Dog so overweight she 'looked like a puffer fish' slimmed down and loving new life

By Paige Oldfield

A dog which was so fat she resembled a puffer fish is now healthy and loving life in her new home.

Lily, a Jack Russell-type dog, was overfed by her former owner and was not getting enough exercise.

She was found to be almost twice the weight she should have been when the RSPCA were called out to help.

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Animal rescuer inspector Demi Hodby visited the eight-year-old dog in her previous home and tried to work with the owner to help Lily slim down.

But the owner was struggling to meet her needs so agreed to sign the pet over into the care of the RSPCA.

The dog was then taken to the Lancashire East branch to be cared for.

She was weighed in at a whopping 13.7kg when she was admitted on January 26.

Demi said: “When I went to see her, I couldn't believe her size - she reminded me of a puffer fish. She was blown up like a balloon.

“She couldn’t even walk to my van so I had to carry her.

“Lily had no quality of life and was in real danger of dying prematurely from heart failure so she really did need help.”

Once at the RSPCA branch, staff got to work on providing Lily with a special diet dog food.

As she lost weight, she was also able to exercise more which helped her slim down.

Lily was extremely overweight (RSPCA)

When she was re-homed on May 30 with her new owner Ruth, aged 80, she was a healthy 7.7kgs.

Jeanette Aimscough, animal centre manager at the branch, said: “Poor Lily looked like a balloon on legs when she first came to us and she struggled to move.

“She even had sores on her belly from it rubbing against the floor as she walked - she was struggling to breath and panting.

“But as she lost weight she began to enjoy playing - she was certainly a couch potato and we were delighted when she went to her new home and we know she is now enjoying a new lease of life and is much more active.”

Ruth said Lily is still having her special diet and has now learned how to run.

She said: “My other pet dog died so I was looking for an older companion and I came across Lily and was more than happy to adopt her.

“She is a lovely girl - she likes to cuddle and sleep on the sofa - but has also found out how to run now so loves to have a little trot around.

Lily in her new home (RSPCA)

“She is still on a special diet and seems to be really happy and settled.

“She is a fantastic dog and I am so pleased to care for her.”

RSPCA pet welfare expert, Dr Samantha Gaines, added: “Pet obesity is a serious welfare issue affecting a large proportion of our pets today. Recent studies have suggested that around half of all pet dogs are overweight and this can cause serious health and welfare issues for them such as heart disease and diabetes.

“Obesity can affect all types of pets and the main cause is from eating too much or not exercising enough. As a rough guide for dogs and cats - you should be able to see and feel the outline of their ribs without excess fat covering them.

"Other tips are that you should be able to see and feel their waist and it should be clearly visible when viewed from above. Anyone who is concerned about their pet’s weight should speak to their vet for advice.”

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