A porky pooch which was so fat he could barely walk has had his life transformed.
Springer Spaniel Philip was taken to the vets after his owners allowed him to binge on biscuits, cakes and other human foods which saw the pet pile on the pounds.
His weight ballooned to more than ten stone – three times as heavy as he should be – and he could barely walk ten feet without collapsing.
By the time Philip's owners sought professional help, he was so overweight and ill he had almost stopped eating altogether, CheshireLive reports.
Edward Davies, a vet at the Cheshire Pets clinic at Holmes Chapel, volunteered to adopt the portly pet.
He said: “I’ve been a vet for 30 years and I’ve 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.
“I thought he might have reached the end of the road but although his quality of life was virtually non-existent, we’d never want to put a dog to sleep when we feel we can treat and rehome it.”
Initially, Philip could not join Mr Davies’ other dogs, Archie and Tilly, on walks because the canine was so unfit, so Mr Davies built up the pet's stamina by doing circuits of the garden. He also put him on a firm diet.
Mr Davies described a big moment in Philip’s transformation, when one of the other dogs dropped a ball, and Philip brought it to him.
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He said: "It was as if he was learning to play again, or maybe even for the first time. Now he’ll chase balls and pick up sticks.
“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 his arthritis and the animal's quality of life has greatly increased, according to Mr Davies.
“His personality has really come out,” he said.
"He’s such a friendly dog, and you just didn’t see that before. His tail is always wagging, and it’s lovely to see him happy.”
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