Zina the donkey was in danger of losing her sight following an injury that led to an infection. Her owner needed to move quickly in order to save his only donkey’s vision, and possibly his life.
Zina’s eye was sore and badly swollen. As she worked pulling a plough across her owner’s land, low-hanging branches had scraped her eye. Days later, the injury became infected and she was beginning to lose her vision.
Her owner, 65-year-old Tuki, had tried flushing the wound with clean water and keeping her away from direct sunlight. But as her condition worsened, Tuki knew he needed professional help to save Zina’s sight. Tuki supports his family by growing crops on his small plot of land in rural Tunisia. Every morning, Tuki uses 12-year-old Zina to plough the steep fields of his small farm.
Without Zina, life for Tuki and his family would be much more difficult. Not only would he be unable to grow crops, but he’d also struggle to collect basic necessities like water and firewood. His children would have no way of getting to school and Tuki would be unable to travel the long distances to market. His family’s entire life and future depend on this one animal.
Tuki struggles to make ends meet, so couldn’t afford the local vet’s fees. However, thanks to a SPANA mobile clinic visit that same week, Zina and Tuki were in luck. Every month, SPANA’s team visits local markets where hundreds of animals are brought to be treated for a wide range of illnesses and injuries. As soon as the SPANA truck pulled into the market, Tuki was there, anxiously waiting for our team’s help.
The vets examined Zina’s eye and applied a gentle dye to help locate the source of the wound. They then set to work easing her discomfort with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic creams. To ensure the infection was contained, they also gave her an extra jab of antibiotics. Before Zina and Tuki returned home, SPANA vets showed Tuki how to apply the creams for seven days, giving him enough medication to cover the full course. They also explained to Tuki the importance of protecting Zina’s eyes from debris when she works in the fields to avoid similar injuries in the future.
Within two weeks, Zina’s eye had fully recovered, and she was fighting fit. A relieved Tuki sang the team’s praises, saying:
‘SPANA are good people. I’m so grateful to them and the work that they do.’
SPANA’s dedicated team provide free veterinary care to working animals at three centres and four mobile units across Tunisia. Last year, SPANA vets treated over 10,000 working animals and, with your support, we plan to reach thousands more.