.
I didn't think he was that much overweight, but you do spoil
your dogs, don't you?
But nurse Ashley has some special food...
..that should help to get this greedy bulldog back on track.
So, this food is a weight loss food.
It's also got all your joint supplements in it as well,
which helps to reduce inflammation that's in his bones,
which therefore helps him to be walking better.
-Your task is to lose some weight!
It's been a tough weigh-in for this hunky hound.
-See you later.
But Michael's confident that he can help Winston win his battle of the bulge.
Yeah, you've got to start looking after him now, losing his weight,
more exercise, less food, healthier food.
He'll be running about soon again.
Stick around to see how Winston's waistline measures up.
Oh, no, don't eat the tape measure,
I know you're hungry but that's excessive!
And it's the moment of truth for James and Ollie the rabbit.
This is the delicate bit now, so let's go really careful.
Time to see Rory in London.
Rory's grown up surrounded by pets,
so loves it when families bring theirs in to see him.
Look at his back, you see it's really flaky?
-How do you guys think you're going to get on putting drops
-in those eyes at home?
They say never work with children and animals,
but that sounds right up my street!
I'm a big kid at heart, and I obviously love animals.
Oh, you're just adorable.
So, today he's swapping the routine of the surgery...
..for a chance to go back to school.
-Hi, guys, how are you doing?
The pupils here already look after the school's resident rabbits:
Nutmeg, Caramel and Toffee.
But the latest additions to the register
are these four adorable chicks that hatched just three weeks ago.
Oh, how cute!
When chicks are this new, they're really vulnerable,
so it's really important to check them over today
and make sure the pupils are looking after them just right.
Who wants to come and grab one?
The chicks are currently living in this nursery box,
until they grow big enough to be put outside in a coop.
First things first, they need a weight check.
So, they are 440g.
who can work out how much one weighs?
That's really, really good.
Well, that's an A* in Maths and top marks for the chicks.
So, let's start with this little sleepy one, shall we?
But how well will they cope with a hands-on vet check?
-Look at her.
The way to look at their wings is just, really gently,
put your fingers underneath, like that, and pull them out very,
very gently. And you can see all those feathers
are looking really, really nice.
When you're looking after chicks,
you have to be incredibly gentle, as these babies are so fragile.
Next thing to check is their eyes.
They're nice and clear, and also they're not watering,
they're not crying, because if they're crying, something could be wrong, yeah?
Not all kids are lucky enough to have animals at home, so having them
at school's a really nice way of getting hands-on experience
and learning how to look after them.
Rory wants to check the heart condition next.
But his first patient is losing her patience.
Tell you what, she's getting a little bit stressed out,
so why don't we trade her for one of her friends?
Oh, sweetie. OK you volunteered yourself, that's fine.
Let's have a little listen. So, their hearts are going really,
really quickly. How fast do you reckon a chick's heartbeat goes?
How many beats do you reckon it does per minute?
High five. 200.
That's nearly twice as fast as these guys' tickers.
So far, Rory's checked the chicks' heads...
# Shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes! #
When you put your finger underneath them,
they should grab onto your finger, they should be able to.
Oh, hello sweetie, she's just going to fall off.
They should be able to just grab on and balance.
Just like that.
So, the chicks have all passed with flying colours.
Now it's up to these guys to help them grow into big feathery hens.
I will make sure they're clean and healthy,
and I'll keep looking after them.
I'm gonna look after all the pets in the school,
and teach them how to be strong.
And you never know, I might have inspired some vets of the future.
Excuse me, can you come down, please?
Let's head back to James in Bristol.
It's this banana-loving bunny's birthday.
but that hasn't got him out of coming to the vets.
James is attempting to deal with a nasty ulcer
in Oliie the rabbit's eye.
I've got to scratch the surface of his eye with a sharp needle
to encourage new tissue to grow.
If you could have the eye just facing me, that would be great.
But this is going to be really difficult.
Ollie has to be awake whilst I do it,
and he has to stay totally still.
James has numbed Ollie's eye, so he shouldn't feel a thing.
But if he does flinch, genius James has a cunning plan.
What we're going to do is just put this needle through the tip of the
cotton bud very gently, so that just the very tip of the needle pokes
through, so that then when I scratch onto the surface of the eye,
if Ollie does suddenly move,
hopefully, it means that the needle won't go any further
than the end of this cotton bud.
Now, obviously, this is only a job that trained vets can do.
This is the delicate bit now, so let's just go really careful.
Because one slip now and my needle's gonna go straight into his eye.
If you're squeamish, look away now!
Aw, he's being so brave.
-He's thinking this is a rubbish birthday present.
It seems gruesome but, left alone,
this could get worse, and Ollie could risk losing his eye.
But this brave bunny has a vet with nerves of steel.
He's done it.
Look at that. What a good boy!
My heart's really going.
Phew! Thank goodness.
So it's three cheers all around for birthday bunny Ollie, and owner
Tanya will be chuffed to bits, too.
-Thank you very much.
-Nice to see you, no worries, take care.
-Good luck, Ollie.
I really didn't want him to have sedation. It's...
like I said, they don't react very well to it at all,
but he seems to be perfectly happy, doesn't he?
So, time to head home for a slice of birthday cake -
banana birthday cake, of course.
Back to Sheffield now to see vet Cat
and Winston the beefy British bulldog.
Five weeks on, he's back with owners Michael and Lesley
for his big weigh-in.
-Look at that.
Hello, big man! So, thank you ever so much for bringing him in
for his weight check today.
Let's get him on the scales and see what they say.
Winston knows the drill,
and hopefully this time it's going to be V for victory
for this very British bulldog.
-Lovely. So, I think we're going just about 31 kilos, aren't we?
-He's a good boy.
Yay! This is great news. Winston has lost a whole kilo,
so hopefully his weight will continue to head in the right
direction - down instead of up.
Have you noticed a difference in him?
Yeah, he's running more, up and down stairs every two minutes,
-It just shows you, doesn't it, that something as simple
as losing weight has such an impact on absolutely everything.
Where he's losing the weight is important, too.
Time to take your measurements, Winston.
Oh, no, don't eat the tape measure!
I know you're hungry but that's excessive!
Also, his chest has gone down a couple of centimetres.
Right, now, the big one, the tummy.
That's amazing, four whole centimetres.
-Has he lost?
-Less on his abdomen.
Not only are we giving Winston a better quality of life,
we're giving him the chance of a longer life as well.
Yeah! You are a treasure, aren't you?
Thank you very much. Lovely to see you.
Thanks ever so much for bringing him in. Thank you!
Slimming down has turned a weary Winston...
..into the boisterous chap that he should be.
Oh, much different dog.
He's enjoying it, he's running, he's chasing people.
He never did it before, because his legs would pack up.
But, yeah, now he's enjoying it, running about.
So, love him to bits.
Ah, good old Winston.
He's strutting his stuff now and well on his way to fighting fit.
And if you're wondering how Ollie the rabbit is doing...
..he's hoppily back at home with his owner, Tanya,
and his eye is fully healed.
He's so happy now, he just seems to be bouncing around all the time,
he's into everything, he's just sort of seemed so much more relaxed.
And he finally got those banana-y birthday treats.
Next time on The Pets Factor...
..James throws was a party for gentle giant puppy Derek...
I can't quite get my head around the fact that he's already so big!
..and Cheryl treats a tiny hamster...
He's so cute, he doesn't bite.
..who needs a big operation.
It's really, really, really hard to stitch the skin,
because it's so paper-thin.