And that’s even more the case after surgery yesterday to remove 2-1/2 pounds of loose skin from the dog who once tipped the scales at 77 pounds.
Obie was recovering at the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin, in Oregon, after surgery to remove the excess skin that remained after he lost 40 pounds in 8 months.
Obie’s caretaker, Nora Vanatta, says the surgery went well and that she hopes to bring him home today, according to KGW in Portland.
Obie weighed 77 pounds when he was given up by his former owners in Puyallup, Washington, last year and assigned to a foster home by a rescue organization.
Oregon Dachshund Rescue placed Obie — that’s him to the left in his beefier days — in Vanatta’s care. But after his girth garnered national attention the organization asked for the dog back, claiming Vanatta — by publicizing his crash diet and seeking contributions to his care — was exploiting him.
When Vanatta refused to turn him over, they filed a lawsuit, accusing her of using the “sensationalistic promotional value of his unusual obesity” and “earning money off of his public exhibition on national and regional television shows,” while not taking care of his condition.
A settlement in the case was reached in January, allowing Vanatta to keep the dog.
Before the Tuesday surgery, Obie was down to 37 pounds and four ounces.
“We haven’t weighed him since the surgery, but he lost 2 1/2 pounds of skin” Vanatta said. “So he should be around 35 pounds now. I figure his healthy weight is between 28 and 30 pounds.”
For now, he’s resting comfortably at the veterinary clinic (left), from which he’s expected to be released today — a few pounds lighter and his skin much tigher.
Vets will evaluate Obie to determine if more surgery is needed after he loses the last five pounds, a goal Vanatta hopes will be achieved late this summer.
Obie’s fight with obesity can be followed on the Facebook page Vanatta created on his behalf.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 1st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 35 pounds, 77 pounds, animals, biggest loser, custody, dachshund, dispute, dogs, doxie, emergency veterinary clinic, excess, facebook, fat, foster, health, loss, nora vanatta, obese, obesity, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, pets, removed, rescue, skin, surgery, tualatin, veterinary, washington, weight
Obie, the former 77-pound dachshund, reached another milestone this week, weighing in at under 60 pounds.
According to his Facebook page, “Biggest Loser – Doxie Edition,” Obie tipped the scales at 59.14 at his weekly weigh-in Tuesday.
That brings his total weight loss to 17 pounds in 12 weeks — an average of 1.5 pounds a week, according to his foster mom for now, Nora Vanatta.
Vanatta, a veterinary technician who volunteered to foster the dog for Oregon Dachshund Rescue, has also started an Obie store, selling, for now, Obie t-shirts.
Obie, formerly known as A.J., was surrendered by his elderly owners, who apparently didn’t know when to stop feeding him.
Vanatta immediately put him on a diet, detailing his progress on a Facebook page and getting some major media attention in the process.
After that, Oregon Dachshund Rescue owner Jenell Rangan filed a lawsuit, claiming Vanatta wasn’t properly caring for him and seeking to get Obie back.
The case has yet to be heard, but a judge ruled last month that Vanatta should maintain custody for now.
Vanatta has collected thousands of dollars in donations for Obie from supporters, and says the money is being used for his care. He still needs dental work and may eventually need to have excess skin surgically removed.
“Whatever is left over after his rehab will go to help other reputable rescues and continue to educate the public and bring awareness to obesity,” she says on his Facebook page. But, she adds, she will have to use some of the donations to pay legal fees in connection with the lawsuit.
“The saddest part is that legal fees for 2 weeks are already 5 times what Obie’s medical bills are in 3 months,” Vanatta wrote in a Facebook post.
That doesn’t seem to be a big issue, judging from those leaving comments on the page. Wrote one commenter, ”I donated through Paypal and I don’t care how you use the money. Take yourself out to dinner if you want.”
The far more common message is this: Go Obie!
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 60 pounds, aj, animals, custody, dachshund, diet, dispute, dogs, donations, facebook, fat, foster, loss, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, pets, progress, store, weight
An Oregon judge says an obese celebrity dachshund should remain in the custody of his foster mom until the courts can determine his legal owner.
That means Obie — and we’re guessing the 70-pound dog is fine with the interim ruling — will be staying put for now.
At a court hearing today, a judge decided that the dog will stay with Nora Vanatta, a veterinary technician who volunteered to foster him – and put him on a diet — when his owners decided they could no longer care for him.
The court hearing today — and it’s just a first step — resulted from a lawsuit filed by Oregon Dachshund Rescue owner Jenell Rangan, who claims that, since the foster arrangement was set up through the rescue, the dog is legally her’s.
Rangan’s lawsuit was filed after Obie and his diet garnered some fame — but she has said she filed it because she didn’t feel Obie was being taken care of properly.
“They say I’m exploiting him,” Vanatta told KATU. “They say I’m misusing his funds and they claim he belongs to them.”
She added, “He’s famous and he’s touched so many people and I think they regret not taking him on in the first place,” Vanatta said of the rescue group.
Oregon Daschund Rescue was asking that the dog be turned over to them until ownership is decided, but the judge declined.
KATU reports that the case will go to arbitration, and could still possibly result in a trial.
Vanatta says Obie has lost 15 pounds in the last two months.
She’s collected thousands of dollars in donations for Obie from supporters, and said the money is being used for his care.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 70 pounds, animals, battle, court, custody, dachshund, diet, dieting, dog, dogs, fat, hearing, jenell rangan, judge, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obese, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, ownership, pets
He may be the world’s fattest dachshund, but apparently there’s not enough Obie to go around.
Oregon Dachshund Rescue has filed a lawsuit against Obie’s current caretaker, Nora Vanatta, claiming that the Portland resident doesn’t own him, was only fostering him for the organization, and must return him.
“The dog was surrendered to me,” the rescue organization’s president Jenell Rangan told the New York Daily News. “Nora is just a foster. I trusted her to bring him back.”
Vanatta, a veterinary technician, offered to take care of Obie when his former owners — who couldn’t seem to stop feeding him — decided they could no longer care for him. He was 77 pounds at the time.
The owners’ grandchildren contacted Rangan, who asked her volunteers to find a foster. Vanatta stepped forward, and the rescue organization approved the arrangement.
Vanatta agrees that the original plan was for her to foster the dog. “Initially, I said that I would foster him for a little while because I would not be able to take care of him financially,” Vanatta told the Daily News. “But I had no idea how obese he was. It’s going to take a year for him to get to a healthy weight, and I’ve committed to his rehabilitation.”
Vanatta started featurning Obie’s fight to lose weight on a Facebook page, “Biggest Loser, Doxie Edition,” which has led to donations and made Obie a celebrity, with appearances on ”Good Morning America” and the “Today” show.
Obie has lost 15 pounds and has about 25 to go.
Rangan said she wants the 5-year-old dog because Vanatta isn’t caring for him properly.
“I don’t want a dime,” she said. “I just want Obie … He’s a dog. He’s not a celebrity.” She objected to the fact that Obie flew in cargo, and not first class, on his six-hour trip to New York.
Vanatta said all money she has received for Obie has gone to his care.
She said no papers regarding his custody were ever signed, and that she wants to keep Obie at least until he reaches his goal weight.
Rangan and Vanatta are expected to appear in court Monday.
“It makes me sick because he was never in her custody,” Vanatta said. “I can’t understand why she’s spending money fighting this because he’s so happy.”
(Photo: Obie’s “Biggest Loser” Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 77 pounds, biggest loser, contributions, custody, dachshund, diet, donations, doxie edition, facebook, fat, fattest, foster, jenell rangan, lawsuit, nora vanatta, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, portland, rescue, technician, veterinary
A standard dachshund who weighs more than twice what he probably should is drawing fans from around the world who, rather than laughing at his dilemma, are supporting his quest to lighten up.
Obie, formerly named A.J., was 77 pounds when he surrendered by his elderly owners, who were in declining health, in Washington state last month.
That, for a dachshund, is too fat to go on walks, and far more weight than their dainty joints, little legs and elongated backs were meant to bear.
As his new owner puts it, Obie’s humans were “loving him with food” and “they just couldn’t say ‘no’ to those big brown eyes.”
Nora Vanetta, a Portland veterinary technician, adopted Obie — formerly named A.J. — after learning about him through Oregon Dachshund Rescue.
She explains on Obie’s new Facebook page, “Biggest Loser Doxie [Dachshund] Edition:
“Our story began when a relative of this boy’s family stepped in and asked for help … Through many tears, the owners relinquished him. It is very frustrating and sad but we are thrilled to be able to help him, and now moving on with his new life.”
Until 5-year-old Obie arrived on Aug. 18, she wrote, she wasn’t sure he, at that weight, could really be a dachshund.
“I had no idea what to expect. I thought a basset hound would show up … to my astonishment he IS a dachshund and he actually weighs 77lbs. He is extremely sweet and loving. He was obviously loved and is a joy to work with.”
Vanetta is working to get Obie down to 30 to 40 pounds,and plans to incorporate hydrotherapy and a treadmill into his regimen once he lightens up enough to be mobile.
Meanwhile, his Facebook page – where Vanetta hopes fans can both track Obie’s progress and get advice on slimming down their own overweight dogs – Obie has accumulated more than 30,000 likes, and thousands of comments, and he regularly receives photos and words of encouragement from owners of dachshunds and others dogs.
Vanetta, who has a degree in animal science, has has also set up a Paypal page (you can find it through the Facebook page) to encourage people to donate money to pay for his continued care.
She has put Obie on a specially formulated diet, and she’s hoping her other two dogs — a nine-year-old Labrador and five-year-old Dachshund — serve as role models for him.
“‘I feel tremendously blessed to be involved in his rehabilitation and I am amazed at the outpouring of love and support that I have received … My hope is that he can be an inspiration to any person or animal trying to lose weight.”
(Photos: Nora Vanetta)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 77 pounds, aj, animals, canine, dachshund, diet, dog, dogs, donate, doxie, exercise, facebook, fat, fat dogs, health, nora vanetta, obese, obesity, obie, oregon, oregon dachshund rescue, overweight, paypal, pets, portland, standard, technician, veterinary, washington
That’s about three times the average weight of a Labrador — and enough that it required four people using towels as slings to lift him when he arrived at the RSPCA’s Leybourne Animal Centre in Kent.
The 12-year-old dog was surrendered to the RSPCA by an elderly owner who kept forgetting he had already fed his pet, according to the Daily Mail.
(I am pretty sure I did that with Ace yesterday, giving him dinner twice.)
Alfie struggled to walk more than a few steps when he arrived, and he couldn’t lift his legs the few inches needed to get into a slightly raised bed at the kennel. He’s now about halfway to his target weight, staff members say.
“He literally could not stand up when he arrived because he was so fat,” said Christine Dooley, center manager. “I have never seen a dog that fat before in my 27 years with the RSPCA … He was just a massive blob with a leg at each corner. He was being fed to death …”
“When he first came in he couldn’t go on walks because of his size, but each day as the weight is coming off he is able to take a few steps further. We have to be careful when staff take him for a walk because if he sits down and refuses to get back up we have to call in extra people to lift him up again.
“We want the weight to come off slowly to give his leg muscles a chance to build up strength and for his skin to shrink … He’s such a lovely dog and his tail never stops wagging. Everyone here has fallen in love with him.’
Once Alfie has reached a manageable weight, the center will put him up for adoption.
(Photo: Ferrari Press Agency, via Daily Mail)
Posted by jwoestendiek September 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoption, alfie, animals, britain, canine, diet, dog, dogs, elderly, fat, fattest, feeding, forget, forgot, kent, labrador, loss, obese, obesity, overfed, owner, pets, retriever, rspca, surrender, surrendered, uk, weight, yellow lab
Although still largely unavailable and heavily restricted for humans, stem cell treatments for dogs are becoming quicker, cheaper and more common.
Just ask an 8-year-old mutt named Jake, who, injured in pursuit of a UPS truck, underwent the procedure Tuesday in Winston-Salem.
The treatment involves siphoning off belly fat, isolating, filtering and condensing the cells, then injecting them into the area where the problem exists — in Jake’s case, his rear knee joints.
Where once the cells had to be sent to a laboratory before they were ready for injection, some veterinarians are using a new technology, developed by Kentucky-based MediVet-America, that allows the therapy to be done in one day without the stem-cell samples leaving the clinic.
The cost of the procedure has also dropped, from about $3,000 to as low as $1,800, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
At University Animal Hospital in Greensboro, about 20 grams of fat from Jake’s belly were harvested and placed in a small jar, and, after being isolated and concentrated, injected back into Jake, a beagle mix.
Stem cells can spark new tissue growth in the body, and they aren’t likely to be rejected, as sometimes happens with donor cells.
For humans, it’s a little harder to secure stem cell therapy, at least in this country. Among those who have benefitted from it is presidential candidate Rick Perry. Perry’s stem cells were harvested by RNL Bio.
That’s the same South Korea-based company that clones dogs, and which has successfully cloned them from the stem cells in fat.
(So if the day comes that Rick Perry is campaigning simultaneously on the West Coast and East Coast, don’t be too surprised. We jest. Or do we?)
Those human treatments that do take place have mostly been through experimental programs, or in cases in which patients have traveled to countries where the procedure is legal. About a dozen companies in America are now offering it, but some believe a crackdown by the FDA, whose regulations permit only “minimal manipulation” of harvested cells, is imminent.
For animals, the treatment is a little less controversial and easier to accomplish.
Dr. Christine Hunt, Jake’s veterinarian, said the dog — between his injury and arthritis — was a prime candidate for the procedure. Other treatments, including acupuncture and physical therapy, had been of little help.
Hunt has been certified in stem-cell therapy for about three years but hadn’t used the therapy, partly because the cells had to be shipped to the West Coast to be prepared.
Jake was the second dog to undergo stem cell therapy at the Greensboro clinic. The first, a 7-year-old Pembroke Welsh corgi named Riot, owned by veterinarian Catherine Markijohn, underwent the same therapy this month for back spasms, arthritis and other problems.
Markijohn said that two weeks after the procedure, Riot, is moving much more normally.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: beagle, cells, christine hunt, cloning, costs, cure, dog, dogs, fat, greensboro, health, humans, injection, jake, medivet-america, mix, procedure, reinjection, rick perry, RNL Bio, stem cell therapy, stem cells, treatment, university animal hospital, veterinarian, veterinary, winston-salem
Dogs, as good as they are at adapting to most things, are poorly adapted to cope with the constant diet of soluble carbohydrates — i.e. kibble — that many pet owners provide, he maintains in his new book.
In “Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack: The Paradox of Pet Nutrition,” Patton points out that pet owners, believing they are providing the best nutrition, are robbing their pets of health and longevity by failing to restrict their animals’ intake of carbohydrates.
Fat, he believes, is not the evil monster we once thought it to be — either for animals or humans — and most animals will benefit from a diet more in line with what their predecessors ate when they lived in the wild.
For millions of years, dogs and their predecessors managed to survive and adapt to a life without carbohydrates. Then, 10,000 or so years ago, once domesticated, man took over their feeding. And man’s choice for dogs — a diet heavy on grains –was based in part on ease, cost, misunderstanding and misinformation.
“Not only is the modern day dry diet higher in soluble carbohydrate than anything animals ever ate throughout evolution, but also the animal’s biological machinery was perfected to eek out a survival in a world of near constant lack of soluble carbohydrate. This exquisite, designer perfect biological machinery is at a loss to deal very effectively with constant, excess soluble carbohydrate.”
In other words, by feeding our animals a steady diet of kibble, we’re flying in the face of billions of years of evolution. It’s akin, he writes, to taking an animal who spent four billion years evolving to be able to see in the darkness and thrusting him into the sunlight.
Patton’s book is an academic work — this isn’t dog food for dummies — but it’s one that covers all the bases when it comes to nutrition, including how diet can affect a pet’s behavior.
For anyone interested or concerned about animal nutrition, it’s worth digesting.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, book, books on dogs, carbohydrates, dog books, dog food, dogs, evolution, excess, fat, feeding, food, health, kibble, nutrition, perfected by lack, pets, richard patton, ruined by excess, the paradox of pet nutrition
To that end, it is sending women clad in lettuce bikinis to the city to hand out veggie hot dogs.
Makes perfect sense.
Baltimore was recently ranked the eighth fattest city in the country, so PETA’s “Lettuce Ladies” are hitting the road to show Baltimore (and other fat cities, as well) how healthy, compassionate, and delicious it is to be vegan.
The free veggie dogs will be handed out at noon this coming Friday at City Hall, 100 Holliday St.
PETA says meat consumption has been directly linked to obesity, and that adult vegans are, on average, 10 to 20 pounds lighter than adult meat-eaters. On top of that, PETA says, foregoing meat also helps fight heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: baltimore, bikinis, cities, city, city hall, consumption, diet, fat, fattest, freebies, handout, health, lettuce ladies, meat, people for the ethical treatment of animals, peta, samples, vegan, vegetarian, veggie dogs, veggie hot dogs, weight
Bentley, a 2-year-old Great Pyrenees with a torn ligament and an arthritic joint in his back leg, was reinjected with his own stem cells this week — a process veterinarians hope will have him running, or at least walking comfortably again, in a matter of weeks.
The procedure – performed on the 105-pound dog at the American Animal Hospital in Randolph, New Jersey — was described as the first one-day, animal stem cell transplant procedure in New Jersey history.
Vets hope the treatment will stimulate cell regeneration in Bentley, reduce inflammation and ease his pain.
“I just want to give Bentley some relief, just so I can walk him again. I’m not expecting him to be a marathon runner,” owner Erin McGuire, who drove her dog 80 miles from Brielle for the treatment, told the Newark Star-Ledger.
The procedure was overseen by Michael Hutchinson, a veterinarian from the Pittsburgh area who has performed similar ones on about 100 dogs, cats and even horses since 2008.
Although the procedure is approved only for animal ailments such as hip dysplasia, arthritis and ligament injuries, it is being looked at — and used in some other countries — to solve human health problems as well.
“The basic procedure involves taking fat from the dog, extracting stem cells and injecting those stem cells back into the dog,” said Brian T. Voynick, owner and director of the Randolph veterinary hospital.
Voynick was the first veterinarian in New Jersey to use stem cell treatment with animals three years ago — a prolonged, multi-day procedure at the time.
After he removed 60 grams of fat from the dog, he’d have to send it to California to be processed, and wait for the stem cells to be shipped back. Bentley’s treatment, in which the stem cells were separated from the fat on site, took less than four hours at Voynick’s hospital Wednesday.
Voynick and Hutchinson removed 16 grams of fat from under the dog’s left shoulder, mixed it with platelets extracted from the dog’s blood and enzymes, incubated the serum, spun it in a centrifuge and finally exposed it to wavelengths of LED lighting under a process patented by an Australian-based company called MediVet.
Bentley was given a good prognosis Wednesday, but only time will tell if the procedure was successful, the Star-Ledger reported.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, arthritis, bentley, cells, cure, dog, dogs, dysplasia, erin mcguire, fat, great, health, medical, medicine, michael hutchinson, new jersey, pets, procedure, pyrenees, randolph, regenerate, reinject, stem cells, therapy, treatment, veterinarians, veterinary, white