Mountain Vets – 16 October 2020 – 16/10/2020 – Friday – BBC Two

Series 2 Episode 5 of 6

It is the height of spring in the Mourne Mountains. This morning, local vet Jennie is on the road, heading to a friend’s farm just a mile from where she grew up. A young calf has developed a serious limp, and farmer Kyle is hoping Jennie can find out what is wrong. The calf’s protective mother is making it clear she wants her baby back, and Jennie does not want to distress her, so she has to work fast.

Ten miles to the north of the Mourne Mountains is Castle Vets, the largest practice in the area. Vet Darren has been working here since he graduated two years ago. The rush of farmwork in springtime is the perfect opportunity for him to gain more valuable experience. This morning, he is treating a two-day-old lamb. Her owner Eamon thinks she has a urinary infection, but when she happily relieves herself all over Darren’s examination table, he has to use all his investigative skills to diagnose the real problem.

Over in Downpatrick, vet Jennie is back in the clinic and examining Beau, a retired show chicken. It is a prestigious orpington breed but has been brought in by owner Rodney after she collapsed.

Maurice King, the founder of the Downe Veterinary Clinic, is taking the ferry across Strangford Lough to meet a rare and exotic visitor to the area – a loggerhead turtle has been rescued by the local sea life sanctuary. The turtle’s natural habitat is in the Sargasso Sea, but it is believed he may have drifted on the Gulf Stream for hundreds of miles before getting stranded on the Ulster coast. For Maurice, it is another wonder of life as a vet in the Mountains of Mourne.

Series 2 Episode 6 of 6

At the foot of the mountains is the market town of Castlewellan. It is home to the Castle Vets practice, where the team is being kept busy by the rush of newborns.

Terry, one of the senior vets, is on a call-out to a local farm, one of 12 such visits he makes every day in spring. Each case requires a degree of detective work, but with seven years on the job, there is little Terry hasn’t seen before. This morning, all he knows is that a pregnant cow is losing weight. He examines the cow carefully and rules out several common complaints. Finally, he makes a clever diagnosis based on smell alone.

The Mournes offer more than just farm animals to care for. Twenty miles away, vet Nuala is taking the ferry across Strangford Lough. She is paying a visit to the local sea life sanctuary, where an orphaned seal is in need of a health check before it is released back into the wild.

Nuala remembers trips to this aquarium as a child, and her next stop is at another familiar haunt – her own family farm, where her father and brother have 200 dairy cows.

Nuala is here to spend the morning pregnancy-testing the livestock, an important job that lets her family plan the year ahead. She knows that after a hard morning’s work, there will be a hearty family breakfast waiting for her.

Over in Downpatrick, Jennie, has recently returned home to work in the Mournes, where she finds it is easier to balance work and family. That is more important than ever because Jennie is now expecting a baby. It means she can’t work with farm animals so is confined to running the small animal clinic.

One of her patients is Minnie the jack russell. She is another mum-to-be and has delivered one of her pups. But there are more still to come, and Minnie’s labour has slowed dangerously. Jennie has to act fast if she is to save the lives of the rest of Minnie’s litter, leading to a difficult decision for owner Jamie.

15 miles away, Castlewellan vet Darren is running a clinic dedicated to farm emergencies, when farmer Emmet arrives with two ewes. Both are in labour and having complications. They are pedigree texels, whose large size makes their lambs difficult to deliver. But Darren is in for a long day’s work with these two expectant mums.

Watch this episode online on BBC iPlayer

About Mountain Vets

Following the busy mountain vets at the ancient Kingdom of Mourne, where animals outnumber people ten to one.

This show is broadcast on BBC Two, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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