Although the foal is still too young to work, his mother helps her owners to survive by ploughing land, bringing produce to town and carrying water from the nearby well. Youssef has a lot riding on his mare and young Jamil, who will one day work alongside his mother, supporting Youssef’s extended family. Everyone had been excitedly waiting for Jamil’s birth and was thrilled to have a new addition to the farm.
At the centre, the foal was clearly distressed as he was led off the truck. SPANA vet Youness had seen this condition before, diagnosing Jamil with a case of ‘haemorrhagic cystitis’. This rare bladder infection in horses causes blood clots, pain, weight loss and lethargy. Left untreated, Jamil would eventually succumb to the aggressive infection.
The team first injected a painkiller to soothe Jamil and allow them to work more easily. The blood clots would need to be removed immediately as they harboured the dangerous bacteria that were causing the infection. To do this, Youness used a local anaesthetic to numb the area before inserting a catheter to flush the bladder with saline (salt water). Once this was done, he administered an antibiotic to fight the painful infection and a drug to stop bleeding and promote blood clotting. Jamil and his mother were led to a stall for a few hours, where the foal was given plenty of fluids and rest as he recovered from the procedure.