KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 ― An overweight springer spaniel in Cheshire, United Kingdom that was on the verge of being put down has found a new lease of life after losing more than half of its weight.
When the dog, Philip, was brought to Cheshire Pet last April by its owner, it weighed 65.9 kilogrammes, more than three times its recommended weight, Wales Online reported.
Philip had put on the pounds through eating cakes, biscuits and other human food.
He was then adopted by Dr Edward Davies, a veterinarian and clinical director at the practice, who put it on a special diet for six months.
“I have been a vet for 30 years and I have never seen a dog as overweight as Philip. It was amazing that his legs could hold him up at all, and he was so big it was hard to even examine him to find out what was wrong.”
“He could have had a football-sized mass in his abdomen, and we wouldn’t have felt it underneath all the fat. But his blood tests actually came back surprisingly clear.”
When Philip arrived at Cheshire Pet, it had stopped eating completely and Dr Davies “thought he might have reached the end of the road”.
“Although his quality of life was virtually non-existent, we would never want to put a dog to sleep when we feel we can treat and rehome it.”
Initially, Philip could not join Dr Davies’ other dogs, Archie and Tilly, on walks because the canine was so unfit, so he built up the pet's stamina by doing circuits of the garden.
Dr Davies described a big moment in Philip’s transformation, saying he remembers when one of the other dogs dropped a ball, and Philip brought it to him.
“It was as if he was learning to play again, or maybe even for the first time. Now he will chase balls and pick up sticks,” he said.
“We often go to a reservoir, and it was unbelievable to see him really take to the water. He absolutely loves swimming, and that’s been great for burning off calories.”
Philip’s weight now stands at 30kg. Losing the excess weight has improved its arthritis and the animal's quality of life has greatly increased, according to Dr Davies.
“His personality has really come out,” he said, describing Philip as a friendly dog.
“His tail is always wagging, and it’s lovely to see him happy.”