Carthorse Caleb pulls loads of goods for up to six hours each day along the busy streets of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Read how SPANA vets helped make his work more bearable with treatment and the right equipment.

Caleb works as a carthorse on the busy streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he spends long days working alongside his young owner Teferi. Together, they navigate teeming streets full of traffic, commotion and noise to bring goods to and from market and earn a small income.

Every morning Teferi harnesses patient Caleb to his cart, using a home-made bit and blinkers to ensure his horse is kept calm and under control. Surrounded by loud engines and blaring horns, Teferi knows it’s very easy for horses to get spooked and panic – possibly injuring both animal and people in the process. But in the hot, humid climate the constant movement of the equipment against Caleb’s eyes and mouth had created painful sores which weren’t healing.

Teferi was very concerned about his horse’s health – he loves his animal and also relies on him for his livelihood. Not wanting Caleb to suffer further, Teferi immediately brought his animal to the SPANA Ethiopia centre. There, Caleb’s wounds were gently disinfected and dressed and Teferi was given instructions on how to apply soothing ointment every day to alleviate Caleb’s pain. The immediate pain had been relieved but both vets and owner knew that without the right equipment, this would only serve as temporary relief of Caleb’s suffering – the cycle of rubbing and infection would just start all over again.

SPANA vets exchanged the rusty homemade bit pinching Caleb’s sensitive mouth for a more humane one and helped Teferi to correct the position of the blinders so they wouldn’t rub against his skin. Within two weeks, Caleb’s wounds were healed and pain-free and his owner was more aware of the importance of comfortable equipment for his animal’s wellbeing.

Teferi was very grateful for SPANA’s support and said, “This is excellent service, thank you. This horse is very important for my life.” Now, Caleb can continue to help his owner while having a healthier and happier quality of life at the same time.