Relieving Bahaza’s discomfort
Bahaza the carthorse transports water and other goods around the town of Boghé, southern Mauritania, supporting the livelihood of his owner, Aliou. Under the hot Mauritanian sun and in a dusty and dry climate, the horse’s homemade harness started to rub against his skin. Over time, the constant friction from the harness caused his unprotected armpit to become painfully inflamed.
Sadly, in the countries where Together for Animals member SPANA works, poor harnessing and ill-fitting equipment are common problems for working animals. Proper harnessing is often unaffordable or unavailable, leaving many owners with no choice but to create their own from repurposed materials.
These makeshift harnesses can be uncomfortable and abrasive on an animal’s skin as they work, causing painful cuts and sores. Aliou tried his best to make sure Bahaza’s harness fitted him and had even started padding around the swollen area with old rags, but the owner soon realised that he needed expert help. Thankfully, he knew exactly where to go. He had heard about the care provided by SPANA vets at a nearby centre and took his trusted horse in for immediate treatment.
At the centre in Boghé, the vets carefully examined Bahaza’s swollen armpit and diagnosed that the horse was suffering from hygroma – inflammation caused by persistent trauma. The vets set to work immediately, gently disinfecting the area with an antiseptic solution. Bahaza was then given antibiotics to prevent infection and an anti-inflammatory injection to ease his pain and reduce the swelling.
In addition to Bahaza’s treatment, the vets provided Aliou with some comfortable harness padding for his horse and showed him how to position it correctly to prevent Bahaza from developing any further injuries. Harness padding is an effective solution to reduce
injuries and wounds in the future – and will make Bahaza’s working life much more comfortable.
The vets also taught Aliou the importance of resting his horse to aid his recovery. Before Bahaza was discharged, the team showed Aliou how to keep the swollen area clean and arranged a few follow-up appointments to keep an eye on the horse’s recovery. Aliou couldn’t thank the SPANA vets enough for their help and advice: “I am grateful that SPANA could help Bahaza and I have learnt a lot from the vets. Whenever I come to visit the centre, the staff always welcome me and take good care of my horse”.