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|06-01-2005, 09:27 PM||#1|
YT 6000 Club Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
[News] Dog Sheds Half of Body Weight
A DOG which weighed a huge 19kg shed half its body mass after her owner mistook a fat lump for cancer.
Anxious owner Margaret Priestley, 55, was stroking Susie, a terrier and spaniel crossbreed, when she discovered a lump the size of a tennis ball in Susie's chest.
Fearing the lump was cancerous she took the 16-year-old dog to the vet – but was shocked to discover the "tumour" was just a big lump of fat.
Now slimline Susie is enjoying a new lease of life after she changed her usual diet of chocolate drops for a controlled low-calorie dog food substitute. Until recently the obese pet, labelled a "stodgy dumpling" by her owner, could not walk properly because her constant snacking had made her so fat.
Miss Priestley, of Leeds, who also has another dog, Mikey, was told to put Susie on a strict diet. Since that began, in January last year, Susie has shed 9kg.
"Susie was lazy, bad-tempered and suffered from a coach potato lifestyle until the vet told me to put her on a diet," said Miss Priestley.
After changing to a "light menu" of chicken, vegetables and pasta, slimline Susie, now 10kg, has been showing the energy she has not displayed since she was a puppy.
Former officer worker Miss Priestley was horrified to learn that her beloved pet was facing a premature death unless drastic action was taken.
She said of Susie: "She's always been a bit of a dumpling, but then all of a sudden she started putting on more and more weight. She just got gradually fatter and fatter until she could no longer walk. She's an old dog and has suffered from arthritis, so I didn't really realise how bad she was."
Miss Priestley described her h eavyweight pet as a bit of a "scrounger", adding: "She always had a big appetite. To be honest she's just greedy. I would often have to stop her from raiding people's bins. Thankfully the vet said they could help us, and offered a weight-watching programme."
PDSA veterinary surgeon, Carolyn Oldridge, who devised Susie's weight-loss programmer, said: "Susie loved her food just a little bit too much. Luckily Margaret consulted us before the problem got out of hand."