The dog eventually put on so much weight. Tipping the scales at a whopping two stone 3lbs, he couldn’t walk and needed to be rolled around in a mini wagon.
After a lot of hard work and determination, Cleatus has come out the other side of a dramatic health transformation – and looks like a completely different dog.
His journey to better health began when his owners Austin Lee, 23, and Laura Norton, 29. Took him to the vet and was told he had hyperthyroidism, which contributed to his weight gain.
He maintained a healthy weight of 1st 7lbs [25lbs] for most of his adult life. But once he reached 12 years of age, he began to pile on the pounds and slow down.
‘As he got bigger, it was difficult to take him for walks as he physically couldn’t make the trip on his own, and Austin, a roofing contractor, would often have to carry him.
‘We have a Golden Retriever called Cooper, who is full of energy and loves to run, so we decided to get Cleatus a wagon to ensure he wasn’t left out.
Cleatus would walk a little, lie in the wagon, and enjoy the sun.
He had a bad habit
‘If his bowl were empty, it would get filled up, and the process would repeat, and he also got into a bad habit of getting into the trash.
‘But as he got lazier and lazier, we realized something must be wrong and brought him to the vets. And he was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid.
‘His metabolism slowed down, making him feel lethargic, which explained his low energy levels.’
Cleatus has been prescribed medication to manage his condition and began a strict meal plan in May 2018.
Making a change wasn’t easy. Cleatus was given five minutes to eat his four meals and would often wake Austin and Laura to beg for more food in the early morning.
He eventually fell to a healthy one stone 2 lb and can now walk and play again.
‘It was hard for all of us to get into a routine. But once we got the momentum going, it was fine portion control is everything,’ Laura explained.
‘The critical part was giving him a particular time to eat and then taking the bowl away to teach him food isn’t going to be there all day.
‘At first, he would have a nibble then walk off expecting the bowl to be there all day. But by day four, he realized he didn’t have all the time in the world and devoured it.