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PDSA reveals winners of annual pet slimming competition
This year's finalists collectively lost over 37kg.

Finalists collectively lose over 37kg

PDSA has announced the top slimmers from this year’s Pet Fit Club – a six-month diet and exercise competition with the goal of tackling the UK’s growing obesity problem in pets.

The competition is overseen by PDSA veterinary surgeons and nurses and each regime and diet is specially tailored to the animal in question.

This year six-year-old Luigi, from Newport, Wales was crowned champion as he lost 30 per cent of his bodyweight in just six months. Luigi weighed 29.10kg (4st 8lb) at the beginning of his diet. His owners cited his huge appetite and love of human treats as the reason for this weight gain.

PDSA veterinary surgeons warned that Luigi was at serious risk if he remained at this weight, so his exercise was increased and extra food was cut. Now Luigi is taken out for walks every morning and regularly joins his owner on runs and bike rides.

Owner Perrie Eedy said: “Since overhauling Luigi’s diet and exercise regime, the change we’ve seen in him has been unbelievable, he’s a different dog now! At first the weight came off slowly, but after a couple of months of being strict and really sticking to it, we noticed a big difference in him and his body shape.”

Overall Luigi lost 8.7kg (1st 5lb), as well as six inches from his chest and eight inches from his waist. Having reached his ideal weight, he will now be switching to a weight maintenance programme.

PDSA veterinary nurse at Cardiff PDSA Pet Hospital Karen Jones, who oversaw Luigi’s weight loss, said: “Luigi has undergone an incredible transformation over the last six months. He is unrecognisable from the dog that waddled into our hospital for his first Pet Fit Club weigh-in six months ago. Every month we’ve seen him slim down a little more and gradually get healthier and happier.

“His family have been very dedicated, overhauling his diet and exercise programme to transform his life. This amazing outcome is testament to what can be achieved with the right effort and support.”

The competition’s ‘Top Cat’ was Bournville from Sheffield, who previously snacked on high calorie foods. Bournville shed 11 per cent of his bodyweight; Originally weighing 9.55kg (1st 7lb).

Image (c) PDSA


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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.