31st, January ,2017
Gorkha, situated at 140 km west of Kathmandu at an altitude of 1,135 meter, is a popular trekking destination for most tourists. This trekking area is blessed with rugged, scenic beauty with jaw dropping abyss from one side and a solid wall of mountain on the other side.
Dr. Ramesh Perumal from The Donkey Sanctuary India had come to Nepal to attend the SAIEVAC conference held in Pokhara. After the Conference, he travelled with Dr. Atish, from Animal Nepal, to Gorkha to observe the situation of the mountain mules and provide feedback. As found in the ‘Mountain Mule Survey’ conducted by Animal Nepal in 2015, ill-fitted and ill designed harnesses and saddles were the causes of many wounds, bruises and other injuries among the mules in Gorkha. Seeing the mules himself, Dr. Ramesh was able to provide better advised on appropriate saddle/harnesses designs.
During their trip they survey the terrain that the mules walk on. The terrain is beautiful but treacherous both for humans and animals alike. Dr. Atish came across an old case of a mule he had treated on 22nd November 2016. The mule had faced difficulty in breathing and had been treated at the time. The equine owner recognizing Dr. Atish, immediately came over and showed his equine to him. Both Dr. Atish and Dr. Ramesh, started their check-up and finally decided that there was a mass obstructing the nasal passages, and after a short procedure removed a granulators mass from the nostrils. This gave immediate relief to the poor mule as well as the owner.
Another equine owner approached Dr. Atish asking him to check his mule who had been limping for the last two weeks, he said that despite resting him for seven days, his situation had not improved. Upon checking his hoof, they diagnosed it as a Hoof Abscess. Immediately, they set about draining the fluid from the mule’s hoof and told the owner to check on the hoof periodically.
A main hub where all the mules are kept for the night and where Dr. Atish wanted to try out a new procedure of cushioning the harness. He met with five equine owners and convinced them to try out the foam pad under the harness for a minimum of 10 days to see whether it would minimize the injuries or not. Dr. Atish took the phone numbers of the Equine owners to call them in intervals to check on the progress of the mule wounds as well.
On their return to Kathmandu, both the doctors stopped in Dhading to check on the brick-kilns that Dr. Atish had worked in, for the welfare ofequines. In Tata Brick kiln factory, the owner Kudush Kasgar told Dr. Atish that his mules were falling sick. After a thorough investigation, Dr. Atish administered some medicines to the equines and advised the brick kiln factory owner how to take care of them. In the Dhading Brick Kiln factory, the condition of all the mules was satisfactory.
The most positive outcome of this visit to the Brick- kiln factories was that both the owners wanted Animal Nepal to come and hold an awareness, training and health camp in their factories. After a satisfying visit to Gorkha, Dr. Atish and Dr. Ramesh returned to Kathmandu.