A WORLD famous veterinary practice which has featured in films, TV dramas, novels and documentaries is at the centre of an investigation over the care it provided for a dog.

Skeldale Vet Centre, in Thirsk, which was immortalised in the James Herriot novels for its treatment of small dog Tricky Woo, has been asked to respond to complaints that it left a 15-year-old terrier with bloody front claws while he was under anaesthetic for dental work.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) was called to investigate the practice by Thirsk resident Gary Piper, who said the front claws of his dog Patch were cut so short that they bled for more than five hours.

Mr Piper said he complained to the surgery which has featured in five series of the TV documentary show The Yorkshire Vet, but felt his complains were not taken seriously.

He contacted the RCVS, which upholds standards of veterinary surgeons, which has concluded further investigation into the matter is required.

It has asked the surgery’s partners, who include Peter Wright, who worked with Alf Wight and Donald Sinclair, the original James Herriot and Siegfried Farnon, to respond to Mr Piper’s complaints.

Skeldale Vet Centre partner Julian Norton, who stars in The Yorkshire Vet show, confirmed the matter was being looked into by the RCVS, but said he could not comment on clinical cases due to confidentiality.

Mr Piper said Patch had a health check several weeks before the dental procedure and his claws were not highlighted as being in need of any attention.

His complaints include that there was a failure to gain consent for the claw-cutting procedure, there was a failure to provide care that was adequate and appropriate and that Mr Piper’s initial complaint was not responded to “promptly, fully and courteously” by the practice managers.

Mr Piper said Patch’s claws had been cut at around noon on the day of the dental work in July and after picking his pet up at 3.30pm he took him back to the Skeldale at 7pm to complain because they were still bleeding.

Mr Piper said it was upsetting to see Patch in pain as a result of a procedure that he says he did not know was going to be carried out and that his pet did not need because his claws had been fine.

“The poor dog, it was just wrong,” he said. “I think people should know what actually happened there.”

Mr Piper said he believed that his dog had scratched the front of the cage he was kept in at the vet surgery, and thought this was what had led to his front claws being cut back.