vets treating a horse
vets treating a horse

Spana hits the nail on the head

Following multiple trips to the vet, Umar’s lameness remained a mystery. Read on to find out how SPANA vets identified the problem and stopped his suffering.

close up of a horse

Umar the horse helps his 25-year-old owner Ermies earn a living by pulling people back and forth from market six days a week. While harnessing Umar one morning, Ermies realised that his animal was limping and struggling to put any weight on his foot.

Umar was becoming listless, his appetite was poor and he was unable to rest any weight on his affected leg. Sensing Ermies’ growing panic, a neighbour recommended that the young man travel the half an hour to Debre Brehan to visit SPANA’s regular mobile clinic and seek expert advice.

Without access to a truck, Umar and Ermies made the arduous journey by foot, enduring the searing heat until they finally reached the mobile clinic. Seeing his intense discomfort, the SPANA team got to work right away to treat the abscess and discovered the root of the pain – a large nail embedded deep in the most sensitive area of Umar’s hoof.

vets cleaning a horse's hoof

The vets gently excised the nail to the great relief of Umar. They then drained and flushed the abscess, applied antiseptic and dressed the wound to keep it clean and dry while also giving Umar a tetanus injection. Ermies was given a course of antibiotics to administer to Umar, a precaution against secondary infections. To help with the discomfort, Umar also received a dose of anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling. Although the wound would take some time to heal, Umar was on the road to recovery and was already much more comfortable.

Delighted to have finally found the source of Umar’s pain, Ermies returned home to continue the treatment. Within days, Umar’s appetite and energy levels improved and soon he was able to walk comfortably for the first time in weeks.

vets treating a horse

Thanks to SPANA’s intervention and Ermies’ diligent care, Umar could now return to work, providing a stable future for his committed owner.

Skilled veterinary care is hard to access and expensive in Ethiopia. Through our mobile clinics, SPANA seeks to make expert veterinary help available to as many as possible, regardless of their income. Without our presence in these areas, animals like Umar would suffer before succumbing to their illnesses and injury. But, thankfully, SPANA’s role on the frontline of animal welfare is ensuring an end to suffering for hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide.

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