In the last days of January, GAWF/Animal Action' s Equine team, was to be found, for the first time ever, at the villages of Chalkidiki; Ierisso, Megali Panagia and Taxiarchis, in order to visit the lumberjacks of the area, and the working mules that help them with the hard work they are doing.

For most of the animals, it was the first time they had a visit from a veterinarian, dentist or farrier and thus the problems encountered were many. As expected concerning dentistry a lot of problems were encountered. Very sharp edges, many times causing ulceration to the oral mucosa, many teeth that needed either to be cut or extracted and finally a lot of spikes, ramps and hooks. Some of the mules were in such bad shape that they couldn’t chew properly for a long period of time because of their dental problems, resulting to a significant weight loss. Our veterinarian had to face a lot, quite difficult veterinary problems as well, such as a chronic pulmonary disease, one extended sarcoid and some lamenesses, most of them arthritis of either fetlock, interphalangeal, carpal or tarsal joints. A very frequent problem was also skin parasitic disease that were also treated by our veterinarians to the animals’ relief.


Concerning farriery, a lot of animals were properly trimmed, and our team was excited to see that a lot of the owners were eager to know more on how to better attend to the needs of their animals, since they usually have to do it themselves. They were also interested in learning more about and replacing the old horseshoes, ‘plakes’,  with shoes especially made for mules, a practice that GAWF/Animal Action is determined to promote in Greece, following the international standards. At the same time, a lot of cases of laminitis were dealt with by our farrier. The owners had no previous knowledge regarding the disease, so the animals were left untreated and suffering. GAWF’s team showed the owners how to recognize laminitis and also, how to treat it. Finally a lot of imbalances were corrected, some that had already caused problems to the animals and some thankfully not yet.


The team remained at the area for four days, checking a total of 178 equines, most of which had never had veterinary care before. Furthermore, the team tried its best to show the owners some basic techniques that will help them take better care of their animals. As it is well known, for GAWF, it is extremely important to visit new places, and our Equine Team is more than exited to renew their date with the lovely people and animals of the villages of Chalkidiki.

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