Ellie Mae is an 11-year-old Shih Tzu with a sweet personality. Currently, she is walking around, full of life, but when she was first rescued, she was in terrible shape. Her previous parent had recently passed away. So, when the house was being cleaned out, that’s when Ellie Mae was found. They didn’t even know that the woman had a dog, and they guessed that Ellie Mae had gone at least a year without access to care. If they hadn’t found her when they did, it’s likely that she wouldn’t have made it since she couldn’t access food or water on her own.
When she arrived at the Nebraska Humane Society, she looked like a completely different dog than she does now. She was covered in so much matted hair that she looked like a dirty mop. It was difficult to even tell what the poor little dog looked like under all that hair. The staff members at NHS said it was the worst matted hair case they’d ever seen.
Ellie Mae’s Recovery
Ellie Mae had to be carried to the NHS in a bag because she couldn’t walk or even move. She needed to be put under anesthesia while the team worked to get her cleaned up. She unfortunately required a breathing tube and sedation.
The NHS veterinary team ended up removing 9 pounds of matted hair from Ellie Mae. The hair was extremely filthy and smelly, so removing it must have been a tremendous relief for Ellie Mae.
Some pup parents don’t think much of a little matted hair, but the staff explained that matting is actually very painful for dogs.
“It’s kind of like having a blood pressure cuff completely inflated all the time on your arm,” explained Jenna Baseler, a shelter groomer. “That’s how she felt constantly all over her body.”
At first, they were worried that they might need to amputate one of Ellie’s legs. This was due to the fact that a dog they had previously cared for with mats had decreased blood flow to one leg. Luckily, despite being extra matted, all Ellie Mae’s legs were perfectly fine.
After all the mats were removed from Ellie Mae’s fragile body, the staff also discovered that her nails were extremely overgrown. All of her nails were about 7 inches long, so they desperately needed to be trimmed.
As heartbreaking as this situation was, the staff couldn’t let their emotions get in the way of their work. The longer she was under anesthesia, the more dangerous it was for sweet Ellie.
Ready for a New Life
After all the matting had been removed and her nails had been trimmed, Ellie Mae was still in need of lots of medical attention. She needed dental work, hernia surgery and antibiotics for an infection. But overall, she was in much better shape than expected, and she had a bright future ahead of her.
When Ellie Mae was finally ready to go out and see the world, she stumbled a bit. It was clear that she hadn’t walked in a long time. Luckily, she quickly got the hang of it.
Even though Ellie Mae was an extreme case, matting is extremely common. The staff at NHS said that they probably deal with matted dogs on a weekly basis.
Now, Ellie Mae is doing better than ever, and she looks like a new dog. She is currently available for adoption. She hopes to find a new home where she will consistently get the care that she needs. If you would like to rescue sweet Ellie Mae or you know someone that might be able to provide a loving forever home, please contact the Nebraska Humane Society at 402-444-7800. This loving little girl, like all dog, deserves her furever home!
Featured Image: Nebraska Humane Society Facebook