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Discussion on "Kentucky Red", anyone hear of it?

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Nancy Brown (Nanb)
Posted on Monday, Jun 4, 2001 - 12:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr. O:
Question: Have you heard of Kentucky Red? I couldn't find it anywhere on the site.

Two weeks ago a trainer purchased a vile of Kentucky Red from a local vet, who charged $40Cdn. A few days later, upon injection, the horse immediately dropped; suspended by cross-ties alone and gasping for air.

Had it not been for the handful of experienced horsemen on-site, who cut him loose of the ties, held his tongue, thumped on his heart and injected ??? for certain he would have died.

Not one vet answered to this emergency. It was on the vets advice (phone) that I frantically drove 20 mls. to obtain the prescribed syringe from a "small animal" vet clinic! The horse thrashed and layed in the shedrow for almost an hour before he could stand (with hopples supporting him under the belly.) His eyes rolled rhythmically back and forth, blind and bleeding from his mouth and nose. It took all 4 men to get him outside to the paddock.

For four hours he just stood there, only moving his eyes and head - back and forth. The vile's label was a piece of masking tape with the letters K R!! Confirming this vile was this vets concoction was learning that a vile of Kentucky Red sells for $90Cdn (vets price), and in Canada, not easily attainable!!

Needless to say, the vile's contents have been sent for analysis to determine if a law-suit will be sought and to ascertain what substances this horse is now dessensitized to. Although the sight in one eye has come back and the horse is more mobile and eating, it's far too early to predict when and IF he'll ever race again!!

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Monday, Jun 4, 2001 - 8:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

No I have not heard on Ky Red. I am dying to know what is in it? What was it used for?

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Nancy Brown (Nanb)
Posted on Monday, Jun 4, 2001 - 5:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My first post was incorrectly placed under "Paying for a dead horse." Since the subject was irrelevant to the previous posting, as requested, I'm starting a new conversation.

My only knowledge of Kentucky Red is it's purpose is for bleeders. A local vet sold the (unlabeled) bottle to a trainer, who administered it to his horse and the horse dropped; near death.

The bottle was inspected by a second vet who was furious that a practicing Veterinarian would actually sell a unmarked bottle, with only the handwriten initials KR (Kentucky Red) on masking tape identifying what it was!

It was this second vet who confided he knew/heard of previous clients who had purchased similar products; all unlabeled bottles concocted by this vet as well.

On his advice, the contents in the bottle was sent away for analysis. His primary concern was;
breaking down the substances in the bottle to comprehend what substances the horse had become dessentitized to.

I would assume it's extremely unethical for a Vet to concoct and sell drugs, but is it not also illegal? Presently, it's highly unlikely this horse will race to his previous potential, IF IN FACT, he ever races again!! What factors determine a vet negligent? Is it solely dependent on the labs findings? What about the trainers loss of income (race earnings), expenses, and the trauma and pain this animal endured? As a witness, that in itself is the biggest crime.

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2001 - 7:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Nancy,
It would not be illegal or unethical for vets to compound, sell, and administer medications Nancy, but I believe it may be illegal and certainly unethical and unwise to dispense or administer medications without the bottle being clearly marked as to what are the contents and their preportions.

What determines negligence in this case is pretty straight forward: did the vet administer a medication without explaining the possible reactions and did this directly contribute to the horses injuries. The vet may have done wrong dispensing an unmarked bottle but on the other hand this may not be clearly the cause of the horses reaction. What if kentucky red is nothing more than some vitamins that were injected inappropriately, perhaps it entered the carotid artery and circulated directy to the brain? Whose fault would this be. Or perhaps this reaction was completely unexpected from a medication...We don't know at this time and must wait for the autopsy and lab reports.
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