The People's Vet series one, episode twelve

Find out how they get on - tune into The People's Vet on Channel 4, Saturday 20 October at 4.35pm.


Buddy's story

Tiny Buddy was born with a cleft palate, so has had to be hand fed to have any chance of survival. Luckily, owner Paul and his mum Sue were determined to do everything they could to give Buddy a chance.

Shih Tzu puppy Buddy has had a very rough start in life. He was born with a cleft palate, which is when the roof of the mouth doesn't form properly during pregnancy. It means he'd have great difficulty feeding from his mum, so his only chance of survival was to be hand fed, until he was old enough to be moved onto solid food. Even then, his case would still need to be reviewed for possible surgery to close the hole in his mouth.

Thankfully, Buddy's owners were up for the challenge. Child Support Worker, Paul, said: "it's been like having a baby, literally. Me and my mum have been doing night feeds and stuff. We don't want him to suffer obviously, but we don't want to lose him either. We just want to give him every chance we can.

Buddy’s care is being supervised by Kirkdale PDSA Pet Hospital, who have advised them that if Paul and Sue can get Buddy to six months, then he can be assessed to see if corrective surgery would help him.

Vet Beth said: “A cleft palate isn’t that common thankfully, but we do seem to see it more often in flat-faced breeds like Shih Tzus. It’s a hole in the roof of the mouth, meaning his nose and mouth are joined. That can cause all sorts of problems with eating and drinking, for instance any milk he takes in can easily be inhaled into his lungs, causing very serious pneumonia.”

It’s time for his two month check, and although he’s put on a little bit of weight since his last check, he’s still not able to eat for himself.

Find out if Buddy makes it: watch episode 12 of The People’s Vet on Channel 4 or All 4.


Bobby's story

Four-month-old kitten Bobby is being admitted to be neutered, but Bobby has a surprisingly common condition which means it won't be the usual straightforward operation.

Bobby's owners want to get him neutered for several reasons. Mostly, they don't want him fathering any unwanted litters with the lady cats in his neighbourhood, but they also hope it will help his behaviour. Entire male cats are more prone to roaming and spraying, so it's good to nip these in the bud with neutering.

Neutering male cats, also known as castration, is usually a relatively straightforward procedure, which doesn't require abdominal surgery unlike neutering a female pet. However, Bobby has a condition known as cryptorchidism, which is when one or both of the testicles don't descend properly. It means they are hidden somewhere inside his abdominal cavity, making his operation more complex than usual.

Vet Marie is taking on the procedure, and thankfully has plenty of experience! Even so, it's not a simple task. Maire explains: "When the puppies and kittens are forming in their mum, the testicles start around the back of the kidneys, and they migrate down to where they're supposed to live. But they can get lost anywhere along the way, so if they're not where they're supposed to be we'll have to look internally. It's not always easy - we're essentially looking fro something about half the size of a peanut!"

Find out how Bobby gets on - watch episode 12 on Channel 4 or All4

Bear's story

Poor Bear the rat has got a very nasty lump on his tummy, and is getting it check out at Kirkdale PDSA.

Owner Georgie was diagnosed with autism in her teens, but now aged 23 she lives independently. Georgie owns tow rats, brothers Bear and Gizmo, and they are an important part of her life. She says: "Having pets around me I just feel calmer and happier. Some people don't understand what incredible pets rats are. They're intelligent, really friendly and very clean."

Bear has a large lump on his tummy, and Vet Karla is concerned. She says: "The lump is very big and has grown quickly. It looks quite nasty, and there's a chance it could be cancerous. If we leave it, then it's going to start causing him trouble, and it's likely Bear would have to be put to sleep. So although operating on smaller pets does have a slightly higher risk as the anaesthetics are more difficult to manage, it is his best chance."

Georgie is understandable upset, but knows it's for the best. Bear is booked in for surgery in a few days' time, and it's a worrying wait for her, as she knows there's a small chance he might not wake from the anaesthetic.

Find out if Bear's surgery is successful - watch episode 12 on Channel 4 or All4.

Megan's story

Little cat Megan has been in the wars - she got the tip of her tail trapped in a door. Her owner Patrick is understandably worried, so has brought her into Huyton PDSA to get it looked at.

Patrick has had Megan since she was a kitten, and she's his purr-fect companion. Unfortunately, when Patrick was leaving his flat the previous evening, Megan dashed through at the last minute and the door slammed shut on her tail.

He said: "I'm really worried as cat's tails are connected to their spine. I just want to get it checked out."

Little Megan gets her tail checked by our vets at Huyton PDSA. But it's her first trip to the vet and she's understandable a bit nervous. The vet needs to shave the end of her tail to get a proper look at the injury, but Megan is afraid of the clippers!

Find out if Megan's tail heals - watch episode 12 on Channel 4 or All4.

Neutering myths

There are a lot of myths and misinformation about the risks of getting your pet neutered...

Read more

Save a star

Without your help, stars like Candy will stop shining this Christmas.

Get the FREE guide

Get your free Christmas Survival Guide! It has all the info you need to keep your pets safe.

Get your free guide