It's Christmas time at Fitzpatrick Referrals, a very special season for Professor Noel Fitzpatrick and his team, as they endeavour to get all their patients well and home in time for the festivities.
And this year, there are some famous faces hoping that Noel can perform wonders for their much-loved animal family members. Pop superstar and ardent dog lover Will Young recently rescued two dogs from America who had been facing euthanasia: four-year-old Domino, a half-bullmastiff half-dalmatian, and three-year-old Diamond, a pitbull Labrador cross.
All three travel to Fitzpatrick's, as Domino has been suffering with a painful limp, which Will was told could be a foot injury. After examination, Noel suspects Domino has ruptured one of the cruciate ligaments in his knee, which X-ray imaging confirms. Noel is also concerned to hear that Diamond is affected by lameness and upon examination, he's worried that her symptoms could indicate a problem with her elbows. A CT scan and X-ray pictures confirm Noel's suspicions that Diamond is affected by developmental elbow disease and painful osteoarthritis in both her elbows.
It's double trouble for Will, who now has not one but two dogs with significant joint problems. Supermodel Yasmin Le Bon and her daughters rush to Fitzpatrick's when their three-year-old French bulldog Willow collapses at home, leaving them distraught. With an examination and an MRI scan, Noel diagnoses a disc extrusion in Willow's spine so acute that she can't stand or walk on her back legs at all.
The family want Noel to operate in the hope that she won't be paralysed and can recover function in her legs. In an unprecedented twist of circumstance, Noel is shocked when Yasmin reports the same day that one of their other dogs, 12-year-old pug Luigi, has suffered a similar fate. He can't stand on his back legs and is in significant pain. The moral and ethical considerations are greater with Luigi being an older dog, so the family face a difficult decision.