They thought their precious mule could never be saved. Then they came to the American Fondouk

Many are aware of the life-saving work of American Fondouk and they understand just how close the people of Fez are to their working animals. Simply put, they cannot survive without each other. So when an equine is sick or injured, it’s an emergency.

When a 15-year-old mule was brought to us with a 17-pound tumor on his chest, it truly was a matter of life and death.


Thank goodness we were here for a father and son from Oujda, a small town about 300 km, or 186 miles, from Fez, Morocco. When their mule developed a massive tumor in his pectoral area, the whole family was devasted.

The mule struggled to keep up with his work. The owner and his son felt terrible about the situation. They thought euthanizing their precious animal was the only answer.

But thankfully, the son decided to come to the American Fondouk first. Here, we are dedicated to helping owners make the right decision. After a thorough examination, Senior Clinician Ahmed Khairoun saw another path … The surgery would be difficult and dangerous, but Dr. Khairoun fully believed he could remove the whole tumor and give the mule a second chance at life.

After assembling a brilliant team to assist him — consisting of himself, Dr. Souhail, two interns, one technician, three students and two barn staff — Dr. Khairoun went to work.

The surgery took three hours. The removed mass weighed 8 kg – or well over 17 pounds. Daily follow up treatments were required. So were cleaning and changing of bandages … as well as a lot of tender loving care for a full six weeks.

Through it all, our supporters were there with us. They made sure the systems were in place to pull off the impossible. Because of this kindness, and a lot of veterinary skill, this “miracle mule” not only survived, but thrived!

Today he’s back working with the father and son who brought him to us, and helping to provide for the whole family. They could hardly believe how successful the surgery was, and the fine quality of American Fondouk care.

At just 15-years-old, this mule has a chance at another 20 years of productive life — and five more after that. Healthy mules can often live to age 40. I would say that counts as a second life.

Today and each day, I am so very thankful for our supporters. I can tell you firsthand, their kindness does reach around the world. And that is something very special.

All our work depends on our supporters. From free veterinary care for working animals to end their pain and suffering. To critical education for owners that improves the lives of these strong and beautiful animals. And much more. Our supporters give us the opportunity to save lives.

Click here to donate now!

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