Yorkshire Vet’s Julian Norton forced to call in ‘reinforcements’ for tricky procedure

The Yorkshire Vet: Julian castrates a boar

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Veterinarian Julian Norton has been seen tending to an array of animals since The Yorkshire Vet began airing on Channel 5 in 2015. In the most recent instalment of the documentary series, Julian had to castrate a boar called Neville so he could safely mingle with female pigs. But the vet soon found himself needing backup to hold down the animal during the delicate procedure. 

The 49-year-old vet was introduced to Neville the boar on Tuesday’s episode of The Yorkshire Vet by his owner Ian Prentice 

Ian, who is a farmer, explained that Neville “enjoys scratches” and usually lives alone in his “bachelor pen”. 

However, boars are sociable animals and Ian told Julian that Neville had been getting “lonely” as he was unable to live with the female pigs on his farm. 

So he asked if Julian could castrate Neville as well as file down his oversized tusks.

Julian said: “Oh dear, this is our next patient is it? Hello Neville. So he needs to be castrated and he needs his tusks taken off as well, does he?

“It’s not that easy castrating adult boars, the hardest thing is keeping them still whilst we do it. 

“It may be a combination of drugs and tickling his belly [to do it], but when we start to intervene we know what pigs are like.”

Not wanting to take any chances with Neville, Julian called for “reinforcements” to hold down the boar when he carried out the procedures. 

The first stage of the procedure was to inject Neville with a sedative, but it proved more difficult than expected. 

It took Julian, Ian, and vet Matthew Smith, the self-proclaimed “reinforcement”, to corner the boar and give him the injection. 

But soon after Neville was injected, the heavens opened and the trio had no choice but to castrate the boar in the downpour.

Despite struggling with the sensitive procedure, Julian quickly completed the operation before removing the boar’s tusks. 

Following the castration, Julian said: “Well I must say that it was a fairly straightforward procedure, in the end, his testicles came off almost embarrassingly easily. 

“We’ve got an appointment with his head end next. We are going to take off his tusks because they can be quite dangerous, and one looks like it is growing inward as well.”

Julian carefully used cheese wire to saw off the boar’s large tusks while he was held down by the other men. 

While Julian was sawing, he said: “The tooth is hard but there are no nerves in there so there is no sensation. He’s just not bothered, he’s been a really good patient, hasn’t he?”

Both procedures were a success, and Julian reassured Ian that Neville would “be a lot better without those big tusks as he won’t injure himself”. 

During the episode, viewers took to Twitter after struggling to watch the tricky procedures Neville experienced. 

Dave Clarke said: “Love the #theyorkshirevet on #channel5 with Jean and Dusty the cat, but there’s always a castration on. [My] wife laughs as I exit stage left as soon as I hear that word.” 

Joanne joked that her other half had to look away during the procedure. 

She added: “I’m currently watching a pig being castrated on the #yorkshirevet. This is what’s considered entertainment in our house (I do actually love watching the @theyorkshirevet).”

The Yorkshire Vet airs on Tuesday at 8pm on Channel 5.

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