This region, a seven-hour drive south of Harare, is extremely rural, and for many communities, SPANA’s mobile clinic visits are the only time that owners can bring their animals to seek veterinary care. So when the donkey’s young owner had heard that SPANA could help, he’d immediately brought Emily to get treatment.
SPANA Senior Veterinarian Erick saw immediately how malnourished the foal was and led her straight to the shade of a tree to start treatment. Out of the heat of the blazing sun, he used an IV bag to replenish Emily’s fluids. The little foal was so exhausted that Erick lay her down on her side to rest and recover while she received treatment, occasionally stroking her face to comfort her.
While she rested, Erick turned his attention to her mum who was grazing nearby. No matter how much she ate, the young mare had been struggling to extract enough nutrients from the grass as parasites – rampant in this part of Zimbabwe – had leached precious vitamins and minerals from her.
Erick and SPANA Community Trainer Timothy dewormed the mare and explained to the boy how to supplement Emily’s diet with corn meal to give her the precious nutrients she needed to grow while her mother regained her strength. While Emily gained some weight, Mary could start to get her strength back and produce enough milk for her new-born in the process.