Making Animal Inquiries in Addis Ababa
By Tim Landers
Ohio State College of Nursing
One of the first people we met when we arrived in Addis Ababa was Daniel, our driver who took us around some of the sights.
Traffic is very bad, with pedestrians, loaded mules, stray animals and vehicles trying to share the same road.
Most of the dogs we saw were roaming the street, but as we wove through traffic, I asked Daniel if he had a dog. He was happy to show us photos of “Jack.” We know that dogs are important parts of many peoples’ families, and this was true for Daniel as well.
We asked more about Jack – where did he find him, when did he go to the doctor, and what type of dog he was. Expecting that he would tell us about Jack’s pedigree, Daniel seemed very puzzled by the this question. “He’s a small dog, a nice dog.”
Daniel was concerned because Jack had some sort of infestation, and he did not know how to treat it. Unfortunately, we had two nurses in the car and no veterinarians. We did stop at a local pharmacy to see what treatments they might have.
While we were able to buy fairly high-end human antibiotics, but they did not carry veterinary medications.
During our tour of Gondar, we encountered this donkey, which in Ethiopia are seen as work animals.
I asked one of the veterinarians with our group about an ulcer on the back of this donkey. He actually pointed me to a paper he had written about these “pack ulcers” –erosions caused by loading of the animal for transport of goods to the market. They are generally non-infectious, but they look uncomfortable!