An owner and carthorse wait for treatment in Bishoftu, Ethiopia
An owner and carthorse wait for treatment in Bishoftu, Ethiopia

Amadi’s brush with an angry horse

While waiting outside a market, Amadi the carthorse was badly injured by a kick from another horse. Bleeding and lame, the animal’s only hope was SPANA.

An owner and SPANA vet treat a horse's injured hoof

Amadi works as a carthorse in rural Ethiopia where he supports his owner, Birhan, by carrying goods and people to market. Although Birhan has only had the horse for little over a year, his bond with Amadi is very strong. In these difficult times, Birhan makes barely enough to support his wife and two young children, but he always ensures that Amadi has enough to eat and plenty of rest.   

Between jobsBirhan leaves Amadi to graze outside the entrance to the local market, giving him time to rest in the company of other horses. Usually, the animals get along well, but one morning when returning to collect Amadi, Birhan could tell there was a serious problem.

A SPANA vet bandages a horse's injured hoof

Amadi was limping and unable put weight on his back leg. Birhan noticed blood pooling around the horse’s foot coming from a three-inchdeep wound just above his fetlock. An excitable mare nearby had delivered the blow, possibly after Amadi had got too close for comfort. 

Birhan slowly led the horse to the nearby SPANA clinic, which continues to serve as a lifeline to working animals in need despite Covid-19 restrictions. The vet team cleaned and disinfected Amadi’s wounds before assessing the damage to his leg. They used the centre’s Xray machine to ensure that there were no fractures or breaks to his bones, which, luckily, there weren’t. 

However, in addition to the painful wound, the farrier spotted damage to Amadi’s hoof, which would need to be treated to prevent lameness. Once Amadi’s wounds had been treated, hused specialist tools to gently reshape the damaged foot. Amadi’s hoof was then wrapped in protective bandaging, allowing the injury time to heal.

A horse with a bandaged leg stands at the SPANA Bishoftu centre

The team also noticed some harness wounds across Amadi’s chest, the result of poorly-fitting equipment. They cleaned these wounds and applied antiseptic treatment before giving Birhan new padded harnessing that was sewn at the SPANA centre. With this, Amadi could work more comfortably without the risk of infection from open wounds.  

Birhan was delighted with the good prognosis and was grateful to the team for all of their help. Not only was he anxious that Amadi didn’t suffer, but he also knew his family’s future hung in the balance, being so dependent on Amadi to make a living. 

While SPANA reaches thousands of horses across Ethiopia, there are still so many animals just like Amadi that desperately need our help. Continuing to support SPANA in these difficult times means we can ensure more working animals can live comfortable, healthy lives free from pain and suffering. 

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