When Miruts the horse developed epizootic lymphangitis (EZL), SPANA vets in Ethiopia worked quickly to treat this deadly disease.
Miruts helps his owner, Eshetu, by transporting goods around a small village near the town of Bishoftu in central Ethiopia. Without Miruts, Eshetu would have no means of earning an income and supporting his family.
One day, Eshetu became extremely worried when he noticed two small growths on Miruts’ left front leg. Eshetu had attended local community training sessions run by SPANA about a highly contagious infection called EZL that affects working animals. Recognising the signs of EZL that he had learnt from the training, Eshetu took Miruts to his nearest SPANA veterinary centre, in Bishoftu, straight away.
At the centre, SPANA vets conducted a thorough examination and confirmed that Miruts had developed EZL. This painful fungal disease affects the skin and lymphatic system. It causes skin nodules to develop, that can lead to highly infectious open ulcers. Without treatment, EZL can cause excruciating pain and debilitation, and some forms of the disease can be fatal. Sadly, EZL is widespread in Ethiopia, affecting up to 30 per cent of the country’s carthorse population in some regions. But there is hope. If EZL is caught early enough, the infection can be treated successfully.
Our vets started treating Miruts immediately. First, they cleaned the horse’s growths with water and antiseptic. Next, they delicately removed any infectious material from the nodules, then applied iodine to disinfect the wounds and to prevent EZL from spreading further.
The team gave Eshetu some iodine solution and showed him how to wash Miruts’ wounds and apply the treatment each day. They also told him to bring Miruts to the SPANA centre once a week for further treatment and check-ups.
Eshetu was so pleased that SPANA vets had been able to help Miruts before his condition worsened. He said: ‘My family and I are totally dependent on Miruts for our income. If he passed away, I would be unable to feed my family. Thank you, SPANA, for helping my horse.’
The problem is significant. But thanks to your kindness, SPANA is able tosave many working animals in Ethiopia from the pain and suffering of EZL. Your support will enable our vets to provide vital treatment for working animals affected by this painful disease. We will also run community training sessions to help owners recognise the symptoms of EZL and immediately seek professional veterinary assistance.
You can find out more about EZL and how you can help ensure working animals with the disease receive the lifesaving care they need here. Thank you so much for your support.