If you clicked on today’s blog to hear something funny, today is not the day. I decided to write something serious today. This weekend my husband was online reading through the Agtalk forums, something he does every night, checking out what other farmers are doing, how things are selling here and there, and some basic chit chat. He stopped me to share something, which if he does this, it’s usually a joke someone has told, but this time it wasn’t. Someone who posted regularly on Agtalk had passed away.
This young man, who had a wife and children, died after getting injected with a common antibiotic for cattle, Micotil 300. It is a drug that many producers use because it’s effective and inexpensive, so they have weighed the risk, and they take extra precaution to make sure they don’t get hurt. But the extra precaution doesn’t always work. From previous posts on Agtalk, and from what others have posted about this young man, he did take lots of precautions. Lots of precautions, yet, accidents happen.
Micotil can be dangerous when accidentally injected in humans or even if it comes in contact with cuts or mucous membranes. When exposed, Micotil works quickly, and the victim could experience dizziness, nausea, a rapid heartbeat, along with a score of other symptoms. In a CDC case study, one man that was accidentally injected after being charged by a cow died within two hours. Another man survived but ended up in the intensive care unit for two days after he had been airlifted to the nearest hospital. It works quickly, and if someone is exposed, they need medical attention immediately. Medical personnel have to increase a victim’s blood pressure while slowing down their heart rate until the Micotil wears off because there isn’t a known anecdote.
I worry all the time. That’s who I am. I worry about trees falling on my husband when he’s out clearing land. I worry about cows charging him or our boys. I worry about the electric fences, the barbed wire, the thorn trees, truly just about anything. I don’t want to worry about the medicine too, something I never ever thought was dangerous until he told me about Micotil.
I could go through some safe handling tips, which I found in my limited research, but I’m not going to. My only suggestion is not to use it at all. I’m taking the wife and mother approach. I don’t want my husband or sons coming in contact with it because whatever happens to them, happens to me. If they get hurt, I feel it too. If they were to die…
I can only imagine what that wife is going through right now.
I also read an analysis of the potential danger of Micotil, which was relatively low. Serious problems arising from this drug only account for two people for every one million doses administered. That is a minor potential risk.
I don’t want anyone to take that risk though.
How many times have I seen open cuts on my husband’s hands?
How many times has he complained of jumpy cattle that have given him trouble when he’s had them in the chute?
How many times has he been stuck with a needle?
How many times has he left his phone in the house, too far away to get quick assistance?
All of these things would be potential dangers if he used Micotil.
I know if you’re extremely careful and prepared, it’s unlikely anything could happen. If he knew it was dangerous, he’d take extra precaution, but honestly, I don’t have to worry about it because my husband doesn’t use it. I asked that right away after he told me about this particular young man. After the posting about this young man on Agtalk, many of the people in the discussion forum started asking how to dispose of it, and I have yet to get a definitive answer on exactly how to dispose of it. If you decide to dispose of it, just be careful about how you do it in case others come in contact. Many of those that were using it have decided not to anymore. I just hope more people make that decision, so that’s why I’m writing this blog.
If you are a producer, you know more about it than I do, but I still asked our veterinarian for some alternatives. Nuflor (or Resflor), Excede, Draxxin, or Baytril were her suggestions. After reviewing Agtalk, many posters also suggested Baytril or Draxxin.
A family lost a husband, father, son, and brother. None of them expected something like this to happen. Take a moment to send your thoughts and prayers to this family and check with your loved ones and make sure they know the dangers as well so their loss wasn’t in vain.