September 11, 2008

How to Drive a Doctor Buggy

Years ago, one of the local doctors in southeastern Idaho gave a talk on emergency preparedness. Among the things he mentioned to his audience of farmers, ranchers and fringe city dwellers was that when there is no access to professional medical attention, veterinary medicines, commonly available to those in his audience could be used on a human. Last week I went out to the horse pasture and discovered that the horses had had an encounter with a porcupine. Rory had only one quill in his nose, but Target had about twenty five - each one very painful. He let me pull out all but seven (with a blindfold and pliers) but then I had to take him to the vet an hour away to have the others removed. In the process he got a tetanus booster and a shot of penecillan. It all reminded me of this silly little poem I wrote some years ago, but until now never let out of the bag. For the uninitiated, there is a play on words -the photo shows a nice example of a classic doctor's buggy.

How to Drive a Doctor Buggy
by Paul Kern

Those who do have seldom confessed,
To some little known ways here out west,
Where folks are few and doctors are too,
Where livestock remedies just have to do.

Travis likes horses with a spring in their stride,
He likes ‘em to buck - it comes from inside,
He gets a charge as they charge from the chute.
His broken bones he soothes with a squirt of bute.

They say that to make a deep cut mesh,
To avoid a scar and prevent proud flesh,
A dab of fura ointment will do the trick,
Keep the flies away and don’t let ‘em stick.

And what about Windy the hired hand?
His secret is quiet as the shifting sand.
He cures his infections - this sawbones traitor,
With penicillin from the feed store refrigerator.

And that good red magic disinfectant spray,
Has healed many a gelding on many a day.
It works the same on both me and you,
Spray it on where it hurts like you’d normally do.

When Zane the bulldogger’s muscles ache,
And nothing’ll help that you’d normally take,
A swipe of Absorbine the horse stuff I mean,
Soothes and relaxes like you’ve never seen.

There’s just one more medi-ca-ment,
That for horses must be heaven sent,
But cowboys and such shouldn’t take it in,
That nasty stuff your horse hates – ivermectrin.

This range of remedies runs wide as the sky,
These old barn secrets don’t seem to die,
They work anytime - dry, damp or muggy,
But will sure enough drive your doctor buggy.

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