Hamza had just one hope for survival.
When Hamza first came to American Fondouk, you could see the white cannon bone of his left hindlimb. Dirty and surrounded by dead tissue, this was the kind of wound that can end the ability to walk – and so to live – in the unforgiving terrain of Morocco.
Hamza – a bright, alert, and responsive mule – was ready to provide years of valuable service to his new owner. Then, on transport to his new home, it happened … An accident tore the front of his left hindlimb so deeply, Hamza’s white cannon bone was exposed. Frightened and desperate, the owner knew his precious animal only had one chance at survival – American Fondouk.
Thank goodness that the generosity of our friends allows us to offer 24-hour emergency services free of charge. Hamza’s wound was not just deep. The tissue around it was dirty and dying. If infection set in, there’d be no hope for Hamza to walk again. And no hope he’d survive.
We immediately made the decision to go to surgery. There was no question we’d need a full surgical team to help Hamza – 2 surgeons, 2 technicians, 2 barn staff, and 3 students. The surgery took almost 3 hours to clean the wound and remove the dead tissue. Hamza also required medication for almost a month to heal.
Then Hamza had a devastating setback.
You see, wounds like Hamza’s are difficult to treat, as well as very expensive to manage. After the first surgery, Hamza’s bandage had to be changed every day for the first 2 weeks, and every 2 days for the next 2 weeks. But still, he was healing too slow, so we decided to perform a pinch graft.
By grafting Hamza’s own tissue over his wound, we hoped to accelerate the healing process. But a month later, the wound didn’t look good. His X-rays revealed that more surgery would be required, and Hamza went back under the knife two more times.
Yet again, the surface of the wound was still bigger than we believed healthy, so we performed a second pinch graft. Thank goodness, this one went off without a hitch!
Thanks to our perseverance and the generosity of our supporters, Hamza went home with no wound and with a big smile from his owner!
I hope you feel wonderful about Hamza’s story. Without American Fondouk – and our supporters – he would have suffered needlessly and never recovered. But day after day, there are so many families at our doors with sick animals. We are their only hope. And free is the only price they can afford.
Every morning, there’s a line of animals and their owners at our doors. To turn them away would not just threaten the health of the animals, it would threaten the well-being of entire families who depend upon their horses, donkeys, and mules for their very lives.
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