Abou the horse is treated for lameness in Tunisia

Because of money raised by the Vet Charity Challenge, our vet team in Tunisia are able to keep their much-needed mobile clinic running. The clinic allows them to reach thousands of sick and injured working animals every year. The Vet Charity Challenge is an annual one-day fundraising event for the veterinary sector that raises money for animal charities. Over the last five years, proceeds of over £43,000 have been kindly donated to SPANA. Read more about how animals like Abou have directly benefitted from SPANA’s care made possible by these donations.

A SPANA Tunisia vet removes a painful thorn from Abou's hoof

Every step for Abou had become increasingly painful – a fact that had kept his owner Moustafa Ben Amor up at night with work. The 12-year-old horse is critically important to Moustafa’s very survival, helping him to plough the fields of the small farm that Moustafa and his family depend upon for their livelihoods. As his animal is so critically important to the whole family’s survival, Moustafa takes excellent care of Abou, limiting the number of hours each day he works and feeding him a nutritious diet of hay and dates.  SPANA Tunisia’s work in encouraging better animal welfare standards in the region have paid off and Moustafa knew that before he could continue using Abou for work, he had to seek help.

Over the past week, Abou had begun to favour his front right leg more and more, wincing every time he attempted to put weight on it. The normally energetic horse had slowed down and seemed to be in constant agony. Moustafa wasn’t sure how to help – when he examined Abou’s leg he saw nothing wrong and couldn’t figure out where the pain was coming from.

Although this area of Tunisia is incredibly rural and difficult to get to, Moustafa was in luck when he heard that SPANA vets would be visiting the village with their mobile clinic. He begged our vets to come examine his animal standing lame in the courtyard of his house. SPANA vets did a full check-up, examining Abou’s leg to try to get to the root of the lameness.

A SPANA Tunisia vet removes a painful thorn from Abou's hoof

But they were surprised to find such a debilitating injury was the result of something relatively simple – a thorn lodged deep in the bottom of the hoof. As Abou had walked the thorn had worked deeper and deeper in to the animal’s foot and had gotten infected. The entire hoof was painful to the touch and vets struggled to examine Abou as he tried to escape the pain.

The team showed Moustafa how this innocuous thorn had caused so much unnecessary suffering and explained that horses need regular checks of their feet for any foreign debris. The vets disinfected the wound, extracting the thorn to the great relief of Abou. With a week to recover off his feet, Abou is expected to be back to his old self soon. Without SPANA’s intervention, the pain would only continue, possibly leading to total lameness. Moustafa was incredibly grateful and equipped with the knowledge of how to better care for his trusty horse, vowed to prevent Abou from suffering this kind of pain in future.

Find out more about the The Vet Charity Challenge and how your involvement can help save the lives of even more working animals.

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