April 12, 2024 | Animal Stories

Soothing Saidou’s lameness

Soothing Saidou’s lameness

Saidou the horse means the world to his owner, Mamadou. The eight-year-old carthorse transports people through the bustling streets of Boghé, in southern Mauritania, so that Mamadou can earn a basic income offering a taxi service.

Mamadou was devastated when his loyal horse became lame. Saidou could no longer put weight on his right front hoof and struggled to walk when Mamadou tried to harness him to his cart. To make things worse, Saidou had developed several small wounds on the affected leg as he continued to work.

Extremely concerned for the wellbeing of his horse, but at a loss for what to do, Mamadou had tried to treat the wounds and lameness himself with traditional remedies. Unfortunately, this only caused the wounds to worsen. Thankfully, the worried owner was told by a friend about our member charity SPANA, so he took Saidou to the centre in Boghé for treatment.

At the centre, SPANA vets carefully examined Saidou’s leg, checking the bottom of his foot for any objects that may have become lodged in his hoof. Luckily, there was no severe damage or foreign objects, but the vets found that Saidou’s wounds were infected and the whole area was inflamed and irritated. In addition to the leg wounds, the team diagnosed Saidou with lameness, likely caused by improper harnessing which was putting a lot of stress on the horse’s joints and ligaments, leading to painful joint inflammation.

The team set to work gently cleaning and treating Saidou’s leg wounds. They also started him on a course of anti-inflammatories and antibiotics to reduce the swelling and clear the infection. Mamadou was given a further course of medication to continue Saidou’s treatment at home and was shown by the vets how to administer it. He was also instructed to give Saidou complete rest and to bring him back to the centre in three days for a check-up. The team provided the owner with comfortable harness padding for Saidou, and explained the problems that some traditional remedies can cause. Despite owners’ best intentions, traditional practices can often cause more harm than good. The SPANA team showed Mamadou the best way to treat basic wounds and encouraged him to seek assistance from veterinary professionals if Saidou ever became sick or injured.

Mamadou couldn’t thank the vets enough for their help. He said: “Thank you, SPANA. I tried to treat Saidou myself. I now know to bring him to SPANA.”

Every day, thousands of working animals like Saidou endure the unbearable pain of lameness, where every step is a struggle. With your regular support, our members can save animals from suffering. Thank you.