Easing Selim the donkey’s arthritis agony

Easing Selim the donkey’s arthritis agony

When SPANA vets in Morocco received a call about a lame abandoned donkey, they acted immediately to help him out.

Early one evening, SPANA vets in Chemaia, Morocco, took an emergency call. They were told that a donkey had been found abandoned in the town of Safi, 70km away, and needed urgent treatment. Working with a local animal charity, the donkey was rushed to our centre in Chemaia and taken straight to the treatment area to be examined.

Our vets estimated that the male donkey was about six years old. The donkey was clearly lame – he was unable to put any weight on his left back leg and his fetlock was locked in a straight position. Sadly, the donkey had most likely been abandoned due to his lameness. Many owners rely on their animals to support their livelihood and family. Therefore, if an animal is unable to work, some owners feel unable to feed and look after them, and sadly this can result in cases of abandonment.

A thorough examination and X-ray revealed that the donkey was suffering from arthritis. Just like humans, working animals also suffer from arthritis. The repetitive nature of their work can put strain on their joints and eventually lead to early onset of the disease. Our vets administered the donkey with anti-inflammatory medication, then trimmed his hoof to make it well-balanced and more comfortable. They named the donkey Selim – meaning ‘safe’ – and took him into the centre’s stables for a good feed and rest.

The following morning, the vets fitted Selim with a special orthopaedic shoe. Orthopaedic shoes are specially designed to provide support and to help prevent further injuries by ensuring balanced weight bearing. Selim stayed at the centre’s stables for ongoing treatment. One month later, he was able to walk without limping. Selim will stay at the centre until he recovers fully and a new owner can be found for him.

Every day, thousands of working animals endure the unbearable pain of arthritis. With your help, our vets can provide early diagnosis, treatment and careful management of arthritis in working animals. They can also work to increase awareness of the condition through community training to help owners spot the early signs and know what action to take. Thank you so much for your ongoing support.

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