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Vets in Practice (1997-2002)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

First edition, originally transmitted on BBC1, 26 August 1997

It is the beginning of a new era for Trude, who is about to start her first day at work. In Mid Wales, Julie is taught how to rasp a horse's teeth, but seems uncomfortable about being watched by her new boss. Emma feels particularly anxious about her first week. Her first patient is a dog called Beth, whose mysterious illness has left the new vet extremely concerned. When Beth stops breathing, Emma revives her with a heart massage, but fears that she is bleeding internally. She decides to keep the dog overnight. The following morning she finds Beth dead. Her owners request a post-mortem, which reveals that Beth was bleeding from the liver.

Putting an animal to sleep is something that the vets are going to have to learn how to deal with. Julie has to put a dog to sleep. It suffers from a malignant melanoma and is in such pain that there is no humane alternative. In Lancaster, Steve prepares for his first surgery. The patient is a rabbit that needs to have a broken leg amputated. Unfortunately, the animal doesn't resist the anaesthesia and dies during the procedure.

Emma introduces her boyfriend, Joe, another new vet who she met in college. They picked up practices in the same area so they could see each other more frequently. Steve hasn't had a proper relationship in years. Although at work he already has a female fan club, he is too busy to get involved. Meanwhile, Emma and Joe get new pets, a couple of dogs that they take for vaccination. Steve shows off his five new kittens.

Trude has her first major challenge with a dog that was found mysteriously bleeding by its owner. Emma is treating Honey, a dog she suspects is suffering from a very contagious disease. The owners tell her that Honey has been running around the garden with a pig. Concluding that the pig was the source of Honey's infection, Emma prescribes antibiotics. Jess develops further complications and Trude contacts a former teacher for advice. In Somerset, a healthy Honey and the pig are reunited.

Emma and Trude are growing in confidence, but Julie is disappointed that she is not gaining the right sort of experience. Steve is thrilled with his life and exclaims that he finally has the job he's been dreaming of for the last 20 years.