Bora the horse’s irritated eyes

Bora the horse’s irritated eyes

Bora means the world to his owner, Teklay. When Bora was suffering from an eye irritation, Teklay turned to SPANA vets in Ethiopia for help.

Working animals are the backbone of life in Ethiopia. Every day, millions of horses, donkeys and mules are used in agriculture and for transporting food, water and people. Without these animals, many people would be unable to provide for their family. These people include Teklay. 

Teklay’s nine-year-old horse, Bora, supports Teklay and his family of five by transporting goods around Batu – a town south of Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa. Without Bora, Teklay would have no income.

As Bora is so important to his livelihood, Teklay takes great care of him. So, Teklay was incredibly concerned when he noticed that Bora’s eyes – and the skin around his eyes – looked sore and irritated. Bora kept rubbing his head against posts and fences in an effort to ease his discomfort, but this only made the irritation worse. Teklay knew that Bora needed help straight away.

Luckily, Teklay learnt that the SPANA mobile veterinary clinic would be visiting Batu that week to provide free treatment to working animals. Keen to ensure his horse received the treatment he so desperately needed, Teklay took Bora along.

At the mobile clinic, SPANA vets examined Bora carefully. They diagnosed him as suffering from habronemiasis, a parasitic condition transmitted by flies that can often affect the area around horse’s eyes. Bora’s constant rubbing had increased the irritation and had caused conjunctivitis. The vets gently cleaned Bora’s eyes and the wounded skin around them to make sure he didn’t have any serious damage to the surface of his eyes. They then administered eye drops to treat the infection, and an anti-parasitic treatment called Ivermectin to tackle the parasites. Afterwards, the vets showed Teklay how to administer the eye drops, so that he could continue Bora’s treatment at home. 

Finally, to protect Bora’s eyes from flies and other insects in the future, and to help him during the healing process, the vets fitted Bora with a new fly fringe. They also advised Teklay to rest Bora until he had fully recovered.

Teklay was thankful for SPANA’s help and explained why Bora meant so much to him. He said: ‘Three years ago, I was an employee at a factory that was burnt down during a conflict. At that time, my family was in great trouble because I had no salary. But now I have Bora. My family are alive today because of Bora. Thank you SPANA. God will pay back your good work.’

This International Working Animal Day, SPANA is highlighting the vital role of working animals, like Bora, in the world’s poorest communities. Thanks to your kindness and support, SPANA is able to provide lifesaving veterinary treatment to working animals in need, deliver training in animal care to owners, and teach children to develop feelings of compassion and respect for the animals that are so important to their lives. You can find out more about International Working Animal Day here.

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