Eight months ago, an overweight Dachshund was brought into K-9 Angels Rescue in Houston, Texas, depressed and unhealthy. His owner, who apparently fed him all sorts of goodies, had just died and the wiener dog didn’t have a lot of energy to move his 36 pound body. Couple this with the fact that he had high cholesterol and 62.7 percent body fat, Fat Vincent, as he was nicknamed, was a candidate for a whole host of health problems similar to that of an overweight human. Rescue workers had to act to save this dog’s life.
“At his original BMI, 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,” Sharon Anderson, Fat Vincent’s veterinarian, told CNN.
The little guy was just so overweight. So Fat Vincent was put on a diet and exercise regimen in an effort to halt what easily could have been a downward spiral, health wise, for the Doxie.
At first, the weight didn’t come off. Then his doctors turned to other exercises that worked.
Finally I got my spiffy swimming vest! Posted by Fat Vincent of K-9 Angels Rescue Houston on Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Water aerobics was a big part of Fat Vincent’s exercise routine because not only did it get his heart rate up, it enabled him to use more muscles in his body without harming his already overworked joints. As Fat Vincent progressed, the maker of Royal Canin, a specialized dog food, urged him on to get healthy and became a sponsor. Then the media picked up his story.
As he began to lose the extra pounds that he carried on his small frame, his cholesterol dropped from 286 to 166 (average range is 125 to 270 for a dog, according to veterinarian Anderson), his stamina increased, and he began to take longer walks, which are of course a dog’s favorite pastime. Now he’s a much slimmer 17 pounds and can now walk for about one hour, five to six days a week.
Walking with my friends, Eloise and Sam! This was the longest walk I’ve taken. Weigh-in tomorrow! Posted by Fat Vincent of K-9 Angels Rescue Houston on Wednesday, September 9, 2015
“He loves his walks,” Melissa Anderson, who fostered Vincent, told CNN. “He waits by the door after breakfast every morning.”
In addition to losing all that weight, Vincent he also shed the depression that he was in when he first was brought to the rescue.
“He is the sweetest, funniest, happiest guy now,” Melissa Anderson said to the news outlet.
Although “Fat” Vincent can no longer be called “Fat” and some folks on his Facebook page call him “Skinny Vinnie,” Vincent has to lose just 1.5 pounds to reach his goal weight of about 16 pounds. When he does, he will be ready for adoption.
“The perfect home will continue his daily walks and the monitoring of his food,” Melissa Anderson said. “Most important is having lots of love to give!”
You can follow Vincent on his Facebook page.