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RTÉ debuts new veterinary series ‘The Pet Surgeons’

Staying In

LIVING THE WILDLIFE Colin Stafford-Johnson looking at a male horseshoe bat on ‘Living The Wildlife’ which is back on screens later this month.


Áine Ryan

FROM ‘Living the Wildlife’ to their new series ‘The Pet Surgeons’, Mayo-based GMarsh TV will feature among the top documentary series on RTÉ One’s autumn schedule. While the popular, Living the Wildlife programme, presented by the intrepid Colin Stafford-Johnson, is now in its eighth series, The Pet Surgeons’ debut will be broadcast tonight, Tuesday, September 6, at 8.30pm.   
The new series will depict ‘life in an animal hospital as you’ve never seen it before’ and, say the producers ‘must-see TV for anyone who’s ever loved a pet’. It puts a lens on life at Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital in Cork, one of the busiest animal hospitals in the country, where the dramatic stories are told of injured pets, their owners an the vets who ‘would do anything to make them better’.
The producers remind viewers: “Our pets are our guards, our guides and our unconditional loving companions. And so when things go wrong, we as owners are prepared to do whatever we can to make things right.”
They continue: “With top vets Tom Conway, Shane Guerin and Pat O’ Doherty at the helm. Gilabbey Veterinary Hospital in Cork has a uniquely talented and caring team of over 30 specialist vets and nurses. At Gilabbey, every day is a new challenge for the vets who investigate, diagnose, operate on and rehabilitate a range of animals from tiny kittens to bearded dragons and everything in between.”
They explain that the programme-makers received access to the operating theatre where ‘the vets use state-of-the art technology to perform complicated operations, repair fractures and apply the latest treatments from physiotherapy and spinal realignment to chemotherapy’.
“Dealing with the diverse personalities of the pets and their owners is all in a day’s work at this busy hospital. With clients and patients arriving daily from all over the country, the staff never know who or what will come through the door next – a litter of feisty pups in need of micro-chipping, an exhausted homing pigeon that’s lost its way, a tiny Japanese Chin dog with a fractured spine or an anorexic cheetah from Fota Wildlife Park,” they continue.
Each story will be related from the perspective of both the owners and the veterinary staff.  
“We’ll see the animals at home before and after treatment, we’ll observe over the vets shoulders as they perform the most demanding surgical procedures and we’ll meet a team of nurses so passionate about their work that they’re prepared to take their patients home with them,” they explain.   

MORE  The Pet Surgeons: RTÉ One, Tuesday, September 6, at 8.30pm; Living the Wildlife’, Friday, September 23, time tbc.