Cassie, a seven year old border collie, arrived at Dog’s Trust re-homing centre in Kenilworth weighing three times more than she should after being fed a diet of junk food. Staff at the dogs home were dismayed, as Cassie faces the same problems as an obese human, including diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. The dog should weigh around 18 to 20 kg, but tips the scales at 58 kg. The excess weight has left her unable to walk for more than three minutes at a time, and covered in bed sores as she spends so long each day lying down.
Cassie arrived at Dog’s Trust when her owner was taken ill. The dog lived alone with her elderly female owner, who used to feed Cassie meals of fish and chips, roast dinners, crisps, chocolate and other treats. In fact, she had never eaten dog food, which has led to her present unhealthy condition. As the dog arrived by car, it took three people to lift her out, as she can hardly walk, not even able to stand up and eat her food. Staff at the home have had to shave off all her fur in order to treat the bed sores which cover her body.
Chris Laurence, the Dog’s Trust veterinary director has placed Cassie on a strict diet which is calorie controlled. He considers that the extreme level of obesity will have been inflicted over many years, and is caused by feeding the dog human junk food which isn’t adequate for a dog. He said:
The consequences of this excessive weight gain for Cassie are very much the same as the problems an obese person would face.
It is estimated that it will take a year to get Cassie down to a weight where she can be re-homed. Staff give her short walks of only three minutes each time, as she gets out of breath. They are also keeping to a strict diet in an attempt to help her lose weight.
When she is finally ready to be adopted, her new owners will have to be strict and resist feeding her junk food, which could lead to her gaining more weight. Just as with humans, a diet of junk food can lead to obesity and health related problems, affecting the quality and the length of your life.