Four-year-old horse Adama was brought to see SPANA vet Dr Amadou in Bamako, Mali, by his worried owner Issouf Sissoko.
Issouf showed Dr Amadou a large, tender swelling on Adama’s neck, which stopped him from turning his head or stretching down to graze. Adama had needed treatment a few days earlier and a local vet, with very little experience treating horses, had tried to give him an injection. Due to his inexperience, the vet had missed the vein and accidentally injected the drug into the surrounding tissue. The drug injected was quite irritant and this had caused the swelling, which was hot and painful to touch.
Dr Amadou started treating Adama immediately. With great care, anti-inflammatory medication was injected into the vein on the other side of Adama’s neck and a protective cream was applied to reduce swelling and help the painful lump heal. The grateful owner was also told to apply a warm compress every day.
Issouf has a livelihood thanks to Adama, who carries construction materials, such as bricks and breeze blocks, to and from building sites. Dr Amadou instructed Issouf not to work Adama until he had fully healed, which would take up to a month.
Unfortunately, SPANA regularly encounters problems like this, as many other vets in the countries we work are not taught about treating equines at veterinary school, often because the significance of working animals is not understood.
To improve this situation, SPANA delivers training to vets in many developing countries to ensure vets working in areas SPANA cannot reach can effectively treat horses, donkeys and mules.
This year in Mali, SPANA will thankfully be running a training workshop for around 80 practicing vets to equip them with the skills and knowledge they need to treat equines safely.
With your continued support, SPANA will always be there to provide treatment to animals in need, but we are working just as hard to prevent avoidable problems that cause suffering from happening in the first place.