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Borte for SPANA appeal webpage

Each year, thousands of horses are infected with a deadly disease called epizootic lymphangitis (EZL).

Affecting around a fifth of working horses in Ethiopia, EZL is highly contagious, incredibly painful and often fatal for the poor horses who contract it. Endemic to Ethiopia, hardworking horses and their owners are always at risk of its devastating effects. Painful, infected ulcers form and spread through the lymphatic system and across the horse’s neck and face. The disease can spread through direct contact between horses, as well as by flies and infected equipment. Left untreated, owners are often forced to abandon their horses as they become too sick to work.

Borte was suffering dreadfully from the painful sores up his legs when he was brought into our Bishoftu clinic. Thankfully, his owner Negesse Gudissa brought him in early enough that our vets could offer him life-saving treatment. Borte was sedated and his wounds were cleaned and treated. Negesse was given a supply of potassium iodide medicine so Borte could be treated over four weeks at home.

Borte being treated and afterwards during recovery

Early treatment is crucial. SPANA offer the only EZL treatment plan in Ethiopia but in order to tackle the endemic disease effectively, owners need to bring their horses in at the early stage. You can learn more about EZL and SPANA’S lifesaving plans here.

We treated 764 horses in 2016 and we expect to treat more in 2017 as word spreads about the success of our treatment programme.

We urgently need to raise £59,504 to fund three years’ worth of potassium iodide and the vet technicians needed to provide life-saving treatment.

SPANA infographic highlighting how £59,504 could save 2,628 horses and 13,130 people

If we can reach our target, we can save an estimated 2,628 hardworking horses from an agonizing death, along with around 13,000 people whose livelihoods depend on them.

You can watch a short film about our lifesaving EZL treatment programme here or see the full length version below.

Please help today.