Improving Dama’s appetite

Horse being treated by SPANA vet

Improving Dama’s appetite

Dama the horse was steadily losing weight and becoming lethargic and weak. Read about her path to recovery and treatment for one of the most common veterinary problems our teams face.

Dama plays a critically important part in the life of Mohammed Safi, his wife, and five children, helping to carry water, passengers and goods along the roads around Adama, Ethiopia. Every morning, Dama pulls a small cart through the fields on his journey to one of the town’s bustling markets, where Mohammed can sell his produce.

Dama the horse from Ethiopia

But recently, Dama had been slowing down, losing weight and becoming tired. Mohammed sent his young son Abdulmajid to the SPANA mobile clinic, leading 10-year-old Dama slowly behind him. After thoroughly examining Dama, the SPANA vets identified that she was suffering from a parasitic infection. This is a very common condition seen by our vets. While grazing, horses and donkeys can ingest the worms which then live in the intestines, depriving the animal from vital nutrients until it becomes too weak to carry on.

But, there is a simple solution to this problem. The use of anti-parasitic drugs gets rid of the parasite and allows animals’ digestive systems to function normally again. Sadly, for thousands of animals across Ethiopia, this easily treatable condition goes undiagnosed, leaving many working donkeys and horses to waste away and die.

Luckily, in Dama’s case, our SPANA team was there to help, quickly identifying the problem and providing treatment for the parasites. They gave Abdulmajid advice on how to provide the best nutrition to help Dama recover her lost weight. In two weeks, Dama had made a full recovery and was fit enough to work again, continuing to be a vital asset to her family.

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