Thursday, 30 May 2013

It’s not only about teeth and hooves - by Anna Stamatiou - GAWF/Animal Action Trustee

Cleo gets a little help from Anna with the chin strap
When the GAWF/Animal Action Equine team goes on outreach visits we often write reports in which care to equine dentition and feet feature prominently.  You might think that rasping and filing is all we ever do.  But the team encounters all kinds of other problems as well, and these call for careful observation and attention to detail.  Add to those a pinch of patience and a dollop of ingenuity and small things can really make a difference to the quality of life of our “clients”. 

Mmmnnn.  That’s a whole lot more comfortable
This donkey was brought to us by Kyria Koula on Kasos on the 24th of May.  While it was being given the routine checks and usual care, our vet Cleo noticed that it had an injury to its chin, due to rubbing from a halter that was far too tight.  Kyria Koula had put its uncooperative behaviour down to a grumpy disposition but the team soon realised the poor animal was in fact in constant pain.  Its halter was worn out and could no longer be adjusted.  But Giannis, our farrier, and Cleo were not about to leave the donkey in distress.                                                                                                                                                                                                
OK.  Let’s go home
With a bit of ingenuity (and a length of strong nylon bootlace), Giannis repaired the head strap so that the halter could be loosened, while Cleo devised a nicely padded chin strap… with the high-tech aid of an old hankie and some self-adhesive bandage.  Add a spritz of blue spray antibiotic powder and some gentle handling and the donkey soon became a different animal, standing calmly and then docilely following Kyria Koula, who runs the village olive press, home.   Now that’s what we call a result!

PS. Thanks to Irini Fafalios, our kind volunteer, for recording this small but important intervention.

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