A Tunisian mare suffers from an agonising case of colic and gets vital treatment from SPANA vets at the market.

Kasserine lies in a dry and impoverished part of rural Tunisia, where many families live a hand-to-mouth existence and working animals are an integral part of survival. Sarie is one of these animals, providing financial support to her family through her labour.

SPANA vehicle in Kasserine

63-year-old Mohammad relies on Sarie (which means ‘Speedy’ in Arabic) not only to support his own farm work but also to help neighbours. He rents her out for a day’s work, and that income helps fund his grandchildren’s education.

 One winter morning, Mohammad entered Sarie’s enclosure to find her rolling around on the floor in distress and injuring herself. He could tell that she was in agony and thanks to previous SPANA welfare training, recognised the symptoms as possible colic. Colic is abdominal pain which can be caused by a blockage in the digestive passage. Without intervention, colic can sometimes cause death.

SPANA vets treat Sarie the horseMohammad had learnt that water and laxatives can help with some forms of colic so he gave this treatment to Sarie and fortunately she quickly improved. He kept watch over her to make sure she didn’t injure herself while rolling in her pen.

The day after, Sarie passed the blockage but Mohammad and his grandson, Ali, brought her to the weekly SPANA mobile clinic at the souk for her to be checked over and for her wounds to be treated.

Mohammad, his grandson and Sarie his horse in Kasserine.

SPANA vets Dr Shukri and Dr Ali set to work cleaning and applying a blue antiseptic spray to the sensitive wounds on Sarie’s legs and joints. They also gave Sarie an antiparasitic injection and advised Mohammad to bring her back the following week so that the SPANA vets could check in on Sarie’s condition. The team recommended feeding Sarie good quality feed to build up her strength, keeping Sarie from working for at least a few weeks, and removing plastic and rubbish from her feeding area as the obstructions are often caused by accidentally eating plastic bags.

Mohammad, his grandson and Sarie his horse in Kasserine.

Mohammad and his grandson were delighted to have received treatment and advice from SPANA and knew that Sarie would soon make a complete recovery.

Mohammad said, ‘Sarie is so important and so well loved in our big family. Everyone will be so pleased that she is healthy again.’

SPANA Tunisia is composed of four teams of vets who regularly visit rural areas with their mobile clinics. For tens of thousands of working animals like Sarie right across Tunisia, who would otherwise be too far from major cities to receive veterinary care, SPANA’s clinics are a lifeline.

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22 comments on “Sarie Bounces Back

  1. Yvonne Autie on

    Thank you for keeping me up to date with your work. I just wish that I could donate more but I support a number of animal charities so cannot allocate large amounts as I should like to do.

    • Val Thomas on

      I was so interested to read this as I could have written it myself! There are so many charities that deciding who to support is mind-boggling. I decided some time ago to limit my support to animal and environmental charities, but still find the choice huge. I also find it difficult to decide whether to divide a limited pot between many or just a few causes.

    • SPANA on

      All support is extremely helpful Yvonne, we’re very grateful for your generosity. Thanks for being there for the animals who need you.

  2. Angela Downie on

    What a heartwarming story to start a new year with. Spana give wonderful help to our
    animal friends.

    I am very proud to be able to support them and their ongoing work.
    Best wishes to all concerned.

  3. Mrs Cathy Vincent on

    Every Christmas i give SPANA a donation. They really do deserve so much help and they do so much good for all the working animals in various countries. I love to see how they look after and care for all these animals. Please do not give up this wonderful work you do. You are all good,caring people. !!!!!

  4. Elizabeth Edwards on

    I love hearing your stories of help to these poor overworked animals. It’s so good to know that the owners or most of them do appreciate and love their animals and are able to take them somewhere for help although they have no money
    I do try and help as much as I can but difficult now I’m retired
    Keep up all your good work

  5. Kevin Cawser on

    It’s wonderful to read of such positive stories and know that the money we donate helps improve the lives of people and animals in poor areas.

  6. Michele Van-Gowler on

    I am happy to have made a small contribution to the welfare of these beautiful creatures. They so deserve all of our help. We need to appreciate how much they do to help us.

  7. maureen charles on

    It is heartwarming to know that even though that beautiful horse has a hard working life that her owners love and care for her – huge rhanks to all you wonderful peopleat SPANA 😊💟


    It’s so good to know that education and help is a priority, no finger pointing or blame just sensible and practical help. My small monthly payment may not be much on its own but together the donations DO make a really big difference, the above stories prove you are doing such a worthwhile job.
    Thank goodness for people like you, keep up the excellent work.

    • SPANA on

      Thank goodness for people like you Jackie and all our incredible supporters! We simply couldn’t achieve a world where working animals lead a better life, without wonderful individuals like you.

  9. Sandra Sharp on

    SPANA you are going wonderful work looking after these lovely animals they diserve all the help they can get . I am pleased l can be giving a little help .

  10. Mandy Chester on

    Thank you so much for letting me know money donated helps these beautiful animals and their families.It’s breaks my heart knowing so many animals suffer needlessly,but with help from your wonderful vets,can recover.I will continue to support this wonderful cause.Thank you again,regards,Amanda

  11. John buchan on

    It upsets me to read these story’s many times I just can’t look at them I only wish I was in a position to help more but as a pensioner I can’t give to ever one I would like it’s heart breaking . Carry on the good work

  12. Mrs Pamela Chapman on

    What a beautiful story about Sarie and how she was helped by Spana and her owner. She is obviously adored as her owner helped as much as he could but made sure Sarie was checked by Spana who gave her treatment and vital advice for her owner. Could not be better than this.


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