A donkey stares in to the camera

When Neela the donkey developed a nasty tail sore, her owner was worried about infection and unsure how best to ease his animal’s discomfort. Read on to find out how SPANA was able to help this hardworking donkey and give her a better, more comfortable working life.

Neela is usually docile and good-natured; a joy for her owner Tafaye to work with. Tafaye starts every morning by feeding and harnessing his two donkeys before heading in to town to earn money transporting goods to markets. But this morning, Neela was agitated, balking from the harness in obvious discomfort. Tafaye examined her and discovered the source of her distress – an angry sore just under her tail where the harness strap, or ‘crupper,’ would sit.

Although Tafaye bathed and cleaned Neela’s wound using water, the injury was not healing under the hot Ethiopian sun and would soon become infected without intervention. What’s more, even if Neela recovered, the harness would continue to irritate the sensitive skin.

A vet puts padding on a harnessTafaye looks after his animals as well as he can but, on an income of under one dollar a day, his resources are limited and he has no other option but rough rope to construct his donkeys’ harnesses.

Neela’s only hope of stopping the vicious cycle of injury and infection was SPANA’s mobile clinic.

At the clinic, SPANA vets showed Tafaye how to bathe the wound while soothing and protecting the area from infection with zinc oxide cream. Thanks to the donations of SPANA supporters like you, vets were able to provide Neela with a soft fleece harness cover to prevent chafing and allow her to work more comfortably.

Tafaye was delighted with the simple solution and explained,

Life without animals would be impossible, I am very thankful to the SPANA supporters and will pray for them.

Many working animals around the world suffer from sores caused by poorly fitting equipment, often homemade by those without access to qualified saddlers.

At SPANA, we aim not only to treat these wounds but to help supply the necessary resources to stop them from developing in the first place. Our vets know that prevention is the best strategy and work hard to teach owners about the impact that comfortable, padded equipment can make in the welfare of their valuable working animals.

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