Rescue dog has 9lbs of matted hair removed from 11lb body to look like 'a whole new dog'
An 11 lb rescue dog had 9 lbs of matted hair removed from her tiny body and now looks like an entirely new pooch.
The 11-year-old Shih Tzu, known as Ellie Mae, was rescued by the Nebraska Humane Society (NHS), who deemed her "the worst" case of matted hair that they had ever encountered.
"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," the organisation wrote in a blog post on their official website.
Watch as one severely deprived dog devours a bowl of food in just a few seconds:
According to the NHS, Ellie Mae was carried into their centre in Omaha in a storage tote because she was unable to walk. In fact, she couldn't move. She was found in her late owner's home by workers sent to clean the house. They were unaware that she even had a dog.
"Our medical team sprang into action," the blog post continues. "Ellie was anaesthetized 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."
It wasn't looking good for Ellie Mae, whose situation seemed much worse. "This is probably the process of over a year of not having access to care," NHS veterinarian Dr Amber Horn told KETV.
The team then discovered that the vulnerable canine had one infected foot and was in need of dental work, hernia surgery and antibiotics to fight further infection.
Miraculously, though, five hours after the procedures, Ellie Mae was able to take her first few steps outside.
"She stumbled a bit as she likely hadn't walked in quite some time. But with each outing she grew stronger," the NHS wrote. "Two weeks later she loves to explore and greets everyone with a sweet face and a happy demeanour. 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."
Last Friday, the organisation posted an update on Ellie Mae to their Facebook, explaining that "she's doing better than ever" and "seems like a whole new dog".