He shed a quarter of his weight after embarking on a low calorie, high fibre diet and going out for daily walks.Veterinary nurse Amy Hood from White Cross Vets has worked tirelessly with owner Mary Hughes and Petpals dog walker Paul Yates, to achieve the impressive transformation.
Amy said: ‘In 11 years working at White Cross Vets, I’ve never seen weight loss on this scale.‘I first met Mary and Bruey seven years ago and have always struggled to get him to maintain a healthy weight.
‘He would initially lose weight, but he would always eventually put it all back on again.
‘In January he was referred to my weight loss clinic again by our vet.
‘She was worried about some lumps that Bruey had developed, one of which was under his left armpit.
‘Due to its size it had started to affect his mobility and it needed to be removed, but Bruey was 2.5 stone overweight and the heaviest he has ever been.
‘Mary understood the seriousness of the situation straight away, Bruey could not have the operation at the weight he was because a general anaesthetic would be too high risk.
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‘I tailored him a low calorie, high fibre diet and advised that Bruey would need to lose around a stone and a half before it would be safe for him to have surgery.‘After just under four months of strict diet and daily exercise with dog walking company Petpals and Mary’s son, Bruey smashed his target and successfully had his operation.’
Vets removed a fatty lump that weighed a massive 730 grams alone.
‘Once Bruey had recovered, we continued with his diet and he kept losing weight.
‘He now weighs a healthy six stone and is now full of life, enjoying running around with other dogs.
‘Mary has been amazing, she has worked so hard and I continue to see Bruey religiously every two weeks to ensure he isn’t gaining weight again.‘If Mary can’t make the clinic, his dog walker Paul brings him and I ring her afterwards with an update.
‘I also ring her every Friday to offer any support they might need.’
Labradors are known to be greedy and Bruey was no different.
‘He will steal food at any opportunity, so I know it has been challenging for Mary,’ Amy said.
‘Both Mary and Paul have played such a huge part in Bruey’s successful weight loss.
Why do they do that? When dogs kick after going to the bathroom, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory.
‘Bruey’s daily walks have made all the difference, as he wouldn’t have reached his goal weight so quickly if he wasn’t burning off so much energy.’Paul Yates, from Petpals, said: ‘I have been just as determined as Amy to support Mary in helping Bruey to lose weight.
‘I walk him, and occasionally board him at my house, and make sure he sticks to the diet.’Mary, 77, from Middesbrough, said: ‘I got Bruey when he was a little seven-week-old puppy and we fell in love at first sight.
‘He is a beautiful golden lab who loves his food, so it’s been really hard to restrict him.
‘As soon as I found out that he needed the operation, I knew that we had to stick to Amy’s weight loss plan – she has been excellent.
‘His morning walks with Paul and evening walks with my son have also really helped.
‘I struggle with mobility, but can get to the door and my son lets Bruey off for the last part of his walk through the fields and he runs towards me, racing down the road to get home.
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‘He has such a gentle nature and loves to swim in the sea too which is great exercise.
‘I’ve realised the best way to spoil him is with walks, not food, and I also make sure he goes for a weekly wash and brush – which he loves.
‘I’m so happy to see Bruey so healthy again.’
Amy, Paul and Mary are going to keep working together to keep Bruey healthy.
Amy added: ‘I’m so proud of Bruey, he is an amazing dog.
‘To see him slim, healthy and happy was always our end goal, and as a team we have achieved that.
‘He is an absolute star and a pleasure to see.
‘Paul, Mary and I are all determined to help him maintain his healthy weight.
‘As a veterinary nurse I am very passionate about weight management.
‘We love our pets and sometimes we think the way to their heart is through their stomach.
‘We love to treat them, but unfortunately, when this starts to affect their weight, in the long run, it also affects their quality of life.
‘Maintaining a healthy weight ensures they live longer, and we want to help as many pets as possible to beat obesity.’
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Pets are a major source of support and increase the ability to cope, which contributes to keeping cholesterol and blood pressure down.