happyworld - Dog Neglected For Years Finally Gets A Haircut That Uncovers Her Real Identity

This story isn’t about a puppy having something goofy shaved into its belly. The dog in this story was neglected, silently curled up on the floor of its owner’s home for a long time. So much of this dog’s story is unknown: How long it suffered, and how it had managed to survive. When this dog was found, it could barely move its head.
This is a story about the harsh reality faced by animal shelters every day: Sometimes, an animal is brought in that’s so transformed by neglect that hope for survival is slim. But the Nebraska Humane Society wasn’t about to give up on little Ellie Mae. Rescuers were sure her next haircut wouldn’t just make her adorable — it would save her life. 
When Ellie Mae was discovered, no one could tell she was alive. All her rescuers saw was a giant clump of tangled fur on the floor. It looked like something you’d see in Jim Henson’s abandoned creature shop…
But then, it moved — though only slightly. No one knows how long Ellie Mae had been on the floor, weighed down by a mess of matted, dirty fur. After all, her rescuers hadn’t even expected to find her where they did…
The old woman who had lived in the house had died, and they were supposed to clean and empty the home. They expected to see dust bunnies, sure, but never the matted, breathing creature they couldn’t make heads or tails of.
Still, they knew what they had to do, even if the sight and smell of the creature made them gag. They tried to coax it into a standing position, but all the creature could do was lie there and breathe.
They had no choice. Ellie Mae’s rescuers lifted her body off the ground and placed her into a storage tote before bringing her to the Nebraska Humane Society. The specialists at the shelter had seen some grisly cases before — but never like this. 
Even the veterinarians had no idea what kind of creature it was…that is, until they made a crack in the matted shell. Looking up at them were the terrified eyes of a dog, trapped within its own prison of fur.
The vets sprung into action. First, they had to shave her — but not with a buzzer. The severity of the case required surgical blades, which they held as close to the skin as possible. She was covered in sores, which necessitated anesthesia. 
But there was no way for them to know her exact weight, and they ran the risk of accidentally overdosing her. As minutes passed and Ellie Mae whimpered with pain, they had no choice but to estimate the correct dosage.
“We carefully cut through the grimy hair with no idea what we would find underneath,” the N.H.S. explained on Twitter. There was a sense of trepidation. They’d seen similar, though not as severe, cases in the past…and it never ended well.
“A past dog had matted hair so bad it had cut off the blood flow of [the] dog’s legs,” the N.H.S. said. The only solution had been amputation. Other past cases had been even worse…
There were other instances where a dog’s limbs were strangled and naturally amputated by its own fur. Since this results in necrosis and sepsis, or diseased limbs and blood that ultimately kills the animal, Ellie Mae’s vets prepared themselves for the worst.
But when they removed enough layers of fur, they saw an extremely welcome sight: Ellie Mae’s legs, pink with blood flow. As they continued shaving, however, the vets realized that the matted fur wasn’t the only thing preventing Ellie Mae from walking.
Her toenails were seven inches long, and as the NHS described, they were “cocooned in hair, feces, and years of grit.” The more they shaved, the worse Ellie Mae looked. She wouldn’t lose a limb, but she was still in serious danger.
After an hour of shaving, Ellie Mae was finally freed. The matted fur weighed nine pounds —astounding, considering how Ellie Mae herself is just eleven pounds. Still, she was covered in painful sores, and she wasn’t much better internally, either. 
One of her feet was infected, she had a painful hernia, rotting teeth, muscle wasting, and arthritis in her back end after years of being sedentary. Despite all these serious health problems, the shelter staff considered Ellie Mae lucky. 
“The hard shell of hair apparently protected her skin from infections and parasites,” Pam Wiese, a representative from N.H.S., explained. The hair that had pulled on Ellie Mae’s skin and held her captive had actually saved her life…
Five hours after she was shaved, Ellie Mae was on the road to recovery. “She stumbled a bit as she hadn’t walked in some time,” the N.H.S. said. Only time would tell if Ellie Mae would survive in the hours after her treatment.
After two weeks, Ellie Mae had a new lease on life. “She’s stronger, loves to explore and greets everyone with a sweet face,” wrote the N.H.S. Twitter page. As the vets describe, Ellie Mae is a miracle in more ways than one.
Despite years of neglect, Ellie Mae has nothing but a goofy grin for everyone she meets. “She doesn’t have any issues with people,” they described. “She’s extraordinarily resilient!” When they shared the story online, people definitely had their own opinions.
“[This] really proves the importance of those ‘dog owners’ emergency window stickers,” one user wrote, while others praised the N.H.S. and sent their love to the new and improved Ellie Mae. The N.H.S. had just one response to all the praise.
“That’s why we do what we do!” Pam Wiese exclaimed. Thanks to the quick-thinking at the N.H.S., Ellie Mae will live to walk, run, and jump another day — and, hopefully, all in the comfort of her very own forever home.

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