Soraya the mule has worked with her owner, Sa’id, for nearly twenty years helping him to earn an income for their family of five. Recently, changes in her behaviour and swelling on her body began to cause concern for Sa’id and he came straight to SPANA to have the problem investigated.

Soraya and her owner receive treatment for her swellingBecause of her old age, twenty-year-old Soraya doesn’t work the long hours that she used to, but she still occasionally helps her owner transport goods to market. While Sa’id had been giving his animal plenty of breaks, he had begun to notice that she was getting significantly slower and more listless. When Soraya started developing a build-up of fluid on her chest, Sa’id knew it was time to act and brought his mule straight to the SPANA centre in Marrakech, Morocco.

Upon examination, SPANA vets concluded that the mule was suffering from oedema, a swelling that was likely caused by hot temperatures and a lifetime of work on dusty roads. The only real treatment available is rest and Soraya was immediately admitted to the stable to recover away from the sun and heat.

Soraya and her owner receive treatment for her swellingSPANA vets advised Sa’id that Soraya had reached an age where she could no longer work. Sa’id was saddened to hear that Soraya had become overworked, and agreed to give his mule the retirement she deserves. He was grateful to the SPANA vets for their care and advice and to his mule for her lifetime of labour.

When Sa’id was asked about SPANA’s work he said,

People here do a good job. My mule is healthier thanks to them, they treat her with medications, and always give humane bits and head collars. I couldn’t afford these without SPANA, and my mule is healthier because of them.

Thanks to SPANA’s advice, Soraya will live out her days on Sa’id’s farm where she can graze, rest in the shade of the trees and enjoy a well-deserved retirement after years of helping to support her owner and his family.

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