Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists (GCVS) in Houston, Texas, is one of the most respected — and busiest — animal hospitals in the world, with more than 200 staff treating over 50,000 patients a year. Nat Geo WILD’s new series Animal ER goes behind the scenes at the hospital to follow cases on the cutting edge of veterinary care. Animal ER premieres Saturday, Sept. 10, at 10/9c.
“GCVS has the most fascinating and dramatic range of cases in the country, with everything from exotics and zoo animals to family pets crashing through their doors 24/7,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager, Nat Geo WILD. “Combine this with an incredible cast of passionate vets, and you get some of the most innovative, expert and extraordinary animal care in the world. It will be like nothing else on TV.”
Follow patients as they are rushed into the hospital and through diagnosis and treatment. From dogs and cats to chimps and giant pythons, to rams and exotic birds, a broad range of pets are welcome. GCVS is the last stop for animals whose care is beyond the capabilities of their regular veterinarians, and GCVS doctors deal with the most complex and challenging animal cases across their departments, which include Surgery & Orthopedics, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Critical Care, Dentistry & Oral Surgery, Dermatology & Allergy, Avian & Exotics, Diagnostic Imaging, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation & Fitness, Nutrition, and Emergency. The hospital’s medical technology is state of the art and the care is cutting edge, as the staff constantly develops new approaches and techniques to treat their patients.
Premieres Sat., Sept. 10, 10/9c
Today is a first for Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists. Nia, a 6-year-old white Bengal tiger, is in critical need of surgery. Harley, a therapy puppy for a little girl, has a broken leg that only surgery can fix. Spirit the cockatiel is fighting for breath, with a mass growing in her throat. And a 9-year-old Lab mix named Duchess undergoes surgery to remove a growth near her brain that may save her life.
Premieres Saturday, Sept. 17, 10/9c
Mikka, an 18-foot reticulated python, needs her lungs checked for pneumonia. She finally slithers still for a set of radiographs, but it takes every effort by Gulf Coast’s Avian & Exotics team. Coco the Dalmatian needs a risky surgery to remove a cyst that is hampering her spinal function and ability to walk. The Houston Zoo rushes in with a 31-year-old blue-billed curassow with a broken leg — is she too old for surgery? The parents of Daphne, an 11-year-old Labrador mix, face a tough decision, and finally, Dr. Beale performs a total hip replacement on Bear, a limping German shepherd. Just another typical day at GCVS!
Premieres Saturday, Sept. 24, 10/9c
Damon, a rescue dog found bleeding and missing a paw, is a candidate for an artificial limb, a potentially life-changing procedure. Lucy, a dachshund, is rushed to the ICU with a crushed jaw. Meanwhile, Emma, a French bulldog, is brought to the neurology department with paralyzed legs. Two sea turtles are driven 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Avian & Exotics department to remove a rash of tumors that are growing out of control all over their bodies. Finally, Darth Rachel, a Labrador retriever, is brought to GCVS because of her heavy, labored breathing.
Premieres Saturday, Oct. 1, 10/9c
GCVS comes to the aid of the Houston Humane Society after they receive over 200 neglected animals that were confiscated during a pet store raid. Exotic animal specialist Danielle Inman and Dr. Sue Chen treat a wide variety of animals for issues related to neglect and mismanagement. Cha Cha Larue, a 5-year-old Chinese crested who is a social media darling, gets critical surgery on one of her back legs — will she be able to walk again? Meanwhile, Dr. Chanda Miles gets to work on 7-year-old cat Noir’s crushed jaw. Hulk, a 10-year-old German shepherd, gets a last-chance back surgery from Dr. Carly Giovanella. Finally, Sugar Bear, a coatimundi, needs the infected end portion of his tail amputated to live a normal, happy life.
Meet the Doctors and Specialists
Dr. Brian Beale is a partner and orthopedic surgeon at GCVS whose patients range from household pets to exotic animals. His innovative treatment plans, extensive experience and surgical skills help to maximize each patient’s chances of a positive outcome. Dr. Beale keeps busy with 10 to 20 surgeries a week. He hosts a weekly radio show about pet health, and he lectures around the world.
Dr. Heidi Hottinger is also a partner and surgeon at GCVS, specializing in soft tissue, including oncologic, surgeries. Always a ball of energy, Dr. Hottinger is frequently seen around the practice with her two whippets. Her wide-range of skills include everything from removing cancerous tumors to performing amputations, to extracting foreign bodies.
Danielle Inman is a nonstop force in the Avian & Exotics department at GCVS. With a background in herpetology, she has traveled the world studying reptiles and amphibians and their environments. She is known throughout the hospital as an expert on all types of exotic animals. Inman’s contagious enthusiasm makes her a beloved member of the staff.
Animal ER is produced by Propagate for Nat Geo WILD. Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Brett-Patrick Jenkins and Richard Hall are executive producers for Propagate. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producer is Jenny Apostol, senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering and executive vice president and general manager is Geoff Daniels.