BRITAIN'S fattest dog which was at risk of being put down due to weighing a whopping 10 stone is enjoying a new lease of life thanks to a Cheshire vet.

Springer spaniel Philip was so unfit he could barely walk more than 10 feet without collapsing after he piled on the pounds eating cakes and biscuits.

But kind-hearted vet Edward Davies – clinical director of Cheshire Pet in Holmes Chapel – decided to adopt him before putting him on a six month diet.

And Philip is now half the hound he used to be after shedding more than five stone.

Edward said: "I've been a vet for 30 years and I've never seen a dog as overweight as Philip.

"Ironically he had actually stopped eating and it was thought he might have reached the end of the road.

"It was amazing that his legs could hold him up at all, and he was so big it was hard to even examine him to find out what was wrong.

"He could have had a football-sized mass in his abdomen, and we wouldn't have felt it underneath all the fat. But his blood tests actually came back surprisingly clear.

"Although his quality of life was virtually non-existent, we'd never want to put a dog to sleep when we feel we can treat and rehome it."

Philip's slimming journey even became an online sensation, with Edward's daughter Darcy starting an Instagram account that documents his weekly weigh-ins.

Edward added: "I couldn't even take him out with my own dogs at first as he had to sit down every few seconds.

"We built him up doing circuits of the garden and one day when one of my other spaniels dropped a ball, he picked it up and brought it back.

"It was as if he was learning to play again, or maybe even for the first time. Now he'll chase balls and pick up sticks.

"We often go to a reservoir and it was unbelievable to see him really take to the water.

"His tail is always wagging and it's lovely to see him happy."