Alongside wounds, lameness and respiratory conditions, one of the most common conditions encountered by SPANA vets in Ethiopia is the potentially fatal fungal infection, Epizootic Lymphangitis (EZL).
EZL can cause eruptions of the skin around a horse's legs, head or neck, leading to the formation of painful abscesses. It is thought up to 30% of the carthorse population in some Ethiopian towns are suffering with this terrible disease.
Shasho the horse was brought to SPANA Ethiopia's mobile clinic by his 15 year old owner, Addisiu. Addisiu and his horse had had to walk to the clinic, meaning that, by the time they got there, Shasho was exhausted. He had several painful looking ulcers on his lower legs, which are usually characteristic of this fungal infection.
As a cart horse, Shasho is heavily relied upon by Addisiu and his family for day-to-day tasks and as a source of income. It was therefore important that the painful condition was treated effectively, so that Shasho could get back on his feet and to ensure that the infection did not return.
SPANA's vets lanced and flushed each individual abscess using an antiseptic solution containing iodine and gave Shasho a dose of oral iodine-based medicine. They gave medicines to Addisiu and told him to dress the sores daily and to bring him back to the clinic for regular check-ups.
Happily, after just over a month, Shasho's ulcers were healing nicely. This was a huge relief to Addisiu, who said:
"Thank you, SPANA - may God bless you, because this horse means a lot to me."