An Overdose of Nonsense

People’s refusal to use Ivermectin to treat COVID 19 because it’s a “horse medicine” is like refusing to eat corn because it’s a hog feed. I’ve had three cowboy friends with COVID 19 who treated themselves with appropriate doses of Ivermectin and all three got better within two days! 

Years ago I wrote a feature story about how Ivermectin was the only drug found to effectively treat river blindness in Africa. River blindness is a parasitic infection that can lead to permanent blindness and Ivermectin is given to entire communities living in endemic areas in Africa. The natives don’t refuse to use it because it’s a “horse medicine” as they prefer not to go blind.

Although I’m not condoning or recommending it (wink, wink), drugs that are used on animals have long been used on humans especially, with people who work with animals, like ranchers and  veterinarians. Have you ever heard of sulfa, penicillin, prednisone, lidocaine, and a laundry list of other drugs where the animal and human versions are exactly the same? I’ve got to admit there were times I was tempted to give myself a shot of LA 200.

Prior to the 20th century doctors mostly used the “puke, purge and bleed” style of medicine.

The Hispanics called their doctors “matasanos” which roughly translated means “killer of the healthy.” A couple hundred years ago the only anesthetics were whiskey and opium and a lot of voodoo medicine was practiced. For example, rattlesnake venom was thought to cure leprosy, but first you had to survive the “milking” of the rattlesnake. Grease from beef tallow was used as salves, and potions made from the contents of cow’s stomachs were used to treat a variety of ailments and diseases. The great cowman, Charles Goodnight, believed that buffalo fat would cure anything. And you didn’t have to get a prescription from a doctor to get these concoctions as it wasn’t until the 20th century that doctors began writing prescriptions that only a pharmacist could decipher.

For over a century now Americans have been overdosing on stupidity and prescription medicines. I, for example, am currently on 12 different prescriptions including a very expensive one. You know where it comes from? It’s ground-up pig pancreas and without it I can’t digest any food. That’s right, I  wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for swine. I’m supposed to take two pills with every meal and was advised by my doctor not to take more than 20 of the pills per day, which makes me wonder how many times a day he thinks I eat.

When I think about humans taking animal drugs I am reminded of the old story about the rancher with the expensive bull who wouldn’t breed any cows because the bull was running low on libido. The vet prescribed some pills for the bull to cure the problem. When a friend asked the rancher what was in the pills the rancher replied, “I don’t know but it tastes like peppermint.”

For some reason, as a child I always thought my mother was trying to get rid of me so I didn’t trust any pills she gave me, even an aspirin, unless she took one first. I wasn’t the only one who did this. I’m a fan of the writings of Dr. Robert Miller and have known about him for a long time, even before I started reading his stories in Western Horseman. I grew up about 30 miles from Dr. Miller’s vet clinic and he enjoyed a sterling reputation and was regarded as America’s James Herriot. He was an exceptional vet for virtually every species, including zoo animals. In his book, “Yes, We Treat Aardvarks,” Dr. Miller told about the time he was called upon to treat a sick gorilla named Jerry who begged for the tablets that Dr. Miller got him to swallow after some initial resistance.

As Dr. Miller wrote, “That was the end of Jerry’s problem, but his master didn’t fare as well. I saw him a week later.”

“How are you Jim?” Dr. Miller asked.

“Not too good,” he answered. “I’ve been awfully constipated, the light bothers my eyes, and my mouth’s terribly dry. Been sittin’ in the bathroom all week with the lights out, drinking like a fish. But Jerry is fine! He always takes his medicine… just as long as I take some first.”

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