Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: secret mountain valley
Toni, I am so sorry for your friend's loss and for the trauma to those who had to witness this horrid event. Really tragic and disturbing for those who had to see it. I am a veterinarian and I can tell you of the thousands of times I have used Penicillin, I have only seen anaphylaxis caused by it once or twice. The danger exists, and I would never tell someone on a pack trip to use it for the first time for that reason. I agree with others that what you are describing is certainly not anaphylaxis. I also agree that it is very easy to hit a vessel no matter WHAT part of the horse you put it in. We may never know what really happened and your warning is a good one, however please understand that Penicillin is one tool in our toolbox. It is still there 100 years after it's discovery for a good reason. Yes there are other drugs but not all drugs are the same. We must use the right tool for the right job and sometimes Penicillin is the right tool. I don't want anyone thinking they will never use penicillins just because of this risk. I will also add, importantly, that many many antibiotic hypersensitivity reactions are out there. There are risks with medicine, and every time I prescribe one, I weigh the risks of giving it with the risks of a patient going untreated. Again, I am so sorry for your friend's loss, I could not bear to think of losing my horse in such a terrible way.