Kotial the 17-year-old carthorse transports water barrels in Boghé, Mauritania, in the scorching heat, providing a lifeline to her owner, Omar, and the local community.
An increase in demand during the COVID-19 crisis meant that Kotial had to deliver larger quantities of water than she normally would. Most locals had also lost their income and were unable to pay full price.
Omar struggled to afford the food his hardworking horse desperately needed.
Kotial had become so malnourished that she could barely carry the large barrels home. One day, the mare slowed down significantly and struggled to put weight on her leg. She stumbled as she walked and showed clear signs of discomfort. Her owner was beside himself with worry, as Kotial was in a great deal of pain and urgently needed treatment.
Fortunately, SPANA’s Boghé centre has remained open during the pandemic, so Omar came to us for help.
Upon examining Kotial, our team found her source of pain: a metal nail had become lodged in the sensitive middle part of her hoof. If she had continued to work in this state much longer, chronic lameness would have led to permanent damage.
Our vets treated Kotial with a much-needed course of antibiotics and painkillers. They gently removed the nail, cleaned the wound, then trimmed and bandaged the unbalanced hoof.
Immediately, Kotial started to walk more comfortably than she had in weeks. Concerned with how thin Kotial was, our team gave her an anti-parasite injection and she recovered in our stables for five days. Omar was also given enough feed to help Kotial on the road to recovery, along with advice on hoof care, cart balance and safe levels of loading and work.
Thankfully, Kotial was brought in before she endured the misery of infection or the hopelessness of incurable bone damage.