Zahra’s dentist visit
Two-year-old donkey Zahra, whose name means ‘Flower’ in Arabic, is a lifeline for her family. Every day, she helps them earn a small income pulling cartloads of rubbish through the streets of Chemaia, Morocco, to a waste dump just outside of town.
One morning Zahra’s owner, Majid, noticed that she wasn’t eating. This was very unlike the young donkey, as she normally enjoyed her food. Within a few days, Zahra’s appetite completely disappeared, and she had become too lethargic to work. Her worried owner tried everything he could to coax his poor donkey to eat, but with no success. Majid was deeply concerned and knew that he needed to find help fast.
Luckily, Majid knew Together for Animals member SPANA had a local centre, so he brought Zahra in for an urgent health check. At the centre, SPANA vets quickly identified why Zahra had lost her appetite. Some of her ‘milk teeth’, known as caps, were retained in her gums, preventing the growth of her adult teeth.
At Zahra’s stage of adolescence, it is important that these caps are shed so they can make way for her developing adult teeth. The remaining caps dug harshly into Zahra’s sensitive gums, creating deep sores which caused immense discomfort when eating.
Donkeys’ teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, but if these caps weren’t removed, Zahra would be at risk of further mouth trauma, infection, and in worse cases, dental disease. The vets carefully extracted the source of Zahra’s discomfort, before her mouth was cleaned with antiseptic solution, providing instant pain relief. Much to Majid’s surprise, the effect was immediate, and Zahra was once again able to chew comfortably without pain.