‘Morbidly obese’ dog had to take up SWIMMING to shed whopping 2.6st

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An enormous dog lost almost half its body weight after being put on a special diet and swimming regime.

Rescued Staffy-cross Roxanne shed a staggering 2.6 stone after previously tipping the scales at 6 stone.

Her previous weight left her unable to even move.

The eight-year-old pudgy pooch was put on a special diet and took to the water to help her on her weight loss journey.

After a dramatic transformation, Roxanne was finally adopted and is having fun with her new family. She is now able to run and play.

When she arrived at the Crewe, Nantwich & District branch of the RSPCA, Roxanne weighed the same as a pre teen child.

At her largest, she was more than double the healthy amount of a female Staffordshire Bull Terriers which is around 2.3 st.

Roxanne arrived in the RSPCA’s care when her owner couldn’t look after her anymore.

Dog rehoming coordinator Angela Chan said: “Roxanne was clearly well-loved but had been overindulged over the years with lots of unhealthy treats and was morbidly obese. She could barely move due to her weight.

“We put Roxanne onto a sensible diet immediately and, although her progress was slow, she started to shed the weight.

“She now weighs 3.3 st and the vet, who has been monitoring her closely over the last 10 months, is happy for her to officially be discharged as pet slimming su-paw-star of the year.”

Exercise was difficult for Roxanne as she could not walk far without getting out of breath and her weight put a huge strain on her little legs, Ms Chan explained.

But starting hydrotherapy helped, as swimming allows her to move freely and use her muscles while avoiding pressure on her joints.

“Although she doesn’t need to lose any further weight, she’ll continue swimming to help manage her arthritis,” Ms Chan said.

“We slowly increased her walks and it’s so lovely now that she’s able to enjoy exercise, running and even playing with her ball.”

Incredibly, Roxanne has also now bagged herself two new fantastic owners, Hazel and Mike Ducker, from Shropshire, who fell in love with her.

Angela added: “As well as being fitter and healthier, Roxanne is now having lots of fun with her new family. They go on lots of holidays in their motorhome, visiting the seaside, lakes, farms and even castles.

“Roxanne is such a sweetheart. She’s a lovely, easy-going girl who loves a fuss and a play, and is always pleased to see everyone.

“Her favourite thing in the world is her squeaky blue ball. We hope that now she’s fitter and healthier she’ll be able to play and play until her heart’s content.”

Pet obesity is a serious welfare issue and recent studies have suggested that around half of all pet dogs are overweight.

RSPCA chief veterinary officer Caroline Allen said: “We are quite literally killing our pets with kindness. Obesity can affect all types of pets and the main causes are from eating too much or not exercising enough.

“As a rough guide for cats and dogs, you should be able to see and feel the outline of their ribs without excess fat covering them.

“You should also be able to see and feel their waist and it should clearly ‘pinch in’ when you look down at them from above.”

Overweight pets can suffer from serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.

Carrying more body weight can also increase the chances of pets suffering from conditions such as arthritis and can even shorten their life expectancy.

Ms Allen added: “If you’re worried about your pet’s weight, we’d recommend speaking to your vet before making any significant diet or lifestyle changes and ruling out any health conditions that may be affecting their weight.”