Episode 6 Animal 24:7


Episode 6

Series following people dedicated to helping animals. RSPCA Inspector Emma Ellis saves two dogs driven to distraction by fleas and mites.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to Episode 6. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Britain's animals are under threat.

0:00:040:00:06

All too often, our wildlife and domestic pets

0:00:060:00:09

are the victims of cruelty, persecution and neglect.

0:00:090:00:13

Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people trying to protect

0:00:130:00:17

and care for them right around the clock.

0:00:170:00:19

This is Animal 24:7.

0:00:190:00:22

-Today on Animal 24:7...

-I'm really not happy with the condition that he's in, OK?

0:00:430:00:49

..Bruce and Sabre, two dogs driven to distraction.

0:00:490:00:54

It's been there for quite a long time because the skin is so crusty,

0:00:540:00:58

hence why we've got this secondary infection

0:00:580:01:00

going on here as well.

0:01:000:01:01

Lost at sea - Steve and Squirt face an epic journey for freedom.

0:01:010:01:06

We want to rehabilitate them and get them into their natural habitat as quickly as possible.

0:01:060:01:11

And from rescue to royalty - big Digger's amazing story.

0:01:110:01:15

When I did see him come off the box, I thought "Hello, this is nice."

0:01:150:01:19

We thought, "Well, this is a horse we've got to try."

0:01:190:01:23

For dogs, an itchy irritated scalp can drive them crazy, but while spotting skin conditions

0:01:250:01:31

and fur loss may be simple, finding out what's causing them is a different matter entirely.

0:01:310:01:37

Inspector Emma Ellis is on her beat in West Yorkshire.

0:01:430:01:47

And there's a case which is about to get right under her skin.

0:01:490:01:54

I've had a call about a dog here that has got a lot of hair loss, a lot of scabbing to the skin

0:01:540:01:59

that's across the entire body and down the back legs.

0:01:590:02:02

Skin conditions in dogs can be contagious and, left untreated, they can become impossible to cure.

0:02:020:02:09

-Hiya! RSPCA.

-Yes?

0:02:090:02:12

I've had a call about a dog here. Can I come and have a look at it?

0:02:120:02:17

It's important that Emma nips any potential problem in the bud.

0:02:170:02:22

Hello, darling.

0:02:220:02:23

Once inside, Emma immediately realises

0:02:230:02:28

this is an extremely serious case.

0:02:280:02:32

Sabre is severely irritated.

0:02:320:02:34

He can barely leave his back alone.

0:02:340:02:37

Before we go any further, I've got to ask you, have you had this dog to the vet recently?

0:02:370:02:41

-Er, no.

-You haven't, OK.

0:02:410:02:43

This has left his skin open and raw.

0:02:430:02:46

I believe this dog is in very poor condition

0:02:460:02:50

because it's got really poor skin on the back there,

0:02:500:02:53

and I think it's quite underweight as well.

0:02:530:02:55

Before we can go any further, I need to caution you, OK?

0:02:550:02:59

The reason I've cautioned you

0:03:010:03:02

is cos I believe your dog is suffering

0:03:020:03:04

and that is a possible offence under the Animal Welfare Act.

0:03:040:03:08

I'm going to take the dog, with your permission, to the vet's, if that's OK?

0:03:080:03:12

Yes, that's fine.

0:03:120:03:14

-Can I take down your details?

-Yes.

0:03:140:03:16

The symptoms are so severe, Sabre could be suffering from sarcoptic mange.

0:03:160:03:21

Have you got a lead for Sabre?

0:03:210:03:23

A condition where mites burrow under the skin.

0:03:230:03:26

Here, boy. Come on, this way. Let's go. Let's go.

0:03:260:03:31

It's incredibly uncomfortable, so it's essential he gets treatment.

0:03:310:03:36

The skin is beginning to scar.

0:03:360:03:39

It's clear Sabre has been in a great deal of pain.

0:03:390:03:43

It's been there for quite a long time because the skin is so crusty

0:03:430:03:47

in the area where a dog would constantly bite at itself,

0:03:470:03:50

hence why we've got all this secondary infection

0:03:500:03:53

going on here as well.

0:03:530:03:55

Come on, Sabre. Going to get in?

0:03:550:03:56

Sabre goes to the vet's and blood samples are taken.

0:04:090:04:13

Come on, let's go. Let's go, let's go, let's go.

0:04:130:04:16

These will be sent away to find out what's causing his irritation.

0:04:160:04:20

Good boy, hey, good boy.

0:04:200:04:23

But until the results are back, poor Sabre will have to stay on his own.

0:04:230:04:27

A few days later and Emma has another potentially serious skin condition to deal with.

0:04:360:04:42

This time, she's been tipped off about problems with the breed of dog called a shar pei.

0:04:430:04:50

Shar peis have quite a lot of folds of skin so they can be prone to getting skin infections or dry skin.

0:04:500:04:58

They also get problems with their eyes, ears,

0:04:580:05:00

so they can be tricky to look after if they have these conditions

0:05:000:05:04

and they can become quite costly in terms of veterinary treatment.

0:05:040:05:07

The location may be different...

0:05:070:05:11

Hiya! RSPCA.

0:05:110:05:14

..but once Emma gets inside,

0:05:140:05:17

it's almost a carbon copy of the incident she dealt with a few days before.

0:05:170:05:22

Hello. All right, all righty.

0:05:220:05:25

I'm really not happy with the condition that he's in, OK?

0:05:250:05:29

I don't think it's right you've let him get like that, OK?

0:05:290:05:33

What I'm going to do, firstly I'm going to caution you,

0:05:350:05:38

then I'm going to ask if I can take the dog to the vets to be examined, OK?

0:05:380:05:42

Before long, Emma is bringing another infested dog out of the door.

0:05:430:05:47

Come on, sweetie. Let's go.

0:05:470:05:49

In daylight, Bruce's poor condition is clear to see.

0:05:490:05:53

His eyes are swollen and infected,

0:05:560:05:58

and his back is a patchwork of red, sore skin.

0:05:580:06:02

Do you just want to see if he'll come in here?

0:06:020:06:06

He's got quite a bad skin condition across the back of his body and down his back legs.

0:06:060:06:11

It's not uncommon for shar peis to get skin conditions,

0:06:110:06:13

but she's told me that she's had this dog a month, and in that month, it's got this.

0:06:130:06:18

That suggests that's not something the dog has been born with.

0:06:180:06:21

It's been bitten either by fleas or something like that.

0:06:210:06:24

I'm not happy with the condition the dog's in and I want to get it seen by a vet.

0:06:240:06:28

Bruce is now on his way for treatment.

0:06:280:06:31

Like Sabre, he's going to have to undergo a series of tests.

0:06:310:06:36

Only then will Emma know just how much her two patients have been left to suffer.

0:06:360:06:43

-Coming up...

-The obvious thing is the skin,

0:06:480:06:51

but if we could ask him, then the eyes are the biggest problem for him.

0:06:510:06:55

-That's what's causing the most pain?

-Yes.

0:06:550:06:58

Digger is put through his royal paces.

0:06:580:07:00

What are you looking at in terms of how Digger behaves?

0:07:000:07:04

It's all about preparation, getting mentally sound to the job he's going to do.

0:07:040:07:09

Many animals have remarkable methods of navigation,

0:07:120:07:15

but like all GPS devices,

0:07:150:07:17

they can sometimes send a traveller in the wrong direction.

0:07:170:07:21

When that happens, the intrepid explorer can often find themselves a long way from home.

0:07:210:07:27

Gran Canaria - a beautiful Spanish island,

0:07:340:07:37

popular with tourists and sun worshippers.

0:07:370:07:40

But soon these warm waters will be welcoming two rather more unusual visitors.

0:07:430:07:49

Meet Steve and Squirt...

0:07:580:08:00

..two loggerhead turtles who got lost at sea.

0:08:020:08:05

They've both strayed hundreds of miles off course and washed up on British shores.

0:08:080:08:13

They were taken in by the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay,

0:08:150:08:19

where Matt Slater has been in charge of their care.

0:08:190:08:22

They are a cold-blooded animal, and if they get caught out

0:08:240:08:27

by currents that bring them into cooler water, they get stunned and can't swim.

0:08:270:08:31

By the time they reach our shores, they have already drifted a long way

0:08:310:08:35

in this state, so they're very vulnerable.

0:08:350:08:37

They're at the end of their reserves and are weak and dehydrated.

0:08:370:08:41

It's taken a long time for them to end up like this, but they're doing brilliantly.

0:08:410:08:45

But these two turtles don't belong in a tank, they belong in the sea.

0:08:450:08:51

Loggerhead turtles are endangered.

0:08:510:08:53

It's really not justified keeping them in the aquarium,

0:08:530:08:56

considering they can live for 80, possibly 100 years.

0:08:560:09:00

We really want to rehabilitate them and get them back into their natural habitat as quickly as possible.

0:09:000:09:05

So it's time for Squirt and Steve to grab their passports and head to sunnier climes.

0:09:050:09:11

Turtles are pretty easy to catch, really.

0:09:160:09:18

Probably one of the reasons why they're becoming endangered animals,

0:09:180:09:23

and over the years this could be one of the reasons

0:09:230:09:27

why they are vulnerable to fishermen.

0:09:270:09:29

Here we go.

0:09:290:09:30

Crikey, he's put on weight.

0:09:320:09:34

Squirt's moved on to dry land, and seems to be getting in a flap about his trip.

0:09:360:09:41

The little chap has a lot of power now, he's really going for this.

0:09:430:09:48

Loggerhead turtles can survive without water for around 20 hours.

0:09:510:09:56

But Matt still needs to make Squirt's trip as comfortable as possible.

0:09:560:10:00

I'm going to put on some nice lubricant jelly now.

0:10:000:10:05

This is to stop any chafing that might happen

0:10:050:10:10

as the little guy is wriggling around in his box on his journey.

0:10:100:10:15

We don't want him to...

0:10:150:10:16

damage his skin or anything like that.

0:10:160:10:18

Squirt is settled into his luxury hammock and there's plenty of legroom for that long journey ahead.

0:10:220:10:28

Really powerful, this little guy now.

0:10:280:10:30

Next, it's time to get Steve, and again Matt's delighted with his progress.

0:10:300:10:36

This turtle was about 800 grams when he arrived. He's now, um...

0:10:370:10:42

two kilograms and 800 grams so he's put on two kilograms.

0:10:420:10:48

He's dead cute, isn't he?

0:10:480:10:50

-A quick dose of lubrication.

-There he goes.

0:10:520:10:55

Now the two intrepid travellers can begin the first leg of their epic 1,600 mile journey by land and air.

0:10:570:11:05

The turtles have got to catch an early flight from Gatwick.

0:11:080:11:11

Matt will be driving them right through the night.

0:11:110:11:15

It's about 20 past 12 now.

0:11:150:11:17

We've just got on the road.

0:11:170:11:21

It should be about a four-and-a-half hour journey.

0:11:210:11:24

This is Matt's third turtle release, but he still takes no chances.

0:11:240:11:29

I've got a bit of experience, but I still know things can go wrong

0:11:290:11:33

if we're unlucky and we don't plan carefully.

0:11:330:11:36

Obviously we've got to drive fairly steadily, not shake them around too much.

0:11:360:11:40

We've got to keep the temperature up for the whole journey.

0:11:400:11:44

If it drops low, it could be very dangerous for the turtles.

0:11:440:11:48

During the long road trip, Matt needs to make regular stops to check the turtles' health...

0:11:520:11:58

It's about 23 degrees in here, which is about right. It's about as hot as I can cope with as well!

0:11:580:12:03

..before hitting the road again.

0:12:030:12:06

6am, Gatwick airport.

0:12:110:12:15

A weary Matt finally arrives and he's desperate to see his turtles again.

0:12:150:12:21

It's been a long old drive.

0:12:210:12:24

We're pretty tired out.

0:12:240:12:25

We've had the temperature nice and warm inside the truck.

0:12:250:12:29

This is Squirt.

0:12:300:12:32

He's looking very good actually.

0:12:330:12:38

So far, so good.

0:12:380:12:39

Now Matt must leave the turtles at the animal reception centre.

0:12:390:12:43

Like all passengers, their passports and documents need to be checked

0:12:450:12:49

and stamped before they board the flight.

0:12:490:12:51

They've promised me it's going in a nice warm room in there,

0:12:520:12:56

and they'll wait there till just before they're loaded on the plane.

0:12:560:13:01

I hope it's nice and warm in there.

0:13:010:13:04

We've got to go and catch a plane now.

0:13:040:13:07

Matt and the turtles are both ushered through security.

0:13:080:13:12

The VIPs are soon airside.

0:13:140:13:17

Phase one of Steve and Squirt's epic journey is complete.

0:13:200:13:25

It's been exhausting, but I'm really glad it's over.

0:13:250:13:29

It's kind of surreal because we've been awake all night.

0:13:290:13:33

I can't really believe we're here.

0:13:330:13:35

I'm looking forward to getting a bit of kip on the plane

0:13:350:13:38

and then seeing them in some nice hot sunshine when we arrive.

0:13:380:13:42

Today is a very, very special flight as some of you may know.

0:13:440:13:47

We have two very special passengers on board called Steve and Squirt. When we get to Las Palmas,

0:13:470:13:55

these fabulous creatures are being set free into the Atlantic Ocean.

0:13:550:14:00

With his turtles safely aboard, Matt can grab some well-earned rest.

0:14:000:14:06

The first part of this voyage may be over, but there's still a long way to go.

0:14:060:14:12

Later, a round of applause.

0:14:160:14:20

There he is. That is a relief.

0:14:210:14:25

And will these tests show what's troubling Bruce and Sabre?

0:14:250:14:29

If the sarcoptes antibody is present, then we'll see the colour change turn blue.

0:14:290:14:35

There is surely no more prestigious position for a horse than here

0:14:380:14:42

amongst the ranks of the Household Cavalry, the Queen's own bodyguard.

0:14:420:14:46

But their latest recruit comes from much more humble origins.

0:14:460:14:50

He nearly died at birth and was rescued by a horse welfare organisation,

0:14:500:14:56

but now Digger is training to be a truly noble steed.

0:14:560:15:00

We first saw Digger on Animal 24:7 a couple of years ago.

0:15:030:15:08

At 19 hands high, that's about 9ft, he was one of the biggest horses

0:15:080:15:14

ever cared for by World Horse Welfare.

0:15:140:15:17

-But this gentle giant had growing pains. Vets feared they would cost him his life.

-Poor lad.

0:15:170:15:23

Digger needed risky surgery on his hind legs.

0:15:230:15:27

It was a traumatic time.

0:15:270:15:31

Digger, Digger, Digger, steady.

0:15:310:15:33

When we last saw him, he was taking his first tentative steps on the road to recovery.

0:15:350:15:42

But for this heavyweight horse, it was just the beginning of a truly remarkable story.

0:15:420:15:47

INDISTINCT CALLS

0:15:480:15:52

BRASS BAND PLAYS

0:15:540:15:58

Trooping The Colour at the Queen's Birthday Parade.

0:15:580:16:02

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment provides the Sovereign's Escort

0:16:020:16:07

and pays tribute with great pomp and pageantry.

0:16:070:16:12

Incredibly, Digger could soon be part of all of this.

0:16:120:16:18

Digger is training to be a drum horse in the Mounted Bands.

0:16:180:16:22

His leg problems are behind him and now he's living here at the Hyde Park Barracks.

0:16:220:16:27

Wow!

0:16:270:16:30

'I've met up with Captain Mark Avison from the Household Cavalry

0:16:300:16:34

'to find out how Digger was chosen for royal appointment.'

0:16:340:16:37

Talk me through how Digger came to your attention.

0:16:400:16:43

Well, we have what we call a training camp in Norfolk every year.

0:16:430:16:47

What happened, one day, the vet at the time, Captain Laura Holmes,

0:16:470:16:53

jokingly someone brought her My Pony magazine.

0:16:530:16:57

In there was a picture of Digger.

0:16:570:16:59

-Now we've got him here.

-Fantastic, a picture in a comic book to here.

0:16:590:17:04

'Digger is one of the tallest horses in the country and that chance magazine snapshot

0:17:040:17:08

'showed off his key attributes to the mounted regiment.'

0:17:080:17:11

We liked Digger in the picture we saw -

0:17:110:17:13

the colour, which is a striking colour for what we require,

0:17:130:17:17

because he's different to all our other horses.

0:17:170:17:20

But the size. When I did see him come off the box, I thought, "Hello.

0:17:200:17:26

"This is nice." We thought, "This is a horse that we've got to try."

0:17:260:17:30

There's a lot riding on his performance eventually. He's got to do the business in front of royalty.

0:17:300:17:35

How long does it take from raw recruit to the finished product?

0:17:350:17:39

The good thing about him, he was broken. He could already be ridden.

0:17:390:17:43

That takes a good four to six months off his training.

0:17:430:17:47

I would like to think that this time next year,

0:17:470:17:51

we would have him on some from of parade,

0:17:510:17:53

where he'll be able to show what he can do.

0:17:530:17:56

But Digger's genetics will only get him so far.

0:18:000:18:03

To be a parade horse, he needs to be relaxed amid noise and activity.

0:18:030:18:09

After his major surgery, Digger has been living on a rural farm in Aberdeenshire.

0:18:090:18:15

That couldn't be further away from the hustle and bustle of the capital.

0:18:150:18:20

So as part of Digger's training, Lieutenant Corporal Daniel Evans

0:18:200:18:23

is riding him through Central London's busiest streets.

0:18:230:18:26

What are the key challenges that you're teaching him to cope with at the moment?

0:18:280:18:32

For example, from the past riding instructors, I've heard that Digger is not too keen on large vehicles.

0:18:320:18:38

-Oh, really? Like that truck.

-That was well behaved.

0:18:380:18:41

I'll give him a bit of a scratch, give him a pat, and carry on as normal, not making an issue of it.

0:18:410:18:46

How important is it that he is calm with these things and can cope with unexpected events?

0:18:460:18:52

It's vital. As a drum horse, he's expected to lead the bands to and from Horse Guards.

0:18:520:18:58

He needs to have the confidence to walk by himself and also not react.

0:18:580:19:01

And on these parades, you're all on show,

0:19:010:19:04

but as the drum horse, he really is the poster boy for the ceremony.

0:19:040:19:07

Definitely. He's one of the most recognisable features of any parade.

0:19:070:19:11

Sooner or later, Digger will be the new favourite

0:19:110:19:13

and he'll be leading them on to Horse Guards Parade

0:19:130:19:17

in front of the Queen for her birthday.

0:19:170:19:19

The Mounted Regiment normally buys its horses,

0:19:220:19:24

but World Horse Welfare loans rather than sells.

0:19:240:19:29

So Field Officer Nick White makes regular visits to the Knightsbridge Barracks to check on Digger.

0:19:290:19:36

Here's an old friend of yours, Nick.

0:19:360:19:38

Yes, Digger. He's a great character.

0:19:380:19:41

He's been loved by all since he came to us.

0:19:410:19:44

What did you think when you first heard the call that the cavalry were interested in him?

0:19:440:19:49

It was a matter of joy and pride for all of us.

0:19:490:19:52

To see him come here and to see him in the hands of the professional Household Cavalry is a great thing.

0:19:520:19:59

I shall be following his career with interest.

0:19:590:20:02

Did you have any doubts when you first got that call? He had had these problems

0:20:020:20:06

and you think of a cavalry horse as the pick of the crop, and Digger, although big, had had a few issues.

0:20:060:20:12

There had been issues, but we've got every confidence that he's going to go forward and do very well.

0:20:120:20:17

Nick's pleased to see that Digger still has a very healthy appetite.

0:20:190:20:23

If he's to make it as a drum horse leading the Mounted Bands, he'll need not just size, but strength.

0:20:230:20:29

This is one of a pair of drums that Digger will be wearing on parade.

0:20:310:20:36

It is really heavy.

0:20:360:20:38

It's about 50lb or so.

0:20:380:20:41

This one, the silver drum, is only worn in front of royalty.

0:20:410:20:44

So if Digger's carrying this, he's really made it.

0:20:440:20:48

Now it's time for a key part of Digger's training -

0:20:480:20:51

the parade rehearsal.

0:20:510:20:55

Digger isn't donning the drums himself just yet.

0:20:550:20:59

Mark and his colleagues need to see how he reacts alongside fully trained horse Achilles.

0:20:590:21:04

What's about to happen and what are you looking at in terms of how Digger behaves?

0:21:040:21:08

This is a typical process with any drum horse or any type of horse that we're training.

0:21:080:21:14

He's standing there while they're putting the drums on, the banners on,

0:21:140:21:17

It's all about this preparation.

0:21:170:21:19

Getting him mentally sound for the job he's going to do.

0:21:190:21:22

It's a very gentle process of familiarisation.

0:21:220:21:25

The biggest thing again with a drum horse -

0:21:250:21:28

if you've got to take a step back, it's got to be a small step.

0:21:280:21:32

If it's a large step, it takes a lot of repairing to do. Sometimes the damage has already been done.

0:21:320:21:38

It's the moment of truth for Digger as the rehearsal begins.

0:21:400:21:43

And it doesn't start well. Digger reacts to the sound of the drumming.

0:21:480:21:52

See him raise his head then?

0:21:520:21:55

Any major slip-ups and dreams of dates with royalty could be over.

0:21:550:21:59

But then Digger seems to recover his composure.

0:22:050:22:09

So how do you think he coped with the drums?

0:22:190:22:21

He coped. At the very beginning, there was a bit of jumpiness in him.

0:22:210:22:26

Just that initial...

0:22:260:22:27

After that, he started to relax.

0:22:270:22:30

The more and more the drummer did, the better he became.

0:22:300:22:33

-So, happy.

-So although he's still quite close to a raw recruit, he's making fine progress?

0:22:330:22:38

He's making fine progress. He's on track.

0:22:380:22:41

Each day with the training, he's driving forward.

0:22:410:22:44

It's all positive, so that's good.

0:22:440:22:46

It's amazing to think that just a couple of years ago,

0:22:460:22:50

this was a rescue horse whose sheer size was threatening his life.

0:22:500:22:55

Now, if all goes to plan, Digger's size could give him

0:22:550:22:59

a royal appointment and that would be a giant transformation.

0:22:590:23:04

Coming up, Steve and Squirt take to the seas.

0:23:080:23:14

Sort of sad to see him go, but also excited for him.

0:23:140:23:17

It's just lovely being out there with him. Oh, it was awesome.

0:23:170:23:21

In Leeds, RSPCA inspector Emma Ellis

0:23:240:23:28

has rescued two dogs with a chronic and possibly contagious skin condition.

0:23:280:23:32

One of the dogs, Sabre, has already been put into isolation.

0:23:320:23:36

Now the second victim needs a health check.

0:23:360:23:39

Come on then, sweetie!

0:23:440:23:46

Out we come.

0:23:460:23:49

Bruce is the second dog suffering from a skin condition to arrive at this vet's within a few days.

0:23:490:23:55

Emma's keen to know exactly why his fur has started to fall out.

0:23:570:24:02

Come on, you.

0:24:020:24:04

Vet Ed Morton is on hand to investigate.

0:24:080:24:11

Bruce, you're a mess.

0:24:110:24:16

Under the harsh lights of the surgery,

0:24:160:24:18

it's clear Bruce's condition is much more serious than just bad skin.

0:24:180:24:23

The infection has caused such swelling that his ear canals have started to close up.

0:24:240:24:30

So what's the cause of that?

0:24:300:24:32

-Is that just normal, or...

-A lot of them are put together that way.

0:24:320:24:36

We get quite a few come in with ears that sort of shape.

0:24:360:24:39

His are worse because they're inflamed and infected. Same goes with the eyes.

0:24:390:24:43

A lot of them are like this anyway, but his have become infected

0:24:430:24:47

so the eyelid's swollen so it curls in even more.

0:24:470:24:50

From his point of view, that's probably the biggest problem.

0:24:500:24:53

The obvious thing is the skin, but if we could ask him, then the eyes are the biggest problem.

0:24:530:24:59

That's what's causing the most pain?

0:24:590:25:02

Because I couldn't get close to him in the house,

0:25:050:25:08

now we've got him in the surgery and the vet has had a look at him,

0:25:080:25:11

he's a lot worse than how I saw in the house.

0:25:110:25:14

I couldn't see his eyes, because I couldn't get close to him because he was growling.

0:25:140:25:17

That's an explanation, the fact that he couldn't see.

0:25:170:25:19

Getting him under the surgery lights, I can see how sore that skin is.

0:25:190:25:23

You can get a real close-up of it and see how painful it probably is for him.

0:25:230:25:28

He's not too skinny.

0:25:280:25:30

No, he seems fine generally.

0:25:300:25:33

He's being fed and that kind of thing, but this skin hasn't happened in a month.

0:25:330:25:36

This is something that's been brewing for a while.

0:25:360:25:41

Bruce's poor state could be due to a number of things.

0:25:410:25:45

His blood will have to go away for tests before Ed can be confident of finding any cure.

0:25:450:25:52

It looks like it's mange.

0:25:520:25:53

That's a strong possibility.

0:25:530:25:55

It could be fleas. If it's not one of those two, I'll be surprised.

0:25:550:25:59

But we ought to check, make sure there's nothing else going on.

0:25:590:26:02

In the meantime, it's the same thing as Sabre.

0:26:020:26:04

He needs the antibiotics for the skin.

0:26:040:26:07

We'll do the testing for the mites.

0:26:070:26:10

He probably could do with a bath as well.

0:26:100:26:13

If I just borrow you for two minutes, Bruce.

0:26:150:26:19

Although it's too early to say exactly

0:26:190:26:21

what's causing Bruce's problem, there is one way to ease his discomfort.

0:26:210:26:25

Aw, bless him.

0:26:250:26:28

He's sent through to the nurses for a medicated shower.

0:26:300:26:34

-He's probably never had a bath before.

-No.

0:26:420:26:45

Washed and dried, Bruce's time at the vet's is now over.

0:26:540:26:59

He's taken to the same quarantine ward as Sabre.

0:27:000:27:04

All right. Good boy! Good boy.

0:27:040:27:06

This is a strange environment for any dog.

0:27:060:27:10

For Bruce, almost blinded by his eye infection, it's terrifying.

0:27:100:27:16

Let's go, let's go, let's go.

0:27:160:27:18

Let's go. Let's go.

0:27:180:27:20

Eventually, though, he takes his place next to Sabre.

0:27:210:27:26

Both now need to be kept away from other dogs.

0:27:260:27:29

It could be a long and lonely wait.

0:27:290:27:32

25 miles away in Wetherby is the UK's largest veterinary lab.

0:27:390:27:45

Scientists here test samples from all over the country and from any species in the animal kingdom.

0:27:500:27:57

Sabre and Bruce's blood are the latest samples to arrive.

0:27:580:28:05

This particular one here is our RSPCA sample.

0:28:050:28:08

Haematology manager Linda Wyatt is about to put Bruce's sample to the test.

0:28:080:28:13

So the first stage is to dilute the sample into a chemical buffer.

0:28:180:28:24

The next stage is to leave the plate on the bench

0:28:240:28:28

with the patient bloods incubating and the clock set.

0:28:280:28:32

The blood is being analysed to see whether the dog is suffering

0:28:360:28:39

from the highly contagious sarcoptic mange, a mite which burrows under the skin.

0:28:390:28:44

The final stage of the process is to add another chemical which will cause a colour change in the well

0:28:490:28:55

if the sarcoptes antibody is present and we'll see the colour change turn blue.

0:28:550:29:01

All eyes are now on the sample.

0:29:020:29:05

For Bruce and Sabre, the results of these tests will finally seal their fate.

0:29:070:29:13

Still to come...

0:29:220:29:23

He looks like he's potentially got a little bit of hair regrowth as well.

0:29:230:29:27

He has, yes, because he's just not been

0:29:270:29:30

scratching himself all the time, so it's had chance to grow back.

0:29:300:29:34

Now back to the story of Squirt and Steve,

0:29:370:29:40

two loggerhead turtles that had been washed up on British shores.

0:29:400:29:44

Staff at the Blue Reef Aquarium near Newquay have slowly nursed

0:29:440:29:49

them back to health and now curator Matt Slater is on a journey to take them back to the wild.

0:29:490:29:55

Gran Canaria's Las Palmas Airport.

0:30:020:30:06

Holidaymakers are arriving ready to soak up a couple of weeks of sunshine.

0:30:060:30:11

And now the latest passengers have just landed.

0:30:110:30:16

It's been a long flight, and Matt hasn't seen his two turtles for over five hours.

0:30:200:30:25

I'm feeling quite in a hurry, I want to see these turtles now, I just want to know they're OK.

0:30:250:30:30

It's a bit nail-biting, this part of it, actually.

0:30:300:30:33

Oh, I hope they're all right.

0:30:350:30:38

There he is. That is a relief. Wow.

0:30:430:30:47

Feels cold.

0:30:470:30:50

Well, I'm hoping it's nothing to worry about.

0:30:500:30:53

That's a really, really big relief, actually.

0:30:530:30:56

I was starting to get really nervous then so this last part of the process was quite stressful, actually.

0:30:560:31:03

Now Steve and Squirt can begin the final stage of their epic journey.

0:31:070:31:11

They've arrived at the island's sea life sanctuary.

0:31:180:31:21

After 16 hours out of the water, Matt is keen to get them splashing around.

0:31:250:31:30

Squirt first of all, into his tank.

0:31:320:31:35

I bet he's going to really enjoy this, finally getting into some nice seawater.

0:31:350:31:40

He's looking really good, his shell's become a bit dried out just by the journey,

0:31:420:31:46

but that's nothing to worry about, he's looking very lively. Nice and healthy, actually.

0:31:460:31:51

And this is the bit I've been looking forward to. So here he goes.

0:31:510:31:55

Squirt seems to love his new private pool.

0:31:590:32:02

He looks great. Excellent.

0:32:040:32:06

And now it's Steve's turn to take the plunge.

0:32:060:32:09

They both seem a little uncoordinated on their first swim, don't they?

0:32:130:32:17

But both turtles soon regain control of their stiff limbs, proving they're good swimmers.

0:32:180:32:24

He's very healthy.

0:32:240:32:26

Very strong.

0:32:260:32:27

Now it's dinnertime.

0:32:300:32:32

After his long flight, Steve is clearly hungry, enjoying his fish supper.

0:32:340:32:39

There you go, look at that. Excellent.

0:32:390:32:42

He's only been in here for less than half an hour, and he's already really munching on that sardine.

0:32:420:32:48

Next door, though, Squirt doesn't seem to have much of an appetite.

0:32:480:32:52

I think it's not surprising, it might take him a little while to start to feed.

0:32:520:32:57

It's hoped that both turtles will be released tomorrow,

0:33:000:33:03

but Squirt must eat to convince Matt he's ready for the ocean.

0:33:030:33:08

The next morning, and after some well-earned rest,

0:33:140:33:19

Matt is back at the sanctuary hoping both turtles are ready to go.

0:33:190:33:23

They're looking really good this morning and it's really encouraging

0:33:240:33:28

because Squirt's definitely eaten.

0:33:280:33:30

He's been biting the fish here and eaten at least half of that one fish

0:33:300:33:35

and the other fish has gone so I think Pascal is happy to release him today.

0:33:350:33:39

So good news for Squirt.

0:33:400:33:42

-He goes into his hammock for one final time.

-Close him up.

0:33:440:33:48

And Steve gets the all-clear, too.

0:33:500:33:53

Now they can both be released.

0:33:540:33:57

Playa de Melenara is a sandy beach just five miles away.

0:34:060:34:11

Gran Canaria is one of the few spots in Europe with waters warm enough for loggerhead turtles to survive.

0:34:110:34:18

It's the perfect place for Steve and Squirt to begin their new lives.

0:34:180:34:22

A lovely day to be releasing the turtles down here. I can't actually

0:34:240:34:27

describe how excited I am now, because it's going to be so cool to see them go out to sea.

0:34:270:34:31

This is a big moment.

0:34:310:34:34

The two turtles are about to get their first taste

0:34:340:34:37

of freedom since they washed up on British shores over six months ago.

0:34:370:34:41

Squirt's first to go and knows exactly which way to head.

0:34:460:34:51

Beautiful turtle tracks coming down the beach.

0:34:510:34:54

Matt is joining him, keen to say his final goodbyes

0:34:560:35:00

and capture his return to the deep ocean.

0:35:000:35:04

Squirt soon shows he's still got his sea legs and makes a dash for open water.

0:35:100:35:15

He didn't look stressed in any way, he was quite laid-back, just cruising around

0:35:170:35:22

looking at all the little fishes swimming past him

0:35:220:35:24

and sort of just checking out his environment

0:35:240:35:27

and he's got the rest of his life ahead of him,

0:35:270:35:31

maybe another 70 odd years or even 100 years ahead of him out there.

0:35:310:35:36

So he's got all the time in the world.

0:35:360:35:38

Now it's Steve's turn. With a little helping hand, he's soon joining his friend.

0:35:400:35:47

It's sort of sad to see him go, but also excited for him.

0:35:520:35:57

Just lovely being out there with him,

0:36:000:36:02

oh, it was awesome.

0:36:020:36:04

Finally today, we're back to Leeds and the story of two dogs with terrible skin infections.

0:36:160:36:22

Bruce and Sabre were rescued from two different homes, but their conditions are incredibly similar.

0:36:220:36:27

Both were itchy and had chewed away much of their fur.

0:36:270:36:30

Now it's time to find out why.

0:36:300:36:33

Wetherby, West Yorkshire, a veterinary lab where samples are analysed from all over the world.

0:36:410:36:47

The latest blood to be tested is from Bruce, the Shar Pei.

0:36:510:36:55

Scientists are investigating whether he's suffering from contagious sarcoptic mange.

0:36:580:37:03

Now the results are in.

0:37:080:37:11

This is the finished plate here, so you can see these samples here

0:37:110:37:14

have turned blue in the wells so that indicates these are dogs that have sarcoptes.

0:37:140:37:19

The ones that have remained clear are negative.

0:37:190:37:22

But our sample is D here.

0:37:230:37:27

So this one indicates there's no sarcoptes present.

0:37:270:37:31

It's great news for Bruce, the test means he's in the clear.

0:37:330:37:37

But for his fellow patient in the isolation ward, the news is not so good.

0:37:370:37:42

Sabre's result is positive. He'll face more time in solitary confinement.

0:37:450:37:50

Come on, then.

0:37:550:37:56

A week on.

0:37:560:37:58

Come on then, Bruce.

0:37:580:38:00

And Emma's come back to the vets for an update on both dogs.

0:38:000:38:03

-Good boy. Your tail's going.

-First on the table is Bruce.

0:38:050:38:09

He looks a lot better.

0:38:090:38:11

And already his fur has started to grow back.

0:38:110:38:15

He had flea bite allergy.

0:38:160:38:18

When the fleas bite him, then he sets off an allergic reaction to that and it gets quite dramatic.

0:38:180:38:25

This was about as bad as you'll see.

0:38:250:38:27

But you can see, once the fleas have gone,

0:38:270:38:30

then the skin just gets chance to sort itself out and heal up.

0:38:300:38:35

He looks like he's potentially got a bit of hair regrowth as well.

0:38:350:38:39

He has, yeah, because he's just not been

0:38:390:38:42

scratching himself all the time, so it's had a chance to grow back.

0:38:420:38:46

When Bruce first came to the vets, the allergy was so bad his ears were starting to close up.

0:38:460:38:53

They're nowhere near as sore or infected as last time.

0:38:530:38:57

-OK, so the antibiotics...

-The antibiotics are helping from that point of view.

0:38:570:39:02

His eyes were also so swollen, he could hardly see.

0:39:020:39:05

But a quick test with some coloured eye drops shows it's a much brighter story here, too.

0:39:070:39:12

You see the surface of the eye is clear.

0:39:120:39:15

If there was any damage, then the dye would just soak into it

0:39:150:39:18

and you'd see a bright, fluorescent green mark on the surface.

0:39:180:39:23

But he's fine, he's good.

0:39:230:39:27

Bruce has now been signed over to the RSPCA.

0:39:270:39:31

Once his flea allergy has cleared, this wrinkly boy can be found a new home.

0:39:310:39:37

Shar Peis have got quite a reputation,

0:39:370:39:39

so they can be a bit more difficult to rehome.

0:39:390:39:41

It'll take a particular kind of home to look after him. We'll have to be very careful about where he goes

0:39:410:39:46

and make sure that the owner's an experienced dog owner and knows what they're letting themselves in for.

0:39:460:39:51

As well as having the financial means to be able to afford

0:39:510:39:54

any problems that he's going to have in the future.

0:39:540:39:56

Emma's other skin patient, Sabre, is also on the mend.

0:39:560:40:00

Hello, Sabre, old son.

0:40:000:40:02

-Let's have a look at you.

-He was diagnosed as suffering with mange.

0:40:020:40:06

He was also underweight.

0:40:060:40:07

He looks a bit fatter.

0:40:070:40:09

But a course of antibiotics and a proper diet are starting to have a positive effect.

0:40:090:40:15

Since removal from the house, clearly he's improved significantly to the point where he's not itching

0:40:150:40:21

his skin has dried up, the infection's going

0:40:210:40:24

so removing him from the house was the right thing to do.

0:40:240:40:27

And in a few weeks' time, Sabre should also be out of isolation and on his way to a new home.

0:40:270:40:34

Come on, petal.

0:40:360:40:37

It's three months later and both dogs are finally enjoying some much-needed company.

0:40:400:40:46

Sabre is out of quarantine and enjoying being the centre

0:40:490:40:52

of attention with new owner, Anne Yates.

0:40:520:40:55

I knew he was the one for me straightaway.

0:40:570:41:02

He loves all the attention.

0:41:040:41:06

When Sabre was rescued, he was driven to distraction.

0:41:060:41:10

He had bitten his skin so much it was covered in painful sores.

0:41:100:41:14

Sadly his condition was so severe, his coat may never fully grow back,

0:41:180:41:23

but he's clearly much more comfortable in his skin.

0:41:230:41:27

For Bruce, too, life has taken a positive new turn.

0:41:310:41:34

Come on. Let's go.

0:41:340:41:36

He's been renamed Marley after the laid-back pop star

0:41:360:41:41

and is proving a big hit with Corrine Lee and Tristan Coulson.

0:41:410:41:45

We want to give him that good start that he should've always had so we decided to change his name

0:41:470:41:52

from Bruce to Marley for a fresh start for all of us.

0:41:520:41:57

Marley's coat was threadbare,

0:41:570:42:00

his skin was irritated and he was almost blinded by a chronic eye infection.

0:42:000:42:04

His recovery has been remarkable.

0:42:070:42:09

It's grown back considerably well, it's really thick and his skin is really healthy underneath.

0:42:140:42:20

His personality is slowly coming out.

0:42:200:42:23

Obviously, I expect it to come out a lot more the longer that we have him.

0:42:230:42:29

It must have been a long, drawn-out journey for him

0:42:290:42:32

but hopefully he realises that he's in the right place now.

0:42:320:42:35

If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime, or a creature that needs immediate protection,

0:42:430:42:49

remember there are delicate professionals out there

0:42:490:42:52

who will answer your call right around the clock.

0:42:520:42:55

They are the people we meet on Animal 24:7.

0:42:550:42:59

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:090:43:12

Email [email protected]

0:43:120:43:15

RSPCA Inspector Emma Ellis saves two dogs driven to distraction by fleas and mites. We follow Steve and Squirt - two rehabilitated loggerhead turtles who jet off to Gran Canaria. And presenter Tom Heap meets up with Digger - the rescued horse beginning a new life with the Household Cavalry.


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS