A Shocking Case

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As promised, today was very busy after yesterday’s Souk. We rushed through routine deworming and wound treatments as people brought in their newly purchased animals this morning. One man walked in with eight donkeys in hand!

The slew of normal activity was interrupted abruptly with a bit of commotion at the front door: I heard several exclamations in Arabic as I caught a glimpse of a group of men carrying something into the courtyard–I didn’t believe that I could still be shocked after what I’ve seen here already, but I was. A mule was carried in, slung over and tied to a couple of poles. When they laid her on the concrete, I could see that the right front leg was dangling irreparably, despite the makeshift bandage wrapped around the injury itself, just below the elbow.

As Houssine cut off the bandage, the overwhelming number of flies, maggots and numerous other insects were a good clue that we would find an open fracture (bone fragments penetrating the skin). The injury itself wasn’t the most disturbing part. What got to me was that the fracture had happened four days ago. Your guess is as good as mine as to why someone didn’t put her out of her misery much sooner. We euthanatized her immediately.


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