Helping an elephant with an itch

Sien Nen, the elephant

Helping an elephant with an itch

The SPANA team in Myanmar (Burma) recently helped Sien Nen, a 58-year-old elephant. Sien Nen, which means ‘Diamond Palace’ in Burmese, helps her owner by pulling logs through the jungle.

Man sitting on the elephant

Her owner noticed small bumps covering Sien Nen’s skin, which was causing her irritation. Our vets examined Sien Nen and diagnosed a skin disease, caused by a blood born parasite. This disease was transmitted by a fly bite and is most common during the rainy season when flies are breeding. Although thankfully the disease is not life-threatening, Sien Nen had started scratching as a result, which can lead to far more serious skin wounds over time.

The team gave anti-parasitic medication to Sien Nen and advised her owner to give her regular baths to relieve the irritation. Much to her owner’s relief, within days Sien Nen’s skin had started to clear up and she had stopped trying to scratch her skin, a positive sign that her discomfort had eased.

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