Tirign the pony’s eyes were swollen shut and, without help, she would go blind. Read how SPANA intervened togive relief to this hardworking animal.
In Ethiopia, four-year-oldTirign’s eyeswere 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 discomfort. In vain, he had attempted to rinse her red eyes with clean water and clear the discharge that ran down her face. But, every day, despite his best efforts, her condition continued to worsen. Zenebe became concerned that, without help, Tirign might eventually lose her sight completely.
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 – thestaple 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 onedollar a day for most) makes private veterinary help impossibly expensive.
That’s why SPANA has such a critical role here – without our presence there would be no hope for animals like Tirign. As 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’seyes 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 ofedemaor swelling of the tissue, and possible bacterial infection. He 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.
To soothe the burning pain, our vets first flushed her eyes with salinebefore applying a topical antibiotic ointment to treatthe 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 intervention, Tirign’s eyesight will fully recover, so she can be free from pain and distress.
This World Animal Day, pleasesupport SPANA’s essential work providing sightsaving eye treatment to thousands of animals like Tirign. Through our ‘Bright Eyes’ e-gift, you can helpour vets to treat eye conditions and prevent sight loss in working animals. Read more about our Gifts of Health and Happiness, which help us care for the vulnerable working animals around the world who need it most.