Treating the donkeys of Tamil Nadu

The past couple of months have marked the latest of our donkey clinics run by WVS in conjunction with WTG in three sites across the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India. 

The teams travelled to the surrounding villages to treat as many donkeys as possible in the areas of Krishnagiri in the north, Tutigorin in the south, and Mettupalayam in the west of the district. In these regions, donkeys play a vital role in the economic livelihoods of the local communities. They are often used to help out with farming and agricultural work, and for transport purposes. They are also used for the illegal transportation of sand from river banks to construction sites; however, local police authorities are cracking down on these kinds of activities. This work can lead to many injuries with the donkeys such as hobble and harness wounds, worms or colic, all of which are treated by our teams.

The WVS and WTG teams treated 245 donkeys in Krishnagiri, whilst also training two vets and educating the community leaders in emergency care and general management of the donkeys to ensure their continuous welfare. One of the teams’ most memorable experiences from Krishnagiri was Mr Kumar whose donkeys were regularly dying from colic before the WVS and WTG vets used liquid paraffin on the animals. They also supplied him with supplements and trained him on how to administer the medication so that he can protect and help his donkeys in the future.

In Tutigorin, the teams visited three more villages than previous visits, attending to 226 donkeys, 175 of which received anti-parasite treatment and six receiving additional veterinary care. Due to the frequent work the teams are doing in these areas every six months, more locals are able to be trained in wound management and animal healthcare and consequently, the vets have seen an improvement in the donkeys health resulting in less veterinary treatments being needed. One of the donkeys however, was suffering from impaction colic and anorexia, and was becoming exhausted from pain but after some medication and IV fluids as well as liquid paraffin treatment for the colic, he was doing much better after a couple of days.

In rural Mettupalayam where donkeys are usually used to transport sand, 123 donkeys were attended to and all of these were dewormed. Only five required extra veterinary treatments by the team. One of these was a young foal who had hit by a vehicle a few days prior to WVS and WTG’s arrival and was in severe pain due to a fractured leg. The team bandaged the leg and educated Ragan, the donkey’s owner, on how to change the bandage daily to keep the foal healthy and he is now recovering well.

Across the district, that’s an incredible 594 donkeys the teams have attended to and treated!

Building rapport with the local community is vital for ensuring a successful clinic and after each visit, the teams are finding better healthcare across the donkey population, thanks to excellent veterinary care and education of the local community on how to correctly care for their animals. Together, we can ensure the importance of animal welfare and a better life for the donkeys of Tamil Nadu.

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