The stray had been enjoying a few too many dogs dinners when it was rescued in September last year.
Bolinha weighed more than 80lbs after being treated as a sideshow at a petrol station in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Customers who visited the fuel stop were encouraged to give the chubby mutt a treat. After videos of the unhealthy dog began circling online, wildlife organisation Pam Pet and animal welfare charity Organização de Proteção Animal de Mato Grosso (OPA-MT) decided to stage an intervention.
Pam Pet owner Pamela Ferreti, 32, revealed the dog could barely walk when they first found him. The weighty pooch also had breathing problems which worsened when he was lying down.
Pamela said: “Bolinha lived in a snack bar and restaurant located in a gas station after he was abandoned by his owners.
“He was constantly being fed scraps by the owner and passers-by and he eventually became an attraction because of his enormous size.
“Luckily once he arrived at the veterinary clinic, he underwent several tests that showed he had no hormonal or thyroid problems, and that overeating was the only cause of his obesity.
“According to the vet he would not have lived much longer if he had not been rescued.”
Specialists put bulky Bolinha on a strict diet of four light meals a day at a veterinary clinic in Mato Grosso.
He has also shed his puppy fat using an aquatic treadmill where he walks with his legs underwater.
According to non-profit organisation the World Animal Foundation, a baby hippo weighs somewhere between 55lbs and 100lbs at birth.
When he was rescued Bolinha weighed-in at 80.1lbs, but after a year at the clinic he has slimmed down to 48.1lbs.
Pamela, who says the dog is set to be adopted by one of his carers, continued: “Once rescued, Bolinha was very sad and timid, he was afraid of people and just wanted to stand still or sleep.
“However after receiving treatment, he is now happy and affectionate and has started to play with other dogs.
“The president of the OPA-MT Michelle Scopel will adopt him and in a few days he will already be in a new home.
“Seeing the transformation of Bolinha has given me great satisfaction because it is another life saved.
“He can jump, run, play, and be a healthy and happy dog.”
Image credit: Pam Pet / Barcroft Media
Kim Ngan Do
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