Nana the donkey’s hoof treatment

Find out how the farriery skills of SPANA vets in Ségou, Mali, helped ease the discomfort of a donkey with sore hooves.

Five-year-old Nana the donkey walks the dusty and uneven roads around Ségou, in Mali, for up to eight hours a day. She transports agricultural goods to help her owner, Badian, earn a small income as a farmer.

Badian was extremely concerned when he noticed that Nana was starting to trip and stumble as she made her way around town. When she stopped for a break, she also seemed reluctant to start walking again. Badian knew that Nana needed urgent treatment to avoid becoming lame. Luckily, the SPANA mobile veterinary clinic was making its monthly visit to Ségou, and he took Nana there for help.

Every month, our team of vets travel 150 miles from Mali’s capital city, Bamako, in the mobile clinic to provide free veterinary treatment to working animals living in Ségou and the surrounding areas. There are estimated to be approximately 60,000 working animals in the region who could benefit from SPANA’s help each year.

When Nana arrived at the mobile clinic, SPANA vets examined her hooves and found they were overgrown, and their normal shape was distorted. Depending on the type of work they do and the terrain they walk on, donkeys’ hooves need to be trimmed regularly to ensure they are correctly balanced. Nana’s hooves had become imbalanced, forcing her weight onto other parts of her hoof and leg that don’t normally take pressure – an issue that can easily lead to injury. Her uneven hooves would have caused her immense discomfort with every step she took.

SPANA vets began providing Nana with the essential treatment she needed. Using specialist farriery tools, the vets skilfully trimmed each hoof. Badian helped the vets by keeping Nana’s legs still and ensuring that she remained calm. He watched the procedure carefully and listened as the vets told him about the importance of good farriery. When each hoof had been trimmed, the change in Nana was clear to see, and walking immediately became easier for her.

Badian was so thankful the vets had been able to help Nana. He said: ‘Thank you very much SPANA. Thanks to you, my donkey is kept in good health and can help my family.’

The need for SPANA’s veterinary treatment in Ségou is considerable and Nana’s vital treatment would not have been possible without your kindness. We are committed to helping as many vulnerable working animals as possible in Ségou and, with your continued support, we will ensure that they are not forgotten when they are sick or injured.

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