Jacob the horse was suffering from a puncture wound that required specialist farriery treatment by SPANA vets in South Africa.
Jacob the horse means the world to his owner, Mahotometsa. Jacob pulls a cart so that Mahotometsa can sell coal and firewood during South Africa’s winter months, and collect scrap plastic and metal for recycling in the summer. Jacob’s hard work helps Mahotometsa support four generations of his family.
Mahotometsa was therefore devastated when Jacob became lame. The strong, energetic horse could not put weight on his right front hoof and refused to walk when Mahotometsa tried to harness him to his cart. Seriously concerned for Jacob’s wellbeing, Mahotometsa arranged transportation for Jacob to travel the 15 miles for urgent treatment at the Highveld Horse Care Unit, run in partnership with SPANA, in Randvaal, south of Johannesburg.
At the centre, the vets examined Jacob’s hoof and found that he had a large, infected puncture wound. Further inspection revealed the cause of his injury – Jacob had, at some point, stepped on a nail that had become stuck in his hoof. The vets set to work to remove the nail. They soaked Jacob’s hoof and used a poultice (a medicated treatment applied to the body and kept in place with a dressing) to draw out the infection. Then they carefully trimmed Jacob’s hoof and sole, before fitting a special bar shoe and medical boot to help keep the area clean during the healing process.
Mahotometsa was advised to regularly check Jacob’s hooves. The vet team also told him to make sure the area around his home was swept to ensure that small stray items, like nails, were found as soon as possible.
The vets saw Jacob for further check-ups while he recovered and were pleased with how well he responded to treatment.
Mahotometsa couldn’t thank SPANA vets enough for their help. He said: ‘The moment I saw Jacob limping, I knew he had a problem. It was scary to see how badly Jacob was injured. I couldn’t believe how big the hole was when the nail was taken out. The vets did wonders with Jacob. Without them, I would have had to kiss my horse goodbye.’
Every day, thousands of working animals like Jacob endure the unbearable pain of lameness, preventing them from standing or moving normally. Thanks to your ongoing kindness, we are able to save working animals from the agony of lameness. Thank you so much for your support.