Shar-Peis are known for their extreme wrinkles, but the skin folds on 2-year-old Sesame’s face were so severe that he couldn’t open his eyes. They also covered up the homeless pup’s ears, leading to chronic infections.
Sesame, who was brought to San Antonio Animal Care Services in February and then transferred to the no-kill San Antonio Humane Society (SAHS), also suffered from frequent skin rashes, and smelled pretty awful.
Seamus Nelson, director of communication at SAHS, told ABC News that Sesame was probably bought from a breeder and then given up when his care became too challenging.
“Shar-Pei puppies … they’re adorable, but then they grow,” he said.
Thanks to the humane society’s Michael’s Medical Rescue Fund, which helps shelter animals with special needs, Sesame was able to have two surgeries to remove his excess skin.
While facelifts (called entroptions) for Shar-Peis aren’t that unusual, Nelson told ABC News that typically only an inch of skin is excised. In Sesame’s case, several inches were removed.
“Some breeder got a little wrinkle happy and bred wrinkles upon wrinkles upon wrinkles,” he said. “The rolls will cause the eyelids to grow into the sockets rather than over the eyes, and that is what causes damage to the eyeballs.”
After Sesame’s surgeries, the SAHS website reported, “Sesame’s eyes have opened and he is now able to see shadows and movement, and is an all-around much happier pup!”
“Imagine not being able to see for your whole life and then suddenly being able to,” Nelson told ABC News. “I’m sure it was initially overwhelming.”
Not only did the surgery give Sesame the gift of sight, but a woman who saw him on the local news has given him a new forever home. Sesame was adopted last week by a San Antonio resident named Teresa, who has been a dog mom to many Shar-Peis and understands their unique grooming needs.
“We live for days like this, to connect friends for life, especially with pets like Sesame who we have had the pleasure of spending time with and getting to know while we helped him heal,” Nelson said on the SAHS website.
To make a donation to Michael’s Medical Rescue Fund, click here.
PHOTOS: San Antonio Humane Society