One sad dog was so morbidly obese authorities worried for his health -- until a Texas rescue group stepped in.
“He was friendly, but I could barely discern between his laying down and standing up positions,” veterinarian Sharon Anderson, said of the dog, Vincent, LifeWithDogs reports. “With his short little legs, there was very little clearance between the floor and his chest and abdomen.”
“At his original BMI [body mass index], he was at a severe risk for arthritis, diabetes, reduced mobility, increased physical injury that can lead to paralysis of the hind legs, cancer, respiratory disease, kidney disease, pancreatic and shortened life expectancy,” added Anderson.
At 38 pounds, Vincent was massive for his breed and he could barely walk. When he did, he was lethargic, often looking depressed.
But his weight was just one of the burdens he carried: his owner had also died, leaving him homeless.
Luckily for Vinccent, Texas-based K-9 Angels Rescue and his foster mom, Melissa Anderson, stepped in and changed his life.
With the sponsorship of dog food company Royal Canin, Vincent embarked on the long journey toward a lighter life in every way. From water aerobics to a new food regimen, the group creatively helped the dog slowly shed 20 pounds.
Now Vincent is almost a new dog -- he is reportedly playful and loves being around people.
The group says it is now looking for a permanent home for him. “The perfect home will continue his daily walks and the monitoring of his food,” said Anderson. “Most important is having lots of love to give!”
While Vincent overcame his obesity, reports indicate an alarming number of dogs struggle with the condition.
In 2014, the Association For Pet Obesity Prevention estimated that 52.7 percent of American dogs were either overweight or obese, with 17.6 percent being obese.
In raw numbers, that’s 43.8 million dogs who face possible medical issues as a result of their weight, with 13.9 million that are obese.