Lardy Lola, from Alfreton, is a giant rabbit with a monstrous appetite

Weighing in at over a stone (7.4kg), she is around 36% overweight.

Owner Karen Birks, (47), says the reason for her beloved rabbit’s huge size is due to her husband Gary feeding her too many carrot treats.

She said: “He fed her loads of carrots, which are really high in sugar, and he was giving them to her by the bag full over the winter months. I told him to stop because it can lead to diabetes and other problems.

“I’ve now banned him from doing anything at all, the only thing he can do is change her water bottles and clean her out. Carrots are officially off the menu.”

Lola’s poor diet was compounded over the winter months, when her dislike of the cold weather and rain meant she remained tucked up in the comfort of her hutch, rather than exercising out in the garden.

An added problem caused by Lola’s size is that she finds it difficult to groom herself and Karen now has to bathe her regularly to ensure her bottom area is clean. But Karen hopes that through Pet Fit Club, Lola will be able to get down to a healthy weight and improve her general health.

She said: “I think it’s going to be good for Lola. I’ve got a dog and he’s a healthy weight so I want the same for Lola and for her to lose some of this podge.
“I want her to be healthy and to have a full, active and long life.”

As part of Pet Fit Club Lola will embark on a strict six-month diet and exercise programme, specially tailored by the vets and nurses at Derby PDSA Pet Hospital at City Gate, London Road.

Jill Hunter, PDSA Vet Nurse, who will be helping to oversee the podgy pair’s diet, said: “Pet obesity is a growing issue that affects millions of UK pets. Carrying excess weight can have serious health risks and increase the chances of pets suffering from life-limiting and life-threatening including arthritis, diabetes and heart diseases.”

“With the help of PDSA Pet Fit Club, both Barnaby and Lola’s owners are making the necessary lifestyle changes to help get them down to a healthier weight. We will support them every step of the way over the next six months to ensure they succeed.

“If owners are unsure what to feed their pets, how much to feed or exercise, or are simply concerned about their weight, they should always seek advice from their vet.”

Meet the finalists

Check out this year’s line-up of overweight dogs, cats and a rabbit participating in Pet Fit Club 2017

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