If there’s one thing that’s sure to warm the heart, it’s reading the story of an animal being rescued from a life full of pain and misery. Ellie Mae is one such lucky canine. She was mistreated to the point that it was practically hard to tell what kind of animal she was just by looking at her when she arrived at the shelter.
The dog was abandoned after her owner died and she couldn’t even move. The whole cleaning process of Ellie Mae was long and arduous. But the hardest part was helping her regain her strength because she had so many health problems, including hernias, muscle atrophy, and arthritis.
Two weeks after being taken to the shelter, you wouldn’t even believe Ellie Mae had been battling overgrown, matted hair. One Twitter user said that Ellie Mae “appears to be a Shih Tzu or maybe a Shih Tzu mix.”
Pam Wiese, an NHS representative went into detail about what happened.
“The hardest part in helping Ellie Mae. She was so drastically matted that we had to put her under to shave her down. The drugs to do that are based on an animal’s weight, and we really couldn’t tell what she actually weighed… so our veterinary technician who made the estimate needed to be very careful” Pam Wiese said.
“Because the matting was so severe, we had to shave very close to the skin. All three people working on Ellie were using blades normally used to prepare a surgical site. They are very sharp. So we had to be extremely careful to cut through the dense matting but not cut her. The process took just over an hour for three people!” Pam Wiese added.
“We were dumbfounded at her condition when she came in. So were those who found her in the home after her owner had died. They had no idea she had a dog. They put Ellie in a storage tote to transport her to the Nebraska Humane Society because she couldn’t walk,” Wiese explained.
“Our staff didn’t know what she was, or that she was even a living animal until her head moved. She was very uncomfortable. We zipped her into our medical area, figured out what anesthesia was safe and then looked for her face so we could intubate her for her clean up.”
After her clean up, NHS members were amazed that she didn’t have more health issues. The hard shell of hair apparently protected her skin from infections and parasites.
They’ve seen cases where the hair gets so tight it actually strangles the limbs and naturally “amputates” them. In those instances, necrosis and sepsis are very real concerns.
In this case, after removing 9 pounds of hair from her 11-pound body, she was surprisingly healthy. She had good weight and a bit of arthritis and muscle atrophying, needed a dental, but she was up and moving the next morning.
Ellie is an adorable dog. She has no problems with people or other friendly canines she meets. She has incredible fortitude! She’s also very cute!