The wooded slopes of Mount Pelion are considered one of the most beautiful places in Greece. Although the pretty villages are popular with tourists, the mountain also supports a thriving logging industry, so there are many working horses, donkeys and mules in the area. Our Equine Outreach team recently returned to this mountainous region of Thessaly to provide veterinary, farriery and dental treatment to 34 equines (7 donkeys, 10 mules and 17 horses!)
They travelled to seven villages to examine and treat the animals mainly working in transporting wood in the forest areas. Due to the rough terrain and difficult conditions of their work, the team expected to face some tough problems, but were pleased to report that most of the animals were in very good health and body condition, with few injuries. As expected, almost all required some dental treatment for sharp edges and dental hooks, and many required hoof trimming, mainly due to their hooves not being worn down equally which can cause balance and lameness issues.
Some donkeys the team came across in the village of Zagora were suffering with chronic laminitis due to incorrect nutrition. In this case, the owner loved his donkeys but was following the traditional habits of his father and grandfather who fed their working donkeys high carbohydrate feed including barley and chestnuts. Their overgrown hooves were trimmed down by farrier, Tasos, and our equine vet, Kostas, explained in detail to the owner the importance of proper nutrition for the health and welfare of the donkeys. Another mule in the village of Pouri had a very deformed hoof which was trimmed to normal shape by Tasos. Overall it was a very satisfactory trip, the owners were very pleased and grateful for our services and for learning so much about their animals’ daily care from our professionals!