Conjunctivitis threatens a pony’s eyesight

Vets examine a pony's eyes in Ethiopia

Conjunctivitis threatens a pony’s eyesight

Tirign the pony’s eyes were swollen shut and, without help, she would go blind. Read how SPANA intervened to give relief to this hardworking animal. 

A vets examine a pony's eyes in Ethiopia while her owner looks on

In Ethiopia, four-year-old Tirign’s eyes were swollen and painful – and she struggled to keep them open. 

Her owner, 52-year-old Zenebe, had done everything he could to ease his animal’s discomfortIn vain, he had attempted to rinse her red eyes with clean water and clear the discharge that ran down her face. But, every daydespite his best efforts, her condition continued to worsenZenebe became concerned that, without help, Tirign might eventually lose her sight completely.  

Vets examine a pony's eyes in Ethiopia

Zenebe’s whole family relies heavily on their trusty pony. The industrious animal is their main source of transportation to school, hospital and market. When not pulling a cart, she also helps the family to farm the land and thresh grain – the staple crop for people and animals alike. Zenebe explained the critical role that Tirign plays, saying: 

Life would be very different without our pony; she is vital for everyday work. I wouldn’t be able to pay for education for my children without her help. 

Despite limited resources, Zenebe does everything he can to keep Tirign happy and healthy. But for so many farmers in this region, their limited income (equivalent to less than one dollar a day for most) makes private veterinary help impossibly expensive 

A vet applies a dye to check for corneal ulcers

That’s why SPANA has such a critical role here – without our presence there would be no hope for animals like TirignAs soon as the SPANA mobile clinic arrived in the remote community outside of Debre Birhan, Tirign and her owner were waiting at the front of the queue to be seen. 

The SPANA team gently examined the inflamed tissue around Tirign’s eyes and looked for any debris on the cornea. Immediately, our vet noticed that the surface of Tirign’s eyes were blue, which is a sign of edema or swelling of the tissue, and possible bacterial infectionHe stained the surface of her eyes with a painless dye to check for ulcers. Luckily, there was no sign of open sores, but it did confirm that Tirign was suffering from a nasty case of conjunctivitis, which required immediate treatment. 

A vet shows a pony's owner how to care for her infected eyes

To soothe the burning pain, our vets first flushed her eyes with saline before applying a topical antibiotic ointment to treat the source of the infection. Zenebe was instructed to apply the soothing treatment daily and was sent home with a full course of ointment. He promised to rest Tirign for a week while her eyes recovered and bring her back for a check-up when the clinic was next in the area. Thanks to this interventionTirign’s eyesight will fully recover, so she can be free from pain and distress 

This World Animal Day, please support SPANA’s essential work providing sight saving eye treatment to thousands of animals like TirignThrough our ‘Bright Eyes’ e-gift, you can help our vets to treat eye conditions and prevent sight loss in working animalsRead more about our Gifts of Health and Happiness, which help us care for the vulnerable working animals around the world who need it most.

 

 

You may also be interested in

White horse having eye examined

Bright Eyes E-Gift

This gift can help provide sight-saving eye treatment to prevent sight loss in animals like Mamadou. E-gifts will be delivered electronically within 24 hours of...

A boy and a brown horse

Sheno’s horses get new shoes

In the small town of Sheno, Ethiopia, local farrier David Debelle works tirelessly to provide working horses with a better quality of life.

Dafijeh the white horse with his owner Kalifa

Keeping a careful eye on Dafijeh

Find out how the SPANA Mali team helped this eight-year-old stallion.

White horse having eye examined

Bright Eyes E-Gift

This gift can help provide sight-saving eye treatment to prevent sight loss in animals like Mamadou. E-gifts will be delivered electronically within 24 hours of...

A boy and a brown horse

Sheno’s horses get new shoes

In the small town of Sheno, Ethiopia, local farrier David Debelle works tirelessly to provide working horses with a better quality of life.

Dafijeh the white horse with his owner Kalifa

Keeping a careful eye on Dafijeh

Find out how the SPANA Mali team helped this eight-year-old stallion.