Saving Format’s sight

04 April 2016

Format, a 12-year-old donkey from Chivi District in Zimbabwe, spends her days pulling a cart with three other donkeys. This cart is relied on by her owner Ben Tavengashe and his family - which includes four children and three grandchildren – as their only means of transport.

Her job is especially important as she helps to transport vital water from the nearest borehole, which is 12 kilometres away from her family’s home. So when Ben noticed she had problems looking out of her left eye, he brought her to SPANA’s mobile clinic, which regularly visits the area.

SPANA vets examined Format and found she had an ulcer on her eye, and an associated conjunctivitis, which was causing her to keep her eye firmly shut. The cause of her eye problem was thought to be from a thorny plant that pricked her as she foraged for food. They also discovered that she was infested with ticks.

She was given a special eye ointment, and anti-inflammatory painkilling medicine to help heal her eye. The team also advised Ben to make sure that Format stays away from foraging in thorny environments in the future. To treat the ticks, our vets gave her anti-parasitic medication, as well as applying grease to the ticks to encourage them to fall off.

Three weeks later, our vets followed up with Ben who was happy to report that Format’s eye had returned to normal and she was tick-free. He said:

“Thank you SPANA for helping my donkey’s eye, treating her ticks and teaching me about eye care.”

 

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