When Dilla the donkey was suffering from a harness wound, SPANA vets in Ethiopia were on hand to treat his injury and provide invaluable training for his owner.
Dilla is of vital importance to his owner, Meketa. The eight-year-old donkey helps Meketa earn a basic living by transporting water and grain around his small village near the city of Debre Birhan, in central Ethiopia. Without Dilla, Meketa would be unable to support his wife and child.
Transporting heavy loads on dusty, uneven roads, is tough work. Dilla has a homemade harness, which is checked regularly, but over time an agonising pressure wound had started to develop on Dilla’s back where his harness had rubbed into his sensitive skin. Concerned to see his donkey in pain, Meketa took Dilla along to SPANA’s mobile clinic in Debre Birhan for treatment.
At the clinic, Dilla was examined by SPANA vet Dr Hanna Zewdu. She carefully cleaned Dilla’s wound, applied an antiseptic spray, and provided a soothing ointment to encourage healing. Dr Hanna then gave Meketa the ointment to take home and told him to clean the wound and apply the cream every day. Dilla would also need to rest for two to three weeks, to allow his wound to heal.
Following the donkey’s treatment, Dr Hanna gave Dilla some new, comfortable harnessing and soft padding. She showed Meketa how to fit the harnessing properly, so that it would not rub against Dilla’s skin. She also told Meketa about the regular training sessions in animal care that SPANA vets carry out for animal owners in the local community and encouraged him to attend.
Meketa was thankful for the new harness and promised to attend the training sessions. He said: ‘Thank you, SPANA. Dilla is so important to me. I am so pleased that he has a harness that will not cause him injury.’
Thanks to your support, SPANA vets across the world are able to help working animals, like Dilla, who are suffering from painful harness wounds, as well as provide training for their owners in how to fit safe and comfortable equipment. Due to your kindness, in 2021 SPANA delivered training to 87,614 animal owners and distributed 9,099 pieces of humane equipment, including 2,785 new harnesses. Thank you for helping to improve the welfare of the world’s working animals.