Project Brings Vet Training to Rural China

Working donkeys, horses, and mules in Xinjiang, China, are on the receiving end of care and guidance provided through a project by Urumqi University, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, and the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA).

Working donkey in Xinjiang

Bringing the maize crop back from the fields.

The group has had a veterinary vehicle on the road in the North West area of the country for 12 months, covering 38,000 km (about 23,600 miles). SPANA veterinarian Michael Crane, BVM&S, MRCVS, is working with local government veterinarians. The team is developing appropriate clinical skills using cases presented for training and information dissemination, and demonstrating good practice.

The area equids frequently have skin problems, tetanus, intestinal disorders, and skin tumors, which the vets are learning to manage. The project members are able to show the best way of dealing with each case. With the skin disorders a good understanding of potential causes and how to identify them is key to treating the animal correctly, along with giving the owner advice on how to prevent future problems. Similarly for cases of tetanus--often a very difficult disease to treat--advice on vaccination and prevention through prompt and effective wound care is essential.

They've also produced training and information material in Chinese and Uighur. This will help promote good practice and long-term change among the local government clinic vets.

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