Asmaa the donkey’s excruciating arthritis 

Asmaa the donkey’s excruciating arthritis 

Find out how SPANA vets in Tunisia helped ease the discomfort of Asmaa, an elderly donkey suffering from arthritis.

Asmaa has helped her family earn a small income for many years. Now in her senior years, the 25-year-old donkey carries out occasional light tasks, such as transporting water short distances, near the city of Kasserine, in central Tunisia.

Asmaa was brought to SPANA’s mobile clinic by 15-year-old Ahmed, the son of her owner, after she had slipped and fallen while collecting water. Ahmed had noticed that since her fall, Asmaa had started limping. She would not put any weight on her right back leg and, if she did, she seemed to be in pain.

SPANA vets carefully checked Asmaa’s leg. Luckily, it was not broken and had no visible wounds. They asked Ahmed if he had noticed Asmaa struggling to walk before, and he told them that, within the last couple of years, she had started walking more slowly and limping occasionally. The team diagnosed Asmaa as suffering from arthritis. Her age and long working life had caught up with her and she was experiencing arthritic pain and inflammation in her legs, especially in her right back leg. 

Our vets administered an anti-inflammatory to help relieve her pain and stiffness and gave the owner a further course to continue her treatment at home. They also provided Asmaa with some vitamins to support her general health and told Ahmed to rest her as much as possible, avoiding strenuous work and heavy loads. Finally, the vets explained to Ahmed the signs of an arthritis flare-up and when to bring Asmaa back for treatment.

Ahmed was pleased that the vets had been able to help Asmaa. He said: ‘Thank you SPANA – you are doing great. My family would not be able to afford to take Asmaa to a private clinic.’

Just like humans, thousands of working animals are forced to endure the unbearable pain of arthritis every day. Sadly, arthritis is often an invisible condition for working animals, but unlike us, they can’t voice their suffering. With your ongoing support, our vets can provide early diagnosis, treatment and careful management of arthritis in working animals. Your kindness makes our work possible, ensuring that working animals can live a life free from suffering and be treated with compassion. Thank you so much.

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