Reading the story of an animal saved from a life of suffering is a heartwarming thing. Ellie Mae is one of those lucky dogs. When she arrived at the shelter, she had been abused to the point that it was almost impossible to determine what kind of animal she was just by looking at her.
The dog was abandoned when her owner passed away, and she was unable to leave. The process of cleaning Ellie Mae took a lot of time and effort. She had many health issues, including hernias, muscle wasting, and arthritis, and the hardest part was helping her regain her strength.
You wouldn’t even believe that Ellie Mae struggled with overly long, matted hair two weeks after being brought to the shelter. Ellie Mae “appears to be a Shih Tzu or perhaps a Shih Tzu mix,” according to one Twitter user.
An NHS official named Pam Wiese described what happened in great detail.
“The most difficult aspect of helping Ellie Mae. We had to put her under anesthesia to shave her because she was so severely tangled. We couldn’t tell what her actual weight was because the medications used are based on the animal’s weight. Pam Wiese said, “So our vet tech who did the estimate had to be very careful.
We had to shave the skin very closely because the carpet was so dense. The three people who were caring for Ellie were using blades that are usually used to prepare a surgical site. They are sharp. We had to be very careful to cut through the thick carpet without cutting Ellie. For three people, the procedure took just over an hour! Pam Wiese also spoke.
“When she arrived, we were stunned by her condition. So were those who discovered her in the house after her owner died. They didn’t know she had a dog. Ellie couldn’t walk, so they put her in a storage container and took her to the Nebraska Humane Society,” Wiese said.
“Until her head moved, none of our staff knew what she was or even that she was a real person. She felt uncomfortable. We intubated her to clean her up after getting her settled in our medical area, determining what type of anesthesia was safe to use and searching her face.
After she was cleaned, the NHS people were amazed that she had no other health problems. The hard shell of her hair protected her skin from infection and parasites.
They have observed situations in which the hair becomes so tight that it strangles the limbs, thus “amputating” them. Necrosis and sepsis are serious problems in some situations.
In one case, she was unexpectedly healthy after losing 9 pounds of hair on her 11-pound body. She needed a dental cleaning, but the next morning she was up and moving despite her normal weight, some arthritis, and some muscle atrophy.
Ellie is a sweet dog. She gets along well with people and all the other friendly dogs she meets. She is incredibly strong! She is also adorable!