Friday, September 13, 2019 | Pam Wiese
She looked like an animal you'd see by the side of the road, weeks after it had been hit by a car...a filthy mass of stained hair, misshapen by huge mats.
Ellie Mae was carried into the Nebraska Humane Society in a green storage tote because she couldn't walk. In fact she couldn't move. She was found in the home of her owner, who had died, by those sent to clean up the house. They didn't know she had a dog.
Our medical team sprang into action. Ellie was anesthetized and a breathing tube was placed, so they could keep her sedated. A team of three began working on her with clippers and scissors. They carefully cut through mats to remove the years of grimy hair. They had no idea what they would find underneath.
"I hope we can save her legs," a concerned Dr. Amber Horn murmured. She was thinking back to another case, in which matted hair had cut off the blood flow of a dog's leg, requiring a partial amputation. Ellie Mae's situation looked much worse.
But as the team painstakingly clipped, they found something extraordinary. Ellie Mae's legs were pink with blood flow. The added matting and length were seven inch toenails that were cocooned in hair, feces, and years of grit.
After an hour, the team had removed 9 pounds of smelly, hideous, matted weight from Ellie Mae's 11 pound body. One foot was infected. She would need hernia surgery, dental work, and antibiotics to ward off further infection. She had muscle wasting and arthritis in her back end, after years of not being used. But she had all 4 legs, and a bright future!
Five hours later she was up and ready to go outside. She stumbled a bit as she likely hadn't walked in quite some time. But with each outing she grew stronger.
Two weeks later she loves to explore and greets everyone with a sweet face and a happy demeanor. She is mobile and seems to appreciate being able to move and sniff and see the world before finding warm blankets to curl up in!