The new series following the nation’s favourite vet, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, continues, featuring the extraordinary work of his unique veterinary practice where families bring their beloved animals to receive the finest specialist care. In this episode, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick’s surrounded by puppies. Delightful nine-month-old cockapoo Betsy has become one of the family at Fitzpatrick’s while receiving treatment for the multiple injuries she sustained after being hit by a van five months ago. Mum and dad Sophie and Dan consult Noel about Betsy’s dragging front paw caused by nerve damage, to see whether there may be surgical options. But when Betsy develops gangrene, she has to have her paw amputated, and in order to salvage the rest of her limb, Noel must replace her amputated foot with a skeletally-anchored implant called a PerFiTS (Percutaneous Fixation To the Skeleton). As well as careful consideration of ethical factors, Noel warns that there are no guarantees of a successful outcome when it comes to fitting a bionic foot, not least because of post-surgery risks of infection. Bite-size bijou Dogue de Bordeaux puppy Angel is only nine months old but is suffering from a genetic problem prevalent among short-nosed breeds: the radius and ulna bones in her two front legs are not growing at the same rate, and so are bowing outwards. The ulna stops growing prematurely and acts as a ‘bow-string’, tethering the radius which bows as it continues to grow. Kirsty and her partner Ian bring Angel to Fitzpatrick’s to see whether surgery could be carried out to address the deformity, prevent further pain and give Angel the quality of life she deserves. Noel proposes the removal of a small segment of the ulna on both sides to relieve the bowstring effect, and the insertion of a wire bridge to halt growth on one side, while the other side continues to grow and help straighten the leg. But it will take weeks to establish whether or not Noel’s surgery has been successful.
The Supervet: Noel Fitzpatrick – Thursday 8pm on Channel 4