Pregnant donkey with dental disease stands with her owner
Adele was in such agony that she couldn’t eat and was close to starvation.

Poor dental health can have unbearable consequences for working animals. At its worst, it can lead to starvation if the animal can’t eat.

Dental treatment can be a lifesaver to working animals. But lower standards of animal welfare and lack of access to regular veterinary treatment means many of them suffer needlessly. This can lead to heartbreaking consequences and, in the very worst circumstances, death.

With your help, we can give more working animals essential dental treatment, saving them from unrelenting pain and suffering. Your donations can fund equipment and vital training for our teams – so they have the expertise to treat animals suffering from dental problems. 

Toothache causes devastation for thousands of working animals every year. Can you relieve their pain by donating today to help them access urgent dental treatment?

Donkey stands next to her owner as she needed treatment for dental problems
Adele's quality of life improved after her dental treatment and she was able to support her unborn foal.

Adele’s story

Adele is a young adult donkey who works in the largest refugee camp in Bamako, Mali’s capital.

Adele spends her days transporting waste, bricks and water, helping her owner Boukary to make an income. It’s tiring and back-breaking work. To survive, she forages for food in waste around the refugee camp. This precarious existence was made tougher recently by the fact that Adele was also carrying a foal. 

A few months after arriving at the camp, Adele became listless and depressed and, despite being pregnant, was losing weight. She was unsteady on her feet and struggled to get through the day. Boukary was extremely worried. 

Toothache was the root cause of Adele’s suffering. Without regular grazing to wear them down, her teeth had become massively overgrown, making it difficult for her to chew properly. What little food she was able to forage fell out of her mouth, semi-chewed.

As well as unbearable hunger, Adele had terrible ulcers and sores in her mouth where her sharp, overgrown teeth were digging into the sides of her cheeks. She was in so much pain. As she grew weaker and hungrier, Adele and her unborn foal’s lives were at risk.

Fortunately, Boukary knew that SPANA’s mobile clinic vets regularly visit the refugee camp to treat working animals. So, he brought Adele to the clinic for urgent treatment.

Our dedicated team conducted an oral examination and saw straight away that Adele’s teeth were overgrown, meaning she couldn’t bite properly. Using a special dental filing tool called a rasp, the sharp points of her teeth were carefully filed down. She was also given anti-inflammatory medicine to soothe and treat her ulcers and sores.

Almost immediately, Adele’s quality of life improved. She could eat normally again, giving her the energy to support herself and her unborn foal.

Adele was free from pain, and over time, her ulcers healed. Boukary was so thankful to SPANA for treating Adele. Without her, he would have no means of survival.

We urgently need your support to save other working animals like Adele from the life-threatening consequences of dental disease. Will you please donate today?


Thank you

Your generous donations will be used for projects such as those featured in this appeal and where they are required the most to help animals in need. Thank you so much for your support.


To speak to our friendly supporter care team please visit our contact us page and get in touch.