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Most people dread a trip to the dentist, but for donkey Soja, some much needed dental work helped to save his life.

resizedSix year-old Soja, from the rural village of Lutumba in Zimbabwe, helps his owner Daniel to ferry essential water and firewood. Along with five other donkeys, they collect and carry water from the nearest borehole, which is located 8km away from his home.

Sadly, Soja started losing weight and was having problem swallowing food. So when SPANA’s mobile clinic came through his village, a worried Daniel asked SPANA’s vets for help.

resized-3Like Daniel, around 95 per cent of the Zimbabwe’s population live in poverty and mobile clinics are the only way for people to access veterinary care for the animals they rely on.

SPANA’s vets examined Soja and found that he had a loose and painful wolf tooth and that his molar teeth were very sharp. So after giving him some sedation and a local anaesthetic, they removed the wolf tooth. Then they rasped (filed down) the sharp molars. Daniel was also instructed to give Soja anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers for three days while he recovered.

A couple of weeks later the vets spoke to the Daniel on the phone, who told them that much to his delight, Soja had improved significantly and his body condition was doing great. He said: “I love you SPANA, thank you for treating my donkey.”