Caution: The photos in this post are hard to look at.
While cleaning up an elderly woman’s home, workers were shocked to discover Ellie Mae the Shih Tzu, trapped in a prison of her own hair. No one had any idea the woman, who had recently passed on, even had a dog, leading rescuers to wonder just how long the dog had gone without care.
Workers gently placed the immobilized Ellie Mae into a tote and brought her to the Nebraska Humane Society for immediate care. Groomer Jenna Basler and Dr. Amber Horn quickly sedated the dog and began the hourlong process of shearing 9 pounds of filthy mats off of her fragile 11-pound body.
Once cleared of the smelly outer shell of a coat, you could clearly see the Shih Tzu’s 7-inch long neglected nails, leaving caregivers to wonder how she managed to eat, drink, and survive through months, maybe years of neglect. Each nail was wrapped in a cocoon of matted hair.
Lucky for Ellie Mae, her coat was so dense, no fleas or other pests could work their way inside it! Once freed of the mats, caregivers could see her skin was actually quite healthy. She only had an infection in one foot, easily treated with antibiotics. Beyond her lack of coat and nail care, the 11-year old dog needed dental care and hernia surgery.
After a few weeks of recuperation, Ellie is bright-eyed, snuggly, and ready to find a forever home who will cherish her and keep her up-to-date on her important beauty regimen.