Horses like Ayata and her foal are a vital form of transport in rural Tunisia. Read how SPANA came to the aid of the foal, to the relief of the young family who will depend on him.
11-year-old Souhaiel was excited that his parents had decided to buy a new horse to help them work in the fields. They travelled to the horse market near their village in central Tunisia to pick out their animal.
The family chose a strong-looking bay mare and called her ‘Ayata’. They were delighted when she began using her incredible strength to help transport agricultural produce, supporting Souhaiel, his parents and his five siblings.
Two months later, the family realised Ayata was pregnant. They were overjoyed and, within a few months, Ayata gave birth to a beautiful male foal.
However, the foal was having trouble walking due to a painful inflammation in his leg. Souhaiel’s parents knew that SPANA’s vet clinic came to their village every two weeks and was their only hope.
They were relieved when Dr Shukri told them the SPANA team was visiting the very next day. When the vets arrived, they diagnosed the foal with septic arthritis in one of his joints. Dr Shukri carefully flushed the joint to get rid of the infection and bandaged it up. He then started the foal on a course of antibiotics and pain relief, and ordered ten days of rest.
Over the course of a month, the SPANA team visited him three times to make sure he continued to recover well. Without treatment, the infection could continue to spread, resulting in lameness and even death. With each visit, the vets ensured that the infection continued to go down while the foal was regaining his strength and energy.
With each visit, they and Souhaiel’s family were relieved that the foal’s leg was becoming less swollen and he was walking more far more comfortably.
Young Souhaiel said, ‘I am very happy that the vets came and saved our foal. I am taking special care of him and Ayata and feeding them well. We will call the foal Kustana’. Kustana means ‘chestnut’ in Arabic.
In a few years, Kustana will be old enough to work with his mother in agricultural production, supporting his owners like so many working animals around the world.
Thanks to your regular support, SPANA is able to reach even more animals just like Kustana, ensuring a happier and healthier working life.