Find out how SPANA vets in Ethiopia helped Abebe the horse when he contracted the highly infectious skin disease epizootic lymphangitis (EZL).
Abebe the horse helps his owner, Bedho, earn a basic income by transporting goods to market in Bishoftu, a town in central Ethiopia. Without Abebe, Bedho would be unable to make a living.
One evening, Bedho was settling Abebe for the night when he noticed an unusual red sore on his horse’s chest. Bedho was worried. He visits SPANA’s veterinary centre in Bishoftu regularly to ensure Abebe can receive a check-up and the vital vaccinations he needs. During those visits, he had been told by the vets about a serious fungal disease called EZL. Concerned that the sore could be EZL, he took Abebe to our centre the very next morning.
At the centre, SPANA’s veterinary team examined Abebe and confirmed Bedho’s worst fears – Abebe was suffering from EZL. The disease affects the skin and lymphatic system, causing skin nodules to develop that can result in open ulcers. It’s important that owners are able to recognise the symptoms of EZL as it can cause excruciating pain and debilitation if it is left untreated. It is also highly infectious and can easily spread to other working animals.
Our vets cleaned Abebe’s nodules with water and antiseptic, shaved the affected area, then applied a special solution of tincture iodine to disinfect the sore and decrease the spread of the disease.
The vets took some time to explain EZL to Bedho, including how it is transmitted and how they would treat his horse. They gave him some of the iodine solution to take home and showed him how to apply it to Abebe, which he would need to do for the next 14 days. They also told Bedho to keep Abebe away from other animals, clean his equipment regularly and to bring him back to the centre to continue his treatment.
Bedho was relieved that SPANA could help Abebe. He said: ‘Thank you, SPANA, for your continuous help when we are in need. The cart business is my only source of income. I make sure to follow the advice given to me by SPANA to look after my horse.’
Your kindness enables SPANA to help working animals in Ethiopia, like Abebe, who are suffering from EZL. Not only do our veterinary teams treat working animals with the disease, they also provide training and support to the owners of working animals so that they can understand EZL, recognise the symptoms, and seek professional help as soon as possible. Thank you so much for your continued support.