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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

Social & Animal Welfare Service-Somaliland: Grant Progress Report for November & December

SAWS-Somaliland is using AKI's grant to hold 6 donkey vet clinics over a period of 6 months. This is the report of the 2nd and 3rd clinics (in November and December) held in villages and settlements in Hargeisa District.

The area that SAWS targeted for November and December donkey clinics is shown in the pictures below, a remote area in Hargeisa District where nomadic people and their livestock go to collect water from the underground water reservoirs known in Somali as berkads.

Two vet doctors, SAWS representatives, and one driver participated in the November and December clinics. We targeted the same villages as we did during the October clinic (Toon and Qoolcaday villages). Additionally, we visited two settlements near these villages, which occupy a vast area that our mission was unable to reach on our last trip due to the heavy rains.

Based on lessons learned during the October clinic:

**We sent messages through the temporary vet doctors stationed in these villages to ensure that the donkey communities were aware of our clinic.

**We reached the 1st target area at 6:30 AM before the donkeys leave for grazing outside the area.

Due to better planning for these clinics, most of the owners were available and waiting for our team to treat the donkeys and we were able to reach remote areas with many settlements of nomadic people and many donkeys in desperate need of treatments.

We treated a total of 163 donkeys in the two villages and three settlements during two 1-day clinics in November and December 2018. The two clinics were held from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM. We treated donkeys for worms, overgrown hooves, laminitis (requiring painkillers and advice about rest and treatment), respiratory problems, and injuries and wounds from poor harnessing, hyena attacks, and infected insect bites. During the October, November, and December clinics, we treated a total of 200 donkeys and gave a total of 251 treatments (some donkeys were treated for 2 different ailments).

The following are the challenges to good donkey health and care in SAWS target areas:

**There are vampire birds or tick birds (birds that drink blood from wounds on a donkey's skin, they may also remove and eat ticks). These birds can make wounds difficult to heal, they can become infected and painful.

**Wild animals like hyenas stalk donkeys during grazing and overnight.

**Insects like ticks, mosquitoes and many others bite donkeys and cause diseases.

**Donkeys have no shelters on cold nights and or from sunny days.

**Severe droughts are persistent in Somaliland which have caused massive die-offs of donkeys.

**Many diseases affect donkeys, some of which cause almost immediate death, others more prolonged debilitation and death yet other than the temporary vet doctors stationed in these areas (with minimal budget), there are no veterinary clinics in the area and the donkey owners are unable to afford private vet services.

**Donkey owners don't know how to treat diseases and provide good care of their donkeys, including good design of carts and harnesses.

These are pictures of some of the donkeys we treated during November and December clinics.

Donkeys being de-wormed with albendazole:

Vets trimmed hooves:

One donkey in particular had long, twisted hooves and the vets had to work very hard to trim them. Then they cleaned the dead tissue from the hooves and applied antibiotic spray against infections:

Vet is checking a donkey for shoulder pain to determine why the donkey was having trouble walking and provided advice to the donkey owner for rest and improved harnessing, lighter loading:

This donkey has a wound on his neck from a vampire bird and was treated with antibiotics:

This donkey was attacked by a hyena and is being treated with antibiotic spray:

These pictures show how donkeys are used in SAWS target areas. They are carrying water to villages:

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