Between 15-16th May, the Animal Action Greece Equine Care team made their two-day visit to the island of Spetses just before this summer, after being invited by a number of local horse owners.

They treated in total 40 horses, offering their services to mostly carriage horses and a few who were used for leisure. Almost all of the horses were in good general health, with the team treating a few issues including lameness, a severe allergic dermatitis to insect bites – whose owner had already protected it with a special sweet itch rug and one horse suffering with eye conjunctivitis.

As there is no dental technician on the island, the annual check up and treatments from our dental technician, Alkis, are essential. With only minor problems arising, compared to the first time we visited the island, the result of routine dental treatment is proving to be effective.

The best thing about the trip was the mini farriery seminar we organised during our outreach, for a small number of owners who trim and shoe themselves. Three of these trimmed and shod their horses under our farrier, Vaios’, guidance, so they can build their confidence and skills. Our Equine Care Programme offers this basic farriery training to the locals, in case of urgent need, since there is no professional farrier based on the island. However, it is strongly suggested to the carriage owners to continue inviting regularly professional farriers, so that their working equines receive professional services, their health is protected and unnecessary injuries are avoided.

As always, directions and advice were given from our vet, Kostas, to all owners who brought their animals, regarding a balanced diet, worming, vaccinations and general husbandry.

Unfortunately, our team does not have access to all working equines in Spetses, but only to those animals whose owners are interested in receiving our services. There are certainly more equines in need on the island, which are not seen or treated by our team. This is why we never stop repeating how important it is to have a legal framework on working equines and equines in general, under which welfare guidelines can be regulated and applied, so cases of neglect or mistreatment are reduced.

Our team would like to thank the horse owners for their cooperation and for covering all the expenses (boat tickets, accommodation and meals) and renewed our visit to Spetses for next year!

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