He faced an uncertain future after his weight ballooned to 65.9kg, more than 10 stone five pounds. Three times as heavy as he should have been, Philip could barely walk 10 feet before collapsing in a heap.
Now, the Battenburg-munching mutt has just reached a milestone of 33kg, after being taken home and put on a 6-month long diet by vet Edward Davies. The springer spaniel was brought into Cheshire Pet in Holmes Chapel in April by his owner, who couldn’t cope anymore and feared he may have to be put to sleep. ‘Ironically he had actually stopped eating and it was thought he might have reached the end of the road,’ said Edward, clinical director of Cheshire Pet, part of the My Family Vets network.
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He continued: ‘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.
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‘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.
‘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.’The practice took Philip on and, having his own springers, Edward went through the formal rehoming process and adopted Philip.
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The pup had piled on the pounds through eating lots of human food, including his beloved cakes and biscuits, but Edward got him on to a specially-tailored canine diet food regime.He quickly got into it and the weight started to drop off him, losing between 1kg and 1.5kg each week. His slimming journey has become a social media sensation too, with Edward’s daughter Darcy starting Philip’s own Instagram account that documents his weekly weigh-ins.
‘I couldn’t even take him out with my own dogs at first as he had to sit down every few seconds,’ said Edward.
‘We built him up doing circuits of the garden and one day when one of my other spaniels dropped a ball, he picked it up and brought it back.
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‘It was as if he was learning to play again, or maybe even for the first time. Now he’ll chase balls and run around.’
Philip found a new love of swimming which has helped him burn off the calories, and he’s now able to run around and enjoy the nearby reservoir on walks without pain.
Having has just hit the 33kg mark, the dog is now at half of his original weight, and he’ll have reached his ideal weight before the end of the year.
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A survey earlier this year found just over half of all dogs in the UK (51%), were obese. The resulting health concerns of this include arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.
Philip’s weight loss has helped with his arthritis, and his increasingly slimline figure has improved his quality of life enormously.
Edward said: ‘His personality has really come out. 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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