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Sunday, 23 June 2024

Together for Animals: Lifesaving treatment during the pandemic

THE COVID-19 pandemic has sadly affected us all, but it has also had a devastating impact on the welfare of working animals across the world.

Together for Animals member, SPANA has focused its efforts in the past year on ensuring working animals could still receive treatment while adapting its services to ensure that animals, owners, and staff remain safe. Emergency cases seen by SPANA have risen dramatically. But thanks to your donations, their vets have been able to respond throughout this crisis.

In the Saharan city of Nouakchott, Mauritania, donkeys are essential to the lives of the poorest inhabitants. Seven-year-old donkey Bamba, and his owner, Houssein, walk the roads of the capital 10 hours every day transporting people to work, the market and hospital. Their work makes it possible for Houssein to earn a basic living for his family.

Bamba has been an essential member of the household since Houssein brought him home several years ago. Prior to the pandemic, the faithful donkey was usually healthy and full of energy. So, when Bamba began losing weight and struggling to walk, Houssein was beside himself with worry. Thankfully, the Nouakchott SPANA centre was still open, providing emergency care throughout lockdown.

When Bamba arrived, he was so malnourished that his ribs were visible through his fluffy white coat. Not only was he listless and thin, but he was also suffering from hoof issues.

Well-versed in spotting the tell-tale signs, the vets suspected parasites had contributed towards his malnourished state. After examination, the committed team gave Bamba an antiparasitic injection and a course of painkillers to ease his discomfort. Currently, internal parasites pose more of a threat than ever. While foraging, equines sometimes ingest parasites that can live in the intestines and deprive them from taking in vital nutrients. If left untreated, Bamba would have faced the harrowing fate of starvation, infection or even death.

The vets found Bamba’s overgrown hooves were another cause for concern. Without access to proper farriery equipment during the lockdown, they had become difficult to walk on. SPANA vets remedied this by carefully trimming Bamba’s misshapen hooves.

Following treatment, the donkey immediately looked much more comfortable. Before he was discharged, his owner was given a supply of emergency feed to help Bamba regain his strength and a healthy weight. Houssein was also advised to bring Bamba in for routine hoof trimmings once lockdown restrictions were lifted. Thanks to the vet’s intervention and some much-earned food and rest, Bamba made a full recovery after a few weeks.

‘Thank you for treating Bamba. SPANA were very welcoming and helpful.’ – Houssein

The support Together for Animals receives helps make it possible for SPANA to care for animals who would otherwise have no help available to them. On behalf of working animals worldwide, thank you.


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