A True Survivor

15 June 2015

Najia, which means ‘survivor’, certainly lived up to her name when she was treated by the SPANA team at our Chemaia centre in Morocco.

The 30 year-old donkey was brought in by her owner Halima suffering from abdominal pain as well as being lethargic and bloated. The SPANA team diagnosed her with acute colic and examination found a large mass of plant material and straw impacted in her intestines.

This problem can be quite common in donkeys after the rainy season. Following large amounts of rainfall, there is a significant growth of woody plants that are often not chewed sufficiently. Older donkeys like Najia with poor teeth are the most susceptible to this type of colic as large amounts of coarse material passes in to the intestines that cannot be digested properly.

SPANA vets realised the severity of Najia’s condition and she was immediately hospitalised. The vets attempted treatment with painkillers, rehydration fluids and laxatives, but Najia’s condition remained the same so they decided to operate on her intestines to shift the blockage.

The surgery was a success and a week later after a lot of intensive care, Najia’s appetite returned to normal.

Halima, who is a widow, and her six children rely on Najia to provide transport, as well as helping them with ploughing, harvesting and carrying water.

Halima and her donkey Najia

Halima was very happy to take Najia home after six weeks of hospitalisation, saying:

"Najia has been ours since she was just one year-old. Now she is more than 30 years-old and is older than all my children!

“When she fell ill, both me and my children were affected. This is more than an animal for us, it's a family member. Thanks to the precious care taken by the staff of SPANA, I can keep my animal."

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