Libyan horses in need of medical treatment have a brand new facility in the country’s capital.
The al-Qadiysiya hospital for horses was funded by the veterinarians who now run it. Construction of the hospital took a year.
The veterinarians say it is the first of its kind in the country and has the capability to treat broken bones, deal with pregnancies or even provide shelter for stray horses.
They say the hospital has the potential to expand even further, despite Libya’s political instability.
“We still hope to develop it even more and for it to be more advanced, but as you know all of the general problems Libya is going through hinders development,” said al-Qadiysiya veterinarian Abdel Salam Arhouma.
Horses who participate in racing tournaments and equestrianism, which are both popular sports in Libya, are regularly sent to the centre for check-ups, and guard horses used by security forces are also given the same treatment, according to veterinarian Sarah al-Bosphy.
“We have treatment for wounds, and other regular check-ups for horses, as well as guard horses, check-ups for race horses, surgeries for broken bones and also general surgeries. The surgeries for broken bones for example are for broken jaws as well as ordinary fractures,” she said.
X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, pharmaceutical services and even massages are also provided.
The veterinarians at the hospital include women, which is unusual according to al-Bosphy.
“The female participation in this field of the treatment and surgery of horses is very rare in Libya. At the same time, this sort of profession for women is very good because she can care for the horse and love it, as well as have compassion for it,” explained al-Bosphy.
The hospital currently services between 30 to 40 horses a month, and the shelter’s 10 cubicles takes around 50 to 70 patients a month.
General check-ups can cost a horse-owner between 20 and 120 Libyan dinars ($14-87 USD) but surgeries can cost much more, up to 300 Libyan dinars ($219 USD).
The shelter for stray horses is crowd-funded and free of charge and hospital owners are currently expanding with two extra cubicles.