Donkey's face
Donkey's face

Kadin’s back on the road to recovery

Hardworking Kadin pulls heavy carts along Saharan roads every day. But painful back wounds were beginning to slow him down. 

Donkey's face

In the Saharan city of Nouakchott, donkeys are indispensable to the lives of the poorest inhabitants. Eight-year-old donkey, Kadin, and his owner, Amadou, walk the roads of the Mauritanian capital for nine hours every day to deliver much-needed water to thirsty households. 

Amadou had recently purchased Kadin (which means ‘companion’ in Arabic) from another owner. Amadou noticed that Kadin’s back and shoulders were covered with deep wounds – a sign that Kadin’s cart harness wasn’t adequately padded. As he worked, the rough material of the saddle had begun to rub away at the delicate skin around his shoulder blades.

Vets and donkey owner prepare doughnut bandage

Amadou was especially worried about the wound running along the top of Kadin’s neck, which could become infected and lead to fistulous withers – a potentially fatal condition in which the tissue around the shoulder blades becomes chronically inflamed and often results in lethargy and lameness. Amadou knew that the SPANA clinic often visits the water collection points dotted across the city, where the team provides free treatment to working donkeys. Relieved to have a source of advice and treatment, Amadou promptly brought Kadin to the vets. 

The vets got to work, cleaning the skin and disinfecting the wounds to minimise any chance of infection. To prevent further injury to the area, the team improvised a makeshift circular doughnut bandage to rest around the wound, reducing friction and allowing the treated area to heal.

The vets instructed Amadou to wash Kadin’s wounds every day with a mix of water and salt to keep bacteria at bay and quicken the healing process. 

Amadou thanked the SPANA vets and expressed his gratitude saying: 

’They are always here when we need them. Kadin helps me to support my parents and myself, so he’s very important to me.’

SPANA operates three veterinary centres in Mauritania, one of the poorest countries in the world. The team treats thousands of equids like Kadin, trains animal owners and teaches the future generation of owners about how to ensure their animals can live happier, healthier lives. 

Thank you to all supporters who enable SPANA to improve working animals’ lives through sustainable solutions.

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