THESE shocking pictures show a dog that was so badly starved it had to be put down.

Fly, a female lurcher, was said in Bolton Magistrates Court today to be the one of the worst cases ever seen by an experienced vet.

Dog owner David Lowe, aged 33, of Trentham Avenue, Farnworth, was found guilty in his absence of a catalogue of animal cruelty charges.

The dog could have been “easily treated” if help had been sought earlier, the court heard, but she was put down after being found in a “severely emaciated condition”.

Tony Stock, prosecuting, said: “Angus McKenzie, a vet with more than 30 years' experience, said this was one of the most severely emaciated dogs — dead or alive — he had seen in 30 years.

“The dog weighed 8.1kg — less than half its ideal weight — and scored zero in a body condition scale where one is emaciated and five is grossly obese.”

The 15-year-old dog was found at Lowe’s former home in Egerton Street, Farnworth, on October 20 last year.

It had discharge coming from a sinus just below its eye, an abscess in its mouth, overgrown nails and had severe and advanced dental disease.

A vet also discovered it had a mammary tumour and it was diabetic.

The court heard that Lowe had been given £20 to take his dog to the vets but he failed to do so because he feared it would be put down.

He was convicted in his absence last month of five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between October 6 and October 20 last year.

Adam Whittaker, defending, said Lowe had been homeless for four years and his ex-partner was caring for the dog until returning it to him last year.

Lowe was said to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder following an explosion in Raikes Lane, Burnden.

Mr Whittaker said Lowe was “highly vulnerable”.

Magistrates decided to adjourn sentencing until April 16 to allow a report to be prepared.