When Iou (pronounced eye-yew) arrived at our veterinary clinic in Hawassa, Ethiopia, he was evidently suffering from a combination of exhaustion, injury and hunger. Worked every day transporting heavy goods to market, his handler relied on Iou to keep going so that he and his family could make ends meet.
For the 3,000 donkeys that pass through Merkato Market in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa each day, our clinic provides a source of vital relief.
This shocking image of a donkey with a broken leg really emphasizes the desperate situation that exists for working donkeys all over the world.
This donkey was brought to our mobile clinic visiting Bejeko village by his owner Warkinner to get some follow up treatment for a hyena bite that was healing. But I couldn’t focus on his wound so much as his poor leg.
At the end of my trip to Ethiopia in November last year, I wrote a blog about a donkey that was desperately ill and had to be put to sleep, and now I’ve edited a little clip of the video I took on my phone.
Compared to a horse, the detection of sickness and disease in a donkey can be made more difficult by its stoical nature.
Dullness and depression may be the only symptoms exhibited by a donkey, and this could be a warning of a potentially very sick animal.