The RSPCA rescue two flea-infested Alsatians whose owner ignores advice to get them treated and Tom Heap bottle-feeds a real life Bambi.
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Britain's animals are under threat.
All too often, our wildlife and domestic pets are victims of cruelty, persecution and neglect.
Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people trying to protect and care for them
right around the clock. This is Animal 24:7.
In the air, on land and in the water, Britain is a haven for animals,
but when they come up against man, their lives are often in danger.
From our cramped inner cities, from our fields and hedgerows, from moorland to coast and beyond,
Animal 24:7 is with the people working around the clock to save endangered wildlife
and protect vulnerable pets. These are their stories.
-Today on Animal 24:7...
-Oh, she's got a really nasty ear there.
Tara and Tiny - two Alsatians on the edge of being taken away.
You'll lose them and end up in court.
-An injured swan with a protective mate.
Just watch him, watch him. Easy, fella. Easy.
'And Bambi's on the bottle.'
Cor! Down in one. I don't know who he learned that from.
-Just like that.
-Is it real ale, though?
Pets can provide valuable companionship, especially for owners who live alone with their animals.
So when the RSPCA have to step in for the sake of the animal, it can be heartbreaking.
German Shepherd Tara and her six-year-old son Tiny live in a flea-infested flat.
Tiny's hair is falling out because he's being bitten by fleas, which he's allergic to.
Tara has a serious ear infection. Both dogs are downbeat and lethargic.
RSPCA inspector Vicky McDonald has spoken to their owner about their health before.
She's back to see if it has changed.
-Right, he's still got this problem, hasn't he?
-The hair he's lost there.
-Underneath as well.
-It's instantly clear nothing has.
-You've got more than one problem
-because you've got fleas on the dogs.
Dogs with an allergic reaction to fleas. And also because there are fleas on the dogs,
fleas are jumping off the dogs, laying eggs in your carpets...
-If one flea gets on that dog and has a nibble, it'll set it all off.
-That's what it starts from?
Yeah. So what you'll need to do is get back on top of it again on the dogs and in the house.
-Then, every couple of months do it with stuff from the vets.
-Tiny's skin is sore and infected.
-Tara's poorly ear is even worse.
-Oh, she's got a really nasty ear there. That really is chronic.
-We need to get to the vet tomorrow.
-I clean it out each morning, but it's just getting worse.
Steve seems to be taking on board all of Vicky's advice about getting Tiny and Tara treated,
-but it's vital he cleans their home, too.
-You need to treat the entire house for that.
If Housing can help you get somebody round to do that,
that'll probably be the best bet.
I'll try to catch up with you tomorrow and see how you got on. Or with the vet.
Tara and Tiny are clearly uncomfortable and need a vet.
Steve has had them since they were puppies and thinks a lot of them,
but he's been unable to afford to get them treated. Vicky decides to help him help his pets.
I'll leave it with you. Thanks for your time.
She'll be back in 24 hours to make sure these two dogs have had the treatment they need.
He's had the help and he's had the advice. He needs to get his animals to a vet.
If he doesn't, he could face prosecution.
Over the next few weeks, Vicky checks up on Tara and Tiny several times.
-Steve? Can you answer the door?
-Although the vets report that they have been in for treatment,
they've missed crucial follow-up visits. There's never anyone at home.
-Steve, are you home?
-Every time it's the same story.
-I can't see anything.
Finally, though, Vicky's persistence pays off.
After two months of phone calls and visits, the owner's home,
but it's not good news - Tara still has an ear infection
and Tiny has been reinfested with fleas and is now losing weight.
You really, really should have been back to the vet. You cannot leave these things untreated.
You're falling into the realms now of causing your dogs to suffer by not getting them the treatment.
You know they need it. You haven't made any attempts to get me here for help,
to get back to the vet's. I understand you've got bills, but we all have bills to pay
-and to get our pets to the vet when they need it.
-For the RSPCA, taking older dogs like Tara and Tiny
away from their home is a last resort. It would be a wrench for both owner and pet.
I'm going to give you a final chance, but this is going to be under caution today.
I'll issue you with a warning notice to get them treated and to get the follow-on treatment they need.
-If you don't...
-I'm going to lose me dogs.
-And end up in court.
-So this is your last chance. Do you understand?
-I shall see you later.
Four weeks later and Vicky's back to see Tara and Tiny.
While she's been on holiday, her colleagues have checked on the dogs and told her things are no better.
She can't get in touch with Steve, but she knows he hasn't been taking the dogs back to the vet.
It's all well and good doing the first visit, but if you don't do the follow-ups, you're wasting it.
The vet isn't telling you to go back other than because it's necessary.
Yet again, no one's home.
I'll have a look round the side.
I'm trying to either attract the attention of him or one of the dogs.
But the dogs are quite old and one's got an ear condition, so they probably won't hear me.
Vicky is now extremely concerned about the welfare of these dogs.
She calls the police to help get them out of their flea-ridden home.
But, to Vicky's disappointment, the dogs aren't there.
There's plenty of dog bowls around. It still smells of them. I think he got wind of me.
He knows that his chances are up.
This job is getting more and more frustrating.
It's already dragged on for 16 weeks and Tara and Tiny are still no closer to the treatment they need.
Still to come: Tara and Tiny's owner runs out of chances.
Things just aren't getting better and it feels like I constantly have to chase you.
I can't do that to them.
And the bizarre invention to keep a pigeon with two broken legs off his feet.
-It's the perfect couch potato's arrangement!
-That's exactly it.
Like us humans, animals can often form close family bonds, few more so than swans.
Swans mate for life, stay together all year round and both look after the young.
So when one gets hurt or injured, the whole family can suffer.
It's an idyllic scene.
A mother and father swan and their three cygnets,
quietly enjoying the tranquillity of the East Yorkshire countryside.
But all is not well.
The mother swan is seriously injured.
RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Leanne Honess has been called to check it over.
One swan we think was either shot or attacked by a dog.
It's reported to be covered in blood. We need to pull it off the river to investigate.
These swans are living on a remote part of the river. Two workmen repairing the bridge spotted them.
Yeah, I see. We just need to get him before he goes down there.
-Do these get fed by members of the public regularly?
-Quite possibly. Here they're coming now for bread.
-Exactly. Come on.
-The area is popular with dog walkers. Leanne's worried
-an attack by a pet could have damaged the swan's wing.
-If we get him to the bank,
-we can get them out.
-Swans are the largest of all water birds and can be dangerous to approach,
especially when injured or guarding their young. Leanne attempts to coax the injured bird to the shore.
I just don't want to go in there with my boots on and scare her over there too much,
-but she's not coming out otherwise.
-She has to opt for wet feet and eases her way into the stream.
She's been attacked. She's really scared. It's just a bit of patience.
If you keep throwing the bread in, it'll bring her over here.
-When I whack my hook round her, we can pull her out.
-Come on, girl.
Leanne needs to be careful. Swans are graceful creatures, but they can be aggressive.
-The mother's injured and her mate will try to protect her.
-She's just so wary.
-We've got to do this at some speed or as soon as I grab her...
-Will he attack you?
-I thought he would do. He's protecting her now.
-As soon as I grab her, he'll go.
Leanne's struggling to get close. With water coming over the tops of her boots,
one of the workmen offers to help.
-If I just put the hook round the swan's neck...
-Shove it round her neck and pull. But watch him.
-Repairing bridges is one thing, catching swans quite another.
-A first time for everything.
The family are a close-knit group. Will they be able to separate the injured bird?
I'll see if I can do anything from that side.
Leanne's new recruit succeeds in splitting off the mother and has a chance to catch her,
-but the male isn't happy.
-You're a star. Just watch him!
Easy, fella. Easy.
-As the father threatens to attack, the injured swan is finally taken away.
-There, there, big boy.
-Now the injury can be assessed.
-Just watch her wings, honey.
Do you want to hold her head while I look and see?
Good girl. Come here. ..It seems to be a bite.
We'll take her to the vet's. Might be advisable to clean her up and give an antibiotic injection
so we can bring her straight back and there's no disruption to the mate.
Leanne's hoping the treatment will be brief so she can bring the swan back as soon as possible.
As soon as she's back with her family, the less stress there is on the cygnets and the male as well.
Hopefully, that's what will happen. We'll see.
Swans take equal responsibility for their cygnets' care and the burden will now fall on the father,
but the trip to the vet is vital if the mother is to have any chance of rejoining her family.
-Any injury to a bird's wing is a worry
and the bite could be infected. Vet Carol Paterson assesses what's wrong.
It certainly doesn't look like there's a horrendous wound.
-They're so white.
-While the size of the blood stain hinted at a serious injury,
-the true cause comes as a surprise.
-It's not as bad as we thought.
It's just damaged one of her flight feathers. She can manage without one.
-So we can get rid of that?
-They do bleed like stink.
We'll just get that tidied up, pulled out and cauterised.
Carol decides to remove the broken feather.
The swan's maintained her serenity.
Whoa, whoa, big girl.
Although they are trying to help, the swan becomes more anxious.
-If you steady her body.
-Extra help is needed.
You ARE being brave.
-With the swan calm again, Carol can get back to work.
-Will it be painful?
-No, not at this point.
-There we are.
-The broken feather is gently removed.
After a spray with antibiotics, she's zipped into the carrying bag to be taken back to her family.
-But then Leanne finds another cause for concern.
-I found a lump. Could that be a possible float
-There's a swelling on the swan's neck.
But how far does it move? That's not good news.
Leanne was hoping to have this mother back with her cygnets today. This is a major setback.
-There's not much point...
Unfortunately, in a swan the most likely thing is picking up some fishing tackle.
You do get a lot of swans that swallow fishing tackle.
People do leave it around and it's easy for them to pick up.
Removing an object this far down the swan's throat
is a risky operation. She needs specialist help.
Sometimes they do pull through it. Sometimes due to stress, they don't.
But hopefully it will be able to be removed and it won't cause her too much hassle or stress.
Right. I'll leave her in your care.
-OK. Thanks, Carol.
-You're welcome. Good luck.
It's an unexpected blow. The nearest help is 30 miles away
and the operation to remove fishing floats will take some time.
As the father glides on alone, any hopes of a quick family reunion have now disappeared.
Later: mother swan is prepared to go under the knife.
The next job is to pluck our swan.
A good method for making one sneeze.
And Tara and Tiny have to be taken from their owner.
It's just really upsetting. It's not fair on them, at the end of the day.
Here on Animal 24:7, we've spent a lot of time at Tiggywinkles in Aylesbury with founder Les Stocker.
I'm always impressed at the level of dedication Les and his team show to the patients that are brought in.
Whatever the animal, and whatever its problem, they never fail to give them total commitment.
'This is Arthur, an orphaned red deer.
'He was found alone, wandering in a park, looking for his mum.
'Here at Tiggywinkles, the real-life Bambi has now become a bit of a hit with Les Stocker and his staff.'
-Wants its food.
-I've never seen red deer with you here before.
-It's the first one we've ever had.
It was quite stunning when it came in. It was so much bigger than a normal calf, a normal deer.
And it's just taken over the life of the nurses. They all love it.
I don't think he ever saw his mother. I think he just popped out and something happened.
The minute he was in here, he was up to us, interacting with us, pushing and wanting feeding.
'Without any maternal bond, Arthur's been forced to rely on humans for help.'
-Vicky, you're his mother.
-One of his mothers. A few of us feed him, Sharon and Francesca.
Sharon's more his mum than I am, but whoever's got the bottle.
-So do we feed him in here?
-No, we'll take him out to Les's garden. It's a nice environment for him.
-Have some lunch.
'As we make our way to greener pastures, Arthur makes a tentative move out of his stables.
'Without any parental role models to guide him, he falls into step behind me!'
-You coming as well, Goose?
-'It's easy to see why all of the staff have fallen in love with him.'
It's extraordinary to be able to stroke him and touch him. He's very tame. Will that be a problem?
It is. Normally, small deer come in and they're very trusting, but we can get them wild.
We let them grow up - fallow deer, roe deer, muntjac.
He's just going to be too dangerous when he gets up here,
so we've got to find him a home. We've got a couple lined up.
Somebody with a private deer park to keep an eye on him
or a place that does animals for television and films. So he might go there and get on the telly.
'To help him become a big stag, Arthur is given lots of bottles.
'He's averaging around four a day and I'm privileged to have a go.'
Amazing. You can really feel him tugging away at the milk. He really wants it.
Very powerful jaws.
There he goes.
Cor! Down in one, Les! I don't know who he learnt that from(!)
Is it real ale, though?
That must have taken about 20 seconds, I think.
What else, apart from food, does he need for rehabilitation and growth?
Just exercise, really. Build him up, his strength.
And then find him a home.
'As Arthur frolics outside, it's been a rare pleasure to see such a beautiful animal close up.
'And being the first red deer to ever be brought to Tiggywinkles, he gets lots of attention.
'But Les and his staff never discriminate. Even the most common creatures here get the same care.'
-That looks like quite an injury.
Yeah, this little guy came in. He's broken both legs in different places. He broke his femur.
You can see here. And he's broken his metatarsals on both legs.
-So we've put Hexalite on.
Yeah, it starts off quite malleable, so you can wrap it round the leg. And it stiffens up
-and just holds them in place so the bones fix.
-Like a plaster for a human on a broken arm.
-And how did he do this?
-We think he might have crash landed.
He's only a youngster, so he was maybe having problems with flight, crash landed and broke his legs.
-That happens to pigeons.
-Unfortunately, yeah. Especially young ones.
'Putting such effort into caring for a familiar bird with two broken legs may seem extraordinary,
'but not to Les and his team. They've invented a unique device to give this pigeon a second chance.'
Now he's got the casts on, so that's holding the fractures in place, but he still can't stand,
so what Les has designed is a cradle.
He sits in the little harness in this, Les's contraption.
He sits in there and he doesn't have to weight-bear on his legs and injure himself.
-Wow. It seems like incredible innovation!
-The bird will sit in this?
-And hang under the cradle here?
So there's no pressure on the legs.
Like the perfect couch potato's arrangement - sit there, or lie there, and drink and eat
-without having to move!
-Exactly. No effort.
'Time to get him back into his harness, but which part of our pigeon pokes out where?'
Just put one leg through there. And one leg through the other one.
-Squeeze that one through.
-'That's his feet into position. Now where does his head go?'
His head comes out that bit. That's great.
-The back bits hook on there.
-And one under.
-Over like that?
-'Safely in his cradle, this pigeon is now within pecking distance of everything he needs.'
-How long will he be in this cradle?
-Until his legs fix. The Hexalite can be on for a couple of weeks.
Obviously, we'll keep checking him. Once we remove that, we'll see how stable the fracture is.
-If he can walk on those legs, he won't need the cradle.
-How long before he's flying somewhat better?
-Hopefully it won't be too long! A couple of weeks.
-That's amazing. Incredible ingenuity.
'From a bird in a brace to bottle-feeding an adorable red deer.
'I'm always amazed at the effort staff make here to give every single animal a second chance,
'however bizarre it might be.'
Coming up: a worrying discovery for the swan with the lump.
We have a fishing hook, which is in the soft tissues.
Now back to the story of Tara and Tiny, two German Shepherds whose owner has repeatedly ignored
RSPCA advice about their treatment.
Tara has a nasty ear infection and her son, Tiny, is allergic to being bitten by fleas.
On her last visit, RSPCA inspector Vicky McDonald failed to see the dogs, but she's tracked them down.
'In the last three months, over ten visits have been made by the RSPCA to Steve and his Alsatians.
'There's been little progress. Today is the day of reckoning.'
I've spoken to him since my last visit. He's agreed to meet me today.
I'm just going to give him a call.
Hiya. It's the RSPCA.
Yeah, I'm here now. Yeah.
Okey doke. Thank you.
'After a few minutes, Steve arrives with Tara, the mum, in tow.'
-Just the one you've got with you?
-He's a bit slower than her.
-Come on, you.
'Tiny is very lethargic. Incredibly, he's the younger of the two.'
In your own time. The door's shut.
'Steve has taken the dogs to the vet this morning, but for Vicky it's too little, too late.'
This morning? Is that the first time you've been back to the vet's?
-No, I went back a fortnight ago.
-We checked. They said you hadn't been back.
-No, I've been in.
You got that warning notice and I said the stipulation on that warning notice
was to do your return visits to the vet's.
And your appointment this morning is the first time you've had them back for treatment since then.
'Tara's ear is still badly infected and causing a lot of discomfort.
'Tiny seems to have lost more weight and appears downbeat.'
I'm going to have to go and get some advice on this, Steve.
Things just aren't getting better and it feels like I'm constantly having to chase you.
And I can't do that to them.
-OK? I'm going to go and make a phone call.
'This is a difficult job. Vicky calls head office for a second opinion.'
He's certainly not meeting the needs of them because he is not following the advice the vet has given him.
Good. Right. That's all I need to know.
OK, thank you very much. Yes, thank you.
The dogs are coming with me.
'This situation has dragged on for more than four months. Now Steve has run out of time.'
Right, Steve, I'm going to caution you again now. OK?
You do not have to say anything...
'Despite his failings, Steve does love Tara and Tiny.
'This is the first time he's been separated from his dogs in 7 years.
'It's going to be a wrench for both him and his pets, but this can't continue.'
-Right. I'll be in touch, Steve. OK?
'Steve goes back to an empty flat.
'His dogs are now going to the vet's but they are clearly distressed to be leaving their home.'
'For Vicky, it all becomes too much.'
Because he hasn't done what they needed,
I've now had to uproot them
and take them to a strange place.
And the chances are they'll have to remain in our care for some time.
And it's... it's just really upsetting.
It's not fair on them, at the end of the day.
'Vicky's now keen to see the vet to reassure herself that taking Tara and Tiny away from their owner
'was the right thing to do.'
Still to come: under the spotlight, the consequences of months of neglect.
-Is that going to be seriously painful? Absolutely.
Earlier in the programme, we saw the RSPCA's Leanne Honess rescuing a mother swan
with what she thought was an injured wing. She hoped to treat her quickly and have her returned to her family,
but all hopes of a quick reunion were dashed when Leanne found a lump in her neck.
'It's the second trip to the vet in as many days for this unlucky mother swan.
'Vet Andy Forsyth needs to find out if the lump Leanne discovered is blocking her throat.'
-We've definitely got a swelling down there.
-Anything we can do?
-I think probably the first thing to do is anaesthetise this swan and then have a look further.
-Maybe pop a wee endoscope down.
And we'll put a wee towel over this one's head to make it less stressed.
'Suffering from a slight loss of dignity and a mystery swelling,
-'the swan is anaesthetised so Andy can put a camera down her throat.'
And we're travelling down the oesophagus. The top part over the back of the tongue is fine.
There's no obvious wire trapped in there as there sometimes is,
where we get wires or fishing lines that have been discarded, hooked around the base of the tongue.
And so far... we haven't found anything at all.
Well, what we can say from that is that our foreign body, this lump we're talking about,
is not, in fact, in the oesophagus. It's in the tissues off to the side.
'Andy's worried it is something that has worked its way through the feathers and into its skin
'near the spine. The X-ray confirms his suspicions.'
We have a fishing hook, which is in the soft tissues above the windpipe
and not in the oesophagus. So it will have gone in through the side of the neck.
And then the wound's closed over. This will have been in there for a wee while.
We'll clip up just over that and take the thing out.
'Removing the hook will require delicate surgery. First, the area around it needs to be prepared.'
Now our next job is to pluck our swan.
Which is always a good method for making one sneeze.
'The swan's been under for two hours.
'Speed is of the essence. And as Andy begins the operation
'he realises the hook has worked into an area thick with nerves and blood vessels.'
It's a very vascular area that we're dealing with here. We need to do a minimal amount of damage.
Of course, with wildlife, the whole aim of the process is to get them back
fit to compete with their peers as soon as possible.
Your other consideration is whether there are any dependent youngsters. We know this rather lovely swan
has got three cygnets. So I'm sure when she recovers she'll be very happy to be back with them.
There we go. That's the object of our desire. Good.
-So that's that done.
-'The operation has been a success.
'After the swan is stitched up, Andy takes a closer look at what caused the trouble.'
Ah. There - one hook.
-Something we see far too often.
Och, yeah, a very common occurrence.
'Gradually, the swan begins to come round from the anaesthetic.'
Whoa! We have a lively swan.
'Her wing mended and minus a rusty hook, she should be in good shape,
'but what she really needs is to be back with her family. After a night of rehabilitation,
-'mother swan will be returned to her babies.'
-It's all right, Sausage. Stressful process.
'The next morning, the swan's had a good night's rest and appears to be in fine fettle.'
I don't want to see you again.
I think she'll be all right.
'She appears strong enough to look after herself and Leanne escorts her back to the riverbank.
'Last time the swan was here, she was swimming with her young family.'
-'Today her mate and three cygnets are nowhere to be seen.
'Now she's in a hurry to find them.'
Good girl. You calling your friends?
'Her family will be looking for her and Leanne is confident she will soon find them.'
She's taken to the water quite well.
The operation she's had hasn't caused her any concern.
The calling she's actually doing is to get her cygnets and mate back.
It might take a few hours, it might even take a day or so.
The river is quite long and she'll have to trek up and down until she finds them,
but they do mate for life and they will be waiting for her.
When they hear her call, they'll be a family unit again.
'After a few moments, she heads up river after her brood.'
Finally, let's catch up with Tara and Tiny, the two dogs whose owner ignored his vet's advice
by not returning for follow-up treatment. RSPCA inspector Vicky McDonald has given several warnings
over a number of weeks. Now, as a last resort, she's taken Tara and her son, Tiny,
for much-needed medical help.
Carefully does it. There we go.
'This is Tara and Tiny's first visit to vet Gus McKenzie.
'Vicky's big concern about Tiny is his skin allergy, but the fact that he's so lethargic means
'he might have an even more serious underlying problem.'
-What have you got for me today?
-Two dogs, two German Shepherd types.
Both from the same household. It's mum and son. This is son.
This one has a skin condition and fur loss.
-You can smell the skin. You can smell it from here.
'Tiny has no records here, so Vicky has to rely on what his owner has told her.'
He's meant to be six years old.
From his teeth, it looks to me as if he's significantly older than that.
Let's have a look down your ears.
-Good boy. All right.
-There is an infection. I haven't seen any mites.
-There is an infection.
-Probably more irritating than severe.
-'Vicky thought it was only Tara with the ear infection.
'Next, Gus turns his attention to Tiny's skin allergy.'
There's two very obvious things. First of all, the smell.
As soon as this dog walked in, you could smell his skin.
It's a typical smell of what we call a seborrhoeic dermatitis,
which is dermatitis which is often affected with bacterial infections and yeasts and fungi.
But also the actual position of it and the loss of hair and the presentation of it is classic
of allergy to flea bites.
'Tiny's fleas and resulting skin allergy can be easily treated.'
'But one problem is more worrying.'
I'm concerned about the dog's weight. He's significantly underweight.
And I'm just concerned about how lethargic he is.
This is not the normal behaviour I'd expect of a six-year-old dog,
although I suspect that he is quite a lot older than six.
So what I think we need to do is take a blood sample from him and run a proper routine profile
-and see if there's anything else going on with him.
'Blood tests will tell Gus if there's any hidden condition making Tiny lose weight and be lethargic.
'Meanwhile, it's now Tara's turn to be examined.'
This is a really, really nasty infection. The ear is completely red raw.
I want to take swabs. It needs to be syringed.
I think we need to do that tonight. I'll get my night staff to do that.
But...I think we'll have to knock her out. This is a really, really nasty ear.
-Is that going to be seriously painful for her?
-Absolutely. That's nasty.
'Tara's ears are in a much poorer state than Vicky originally thought.
'What makes this worse is that the dog has lived with this for months.
'And it's not just an infected ear.'
She's crawling with fleas.
Oh, she is, isn't she? Mutant fleas - they're huge!
-'The size of these fleas is shocking.
'On paper it's easy to see how big they are.'
See it hop over there? She does have an allergy to flea bites. There's hair loss here.
It's not nearly as severe as his. They would be far more comfortable with ongoing skin treatment.
-They could be completely cured.
-'Tara and Tiny will now stay with the RSPCA until they get better.'
These dogs will not be getting into a situation where they get into this state again.
This is the road back to health now.
There's absolutely no way they are not going to receive the necessary treatment.
'Vicky really didn't want to take the two dogs away from their owner,
'but at least now she's confident it's been the right decision.
'Three weeks have passed since Tara and Tiny came to the vet's.
'They've undergone extensive treatment. Now Vicky's brought them for another health check.
'They certainly look livelier and sound it, too, but will Gus agree?'
-Make an entrance(!)
-'First to be examined is Tiny.'
He's visibly gained weight. His fur and skin is much better.
-Can you pop him on the scales?
-Come on, then.
Oh, right. All four feet on.
'Tiny's put on three-and-a-half kilos, but what about his skin?'
This skin is just so much better.
And we've really not given him a whole lot of treatment. We've treated him for his fleas
and given him a short course of antibiotics. He's more comfortable and all that smell's gone.
That may not ever grow in but it's a lot better than it was. Much less flaky.
-And he seems really happy.
-'Tiny's blood tests showed he had anaemia, caused by the fleas.
'This explains why he was so lethargic and why, now the fleas have gone, he's much brighter.'
-Right. Now Tara had that really horrible ear, didn't she?
How's she been getting on?
She's been getting on much better.
She's holding her head properly now,
-whereas before she was always on the tilt with it. She's not shaking her head.
-Come on, girl.
Much, much better, that.
This has been such a long-standing condition, we won't cure it quickly.
-It's just going to take time, but she's far more comfortable.
-It was so bad.
'It's amazing that just weeks of treatment has almost cured months of neglect.'
They're both looking happier and more comfortable, with their different challenges.
Both put weight on, both seemed a lot brighter than last time, happier.
-Happier dogs altogether.
-'It's been difficult for Vicky.
'Although Tiny and Tara's owner does love his dogs, by failing to take them to the vet he let them suffer.'
It's not easy to take two older dogs away from a home they've been in since they were young.
I really had no choice but to ensure they got treatment,
but I'm glad they've got it now. Just in the three weeks they've improved so much already.
They've just had basic treatment and care and are doing brilliantly.
'Vicky will now spend time working with their owner to make sure they don't get in trouble again.'
If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime or a creature that needs immediate protection,
remember there are dedicated professionals out there who will answer your call around the clock.
They are the people we meet on Animal 24:7.
-Next time: 14 family pets. Too much for their owner?
-That's a lot of stuff to look after.
-Not for me. I'm used to it.
-It is because none of them got any water.
-The skunk in search of a new home:
-Oh, dear me! That is strong.
And I'm in the waiting room of a unique dentist.
Luckily, though, today it's not me that is going under the drill. It's the chap on my right.
Subtitles by for Red Bee Media Ltd
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Series following people who protect and work closely with wildlife and domestic animals.
The RSPCA rescue two flea-infested Alsatians whose owner ignores advice to get them treated. A swan is spotted with a serious injury to its wing, but its protective mate makes catching it extremely difficult. And Tom Heap bottle-feeds a real life Bambi.