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Bressingham vets helps get rid of hound’s pounds to give slim Jim back his boisterous side

Lithe labrador James is looking ahead to a more active future after dropping some of his excess pounds.

After a new diet was introduced to help him gradually lose 10kg in weight, he is now back to his boisterous self.

His owner, Nicola Mark, took James to Uplands Way Vets in Bressingham for weight advice after adopting him last year, when he tipped the scales at a hefty 45kg (seven stone).

James before his treatment. Picture credit: VetPartners.
James before his treatment. Picture credit: VetPartners.

Carrying too many pounds was affecting the six-year-old’s health and mobility, and he struggled to get up again after lying down.

Thanks to the introduction of a healthy die and increased exercise, James is now a much trimmer 34.2kg (5.3 stone), thanks to his owner and the work of Uplands Way head nurse Emily Philpot.

She said: “I’m very proud of James and Mrs Mark for following the diet plan successfully, and James looks so different it’s hard to believe he’s the same dog.

James after slimming down. Picture credit: VetPartners.
James after slimming down. Picture credit: VetPartners.

“When we first saw James, he was extremely overweight, which was affecting his mobility and putting his health at risk. Now he’s slimmer, happier and finds it easier to get around.

“His weight loss was achieved safely by working out how much food a dog of his size needs in order to provide the right amount of calories and nutrients.

“He has two meals a day, weighed out to the exact amount, and we also recommended a feed that’s designed to help support weight loss and contains a supplement to support his joints.”

She added: “Even being a few kilogrammes overweight can contribute to health issues and it can also shorten a pet’s life. While James is livelier and more mobile since losing weight, he has been diagnosed with spondylosis, which affects the spine, and osteoarthritis.

Both of these conditions are caused by wear and tear on the joints, which is increased if a dog is overweight. Unfortunately, they are issues that are not reversible, but can be managed through weight loss and medication.

Mrs Mark, from Bressingham, said she was delighted with the new-look James, who she rehomed after his previous owner died. In his former home, he had piled on the pounds after eating three meals a day, wolfing down chicken and rice and having limited exercise.

Mrs Mark said: “James was grossly overweight and I knew I had to do something for his health – he waddled instead of walked and he couldn’t play or run.

“It was like he was old before his time. Since he’s lost weight, he’s as active as any other dog his age. We recently took him to the beach and he loved it – it was the first time he’d really run around since we rehomed him.

“I’m so grateful to Emily and the team at Uplands Way Vets for all the advice they’ve given me.

“One of the most useful things I’ve learned is to weigh out James’ meals to ensure I’m giving him the correct amount. It’s important to be precise as even a couple of extra pieces of kibble can make a difference.

“James is such a lovely, friendly dog and I feel very lucky to have been able to offer him a home. It’s very rewarding to see him slimmer and healthier and enjoying life since so much more since he’s lost weight.”

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