Zewdu the horse had lost his appetite. Find out how SPANA vets in Ethiopia gave him the vital care he needed and got him eating again.
Zewdu and his owner, Gemedi, walk the streets of Shashamene, in Ethiopia. Zewdu is a carthorse who helps people get to school and hospital, and transports food and water home from the market. This important work enables Gemedi to support his wife and two children.
However, lately Gemedi had noticed that Zewdu wasn’t his usual self. The 12-year-old horse had lost his appetite and was losing weight. Usually bright and energetic, he seemed lacklustre, and his coat had become dull. Gemedi heard from a friend that the SPANA mobile clinic would be visiting Shashamene soon, so he took Zewdu to see the vets when the mobile clinic arrived.
Our vets gave Zewdu a full examination. They diagnosed that Zewdu’s loss of appetite was caused by overgrown teeth. His teeth had grown in an uneven way, and they now had some sharp points that were causing damage to his tongue and cheeks. This can cause immense discomfort for working animals and, in the worst cases, can lead to malnutrition because it is too painful for them to chew their food. Our vets set to work rasping Zewdu’s teeth so that they were even, and all the sharp points were smoothed down. This would allow Zewdu to eat normally and return to a healthy weight.
The vets advised Gemedi to bring Zewdu to the clinic every six months so that his teeth could be checked.
Gemedi thanked our vets for their work. He said: ‘I do not have any other source of income apart from the money I earn from the cart business. I learned to drive a carthorse from my father, and I love my horse. Thank you, SPANA, for examining Zewdu and for treating his problem. Life is very expensive these days. I am very lucky that SPANA provides this veterinary service.’
Thanks to your kindness and support, SPANA vets are able to treat thousands of malnourished working animals every year. Working animals can become malnourished due to issues ranging from dental problems to climate disasters, such as drought. With your help, our vets can treat more working animals who are suffering from malnutrition – providing them with the vital veterinary care and emergency feed that they so desperately need. Thank you for caring for working animals.