Marie’s mystery weight loss

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Marie’s mystery weight loss

Marie the donkey was losing weight, and her worried owner, Bakary, wasn’t sure why. Find out how a visit to SPANA’s mobile clinic in Mali helped her out.

15-year-old Marie the donkey has supported her owner, Bakary, for many years. As she has grown older, she has been assisting with light work around their village in rural Mali, helping Bakary’s family to earn a small income.

Bakary is very fond of Marie and he was extremely concerned when she started to lose weight. Bakary could not understand why, because Marie ate the same food as his other donkey, who was staying healthy and strong. He knew Marie needed help as soon as possible, because weight loss could be the sign of a serious illness.

However, Marie and Bakary live in Digato, a small, rural village about 50km south of Mali’s capital, Bamako, and Bakary had no means of transporting Marie to get the help she urgently needed. Luckily, a friend told him that SPANA’s mobile clinic would soon be visiting Digato to treat sick and injured working animals, so he took Marie along as soon as the vets arrived.

At the mobile clinic, the SPANA team carefully examined Marie. They told Bakary that he was right to act quickly in bringing Marie to the clinic, as – without treatment – she could have started to suffer from malnutrition and become dangerously underweight, which could have led to other illnesses and complications.

The vets diagnosed Marie as suffering from problems with her teeth – which is common in older donkeys. Donkeys with dental issues can find it difficult to grind and digest their food properly. This can cause weight loss, as animals are unable to get the nutrients they need.

To treat Marie’s condition, the vets rasped Marie’s teeth to make them even and get rid of some sharp points, which would help her to eat comfortably again. They also administered a vitamin injection and a deworming treatment to improve her general condition. Bakary was then advised on how best to care for Marie, to ensure she made a full recovery.

Bakary was extremely pleased with the care and attention SPANA vets showed Marie. He said: ‘I am happy that SPANA takes care of our animals. I thank you for visiting our village to help our donkeys.’

SPANA’s mobile clinics allow us to reach working animals in remote places, who would otherwise have no access to the essential veterinary care they need. Thanks to your kindness, we are able to stock our mobile clinics with necessary supplies, such as antibiotics, antiseptic, vaccinations and bandages, so that our vets are ready to provide vital treatment for the problems they encounter, including life-threatening conditions like tetanus and colic. Our mobile clinics are making it possible for animals like Marie in the world’s poorest communities to live a life free from pain and suffering. Find out more about SPANA’s lifesaving work, and how you can help animals in need here.

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