Mohamed instantly knew where he could find help and loaded a shaky and disorientated Syam in to the back of a truck, driving through the early morning to reach the SPANA Kebili refuge.
There, the staff took one look at Syam’s facial paralysis and deduced that poor Syam had been kicked by Mohamed’s other horse, a mare who Syam had gotten too close to.
As a result of that injury, the nerve running down Syam’s face which controls chewing, swallowing, tongue movement and blinking had been damaged. Without medical intervention, horses with this type of injury starve to death or die of dehydration before their injuries can repair themselves, especially in the hot North African climate.
Vets weren’t sure whether Syam’s neurological injury was permanent or not, but the only way to find out was to keep Syam hydrated and comfortable while the team observed his recovery. The vets administered daily multivitamin intravenous fluids along with anti-inflammatories to reduce the swelling. They gently treated Syam’s swollen eye with antibiotics to keep it from drying out while the horse was unable to blink. Unfortunately, for horses that don’t heal naturally, the prognosis is bleak as the animal is unable to perform basic functions.