2011 saw some big challenges and changes in Egypt. The revolution in January marked the start of a new era, but while the country regroups many regions are experiencing a dramatic drop in visitors. With so many Egyptians relying on tourist dollars to support their families, sadly pictures of starving animals are making headlines.
The Animal Care in Egypt (ACE) hospital on the outskirts of Luxor has had its hands full, and Kim from ACE reports on how one special in-patient touched the hearts of everyone at this Intrepid Foundation-supported project…
“Billy arrived at ACE with a large infected lump over the outside of his cannon bone (lower leg). We immediately took x-rays. The outside splint bone, small bones that lie either side of the cannon bone, was fractured into three pieces. The broken sections of bone had no blood supply and were necrotic, and the abscess was the body’s natural mechanism to try and break down these pieces of bone.
Luckily, horses can manage without the lower part of their splint bone, which meant that we could perform surgery to remove the bone fragments. As the pieces were so large we had to fully anaesthetize Billy for the procedure. Dr Hanna (one of the Egyptian vets) and British volunteer vet Becky performed the difficult operation and volunteer Jo performed the anaesthetic. Billy’s owners were very worried and came back nearly every day to visit. Even during Billy’s surgery they sat by his head until he woke up.
Once Billy had recovered from the anaesthetic we re-x-rayed his leg to see if there were any pieces of bone left. Unfortunately there were two small fragments still in the tissues. As these pieces were very small they could be extracted with Billy standing up, eliminating the need for another full anaesthetic. The second, short surgery was performed with local anaesthetic, so that Billy couldn’t feel the area that was being operated on.
Billy’s owners came to ACE for the second surgery and stood by him the whole time and after another x-ray we were happy to see that there was no fracture piece left. Billy’s leg healed quickly and the owners were very pleased to have their horse back at home with them.”
Can you help animals like Billy? ACE urgently wants to raise funds to build an isolation ward for animals with contagious conditions like equine flu. Monetary donations are always needed, but if you are travelling to Egypt, extremely useful included bandages, veterinary supplies, collars, horse tackle and more – please click here to see their wish list.
The Intrepid Foundation – travellers making a difference
Help support Animal Care in Egypt and other great organisations via the Intrepid Foundation, plus find out how your donation can be matched* by Intrepid Travel!
* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.