September 13, 2019 | Animal Stories

Helping working horses in Mali

Helping working horses in Mali

Together for Animals member SPANA have been providing treatment and care for working animals in Mali for decades. Last year, thanks to our kind supporters, the vets in SPANA’s centre and their two mobile clinics were able to improve and save the lives of over 30,000 working animals in Mali alone. Here is one of the many inspiring success stories that you have helped to make possible.

In the Djicoroni district in Bamako, Mali, many communities rely heavily on their animals for transport of people, goods and water.

One such animal was a white horse named Lolo, meaning star in Bambara. She assists her owner Lasima with his daily 8am to 5pm job, transporting construction materials from town to town. Lolo is vital to him and his family.

When Lasima brought her into SPANA’s centre, she was distressed and in pain. Her owner grew worried when he noticed her strange behaviour and realised how exhausted she looked.

When she arrived, vets examined her and quickly diagnosed ticks on her mane as well as rhinitis, a nose inflammation. Life in Bamako is incredibly tough for hardworking animals like Lolo. In the cooler seasons, Mali is windy at night and because the majority of working horses are not usually housed, this can lead to respiratory problems like rhinitis.

The ticks were causing localised skin irritation, which made Lolo constantly rub against trees or fences to try to ease her discomfort, which made her coat patchy and matted. The rhinitis, caused nasal secretions and affected both her airways, which made it increasingly difficult to breathe. Pulling heavy construction materials became an even more arduous task for Lolo, who was struggling to get through the day.

Needing immediate veterinary attention, SPANA’s vets set straight to work, treating Lolo with an insecticide spray, instantly lessening her irritation and soreness. Then, they gave her antihistamine and a corticosteroid injection to soothe her rhinitis.

To prevent Lolo getting sick again, our vets advised Lasima to continue to administer antihistamine and come back to our centre every few months to treat Lolo against external parasites.

After seeing Lolo’s improvement and speedy recovery, Lasima said: “SPANA are really doing a great job.”

Lolo is a valuable member of Lasima’s family, and would struggle to survive without free veterinary care you help provide.

With your support, SPANA is able to provide Lolo and many other working animals like her with the essential treatment and care they need. Thank you.