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Runaway ferret set to make an appearance in tomorrow night's episode of The Highland Vet

By Jean Gunn

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Practice director Guy Gordon.
Practice director Guy Gordon.

As the sun sets over the stunning Caithness landscape, vet David Mackay, who joined the DS McGregor practice in Thurso four years ago, gets ready for the night shift.

At 3.30am he receives a call out to a mare and a foal in distress – the mare is a Highland pony who’s just given birth for the first time, but her foal is struggling to latch on and feed, which is a big worry.

The colostrum – or first milk contains vital nutrients and anti-bodies that are crucial to the foal’s survival. They’re needed to help build her immunity to certain diseases. Five hours in, the foal’s still not fed and time is ticking on.

With only around 1500 breeding mares left in the UK, this latest addition to the Highland pony breed is particularly precious.

At the small animal wing of the practice, practice director Guy Gordon has a bit of a mystery case on his hands. A ferret has been spotted wandering in a garden – not a typical sight in Caithness.

Practice director Ken Wilson performing a procedure in the surgery along with vet nurse Vicky Shearer.
Practice director Ken Wilson performing a procedure in the surgery along with vet nurse Vicky Shearer.

While the team get to work on trying to locate an owner via social media, Guy gives the runaway a thorough health check. He’s concerned it looks unwell and is running a temperature, but with no owner to provide a medical history, it’s down to him to do the detective work.

The ferret, aptly nicknamed as Mr Wriggly, is quickly rehydrated with fluids and given antibiotics – but seconds later, his little patient takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

Vet Katie Reiss, who has only recently graduated, has to quickly brush up on her canine dental knowledge to treat a dachshund with a broken tooth. Three-year-old Millie literally bit of more than she could chew, when she snapped one of her back teeth while playing with a toy.

For Katie, removing a tooth from a dog is completely new territory, and the first time she’s performed this particular task, so it’s text books to the ready for a quick bit of revision.

In this fourth episode of the latest series, seasoned vet William Campbell heads out to see one of the local farms with his cow tipper in tow to give three strapping bulls a pedicure.

The Highland Vet can be seen on 5Select on Monday nights at 9pm or catchup on My5.

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