Veterinarians, don't let your horse trainer break her elbow...


Tuna fish, peanut butter, pregnancy symptoms, a gas-induced elbow fracture-sounds like the makings of one wild commercial.

Have you seen the any of those DirecTV commercials running recently? There's one that has some fella whose cable goes out, and as a result, he feels trapped inside his home ... So he takes up hang-gliding ... Then hits a power line, which knocks the grid out ... Then people start breaking into businesses, looting and the like ... And eventually the guy's dad gets punched in the stomach over a can of soup. The last line of the TV spot says: "Don't let your dad get punched in the stomach over a can of soup—switch to DirecTV."

I had a horse trainer come in to the clinic yesterday who told me a story that made me laugh so hard I had to write it down. It sounded so much like those DirecTV commercials, except the ending would be: "Don't let your horse trainer break her elbow—wear gloves when you give Regu-mate."

The horse trainer came into the clinic with a cast on her right arm. When I asked what had caused such a trauma, one look at her face told me I would never believe it. So, I let it go. We worked on her horses for about an hour and had a lull in conversation as we waited for a joint block to work. As we sat on the bench, she opened up and told me about her broken elbow.

She began by reminding me that a woman is not supposed to come in contact with Regu-mate, a synthetic type of progesterone given to horses to keep them from coming into heat. She explained that it would make a woman gain weight and act as if she is pregnant, among other strange side effects.

The story starts with a woman who had been living with the horse trainer for about two months while she learned to train horses. The horse trainer told me that the woman began gaining weight soon after she arrived to stay. She began eating the strangest things soon after she arrived. The horse trainer would come into the kitchen and find the woman eating things like a can of tuna fish mixed with peanut butter. The trainer couldn't believe it and decided this woman was a really weird person.

After a number of tuna and peanut butter meals, the trainer finally asked the woman why she ate such an odd diet. She responded by telling the trainer that she had no idea, but she was having strange cravings lately that were actually causing her stress and making her gain weight.

The next morning my trainer friend was making her way into the barn in the early morning hours and discovered her guest giving her horse Regu-mate. She was not wearing gloves and had the liquid all over her hands and arms as if it was perfectly safe to have that stuff on you. The trainer told her that Regu-mate was a hormone and that women shouldn't get it on their skin because it could cause adverse side effects. She responded that her veterinarian had not mentioned this. The trainer told her that it may be the reason she is gaining weight and eating tuna and peanut butter concoctions.

That afternoon, the two went to Walmart to do a little shopping. They were in the hair care aisle when the trainer noticed some shampoo she needed, and she bent down to grab it.

When she bent down behind her guest, she was hit with a horrible odor that made her jump back so quickly that she slipped and fell all the way to the hard, tile floor—landing on her elbow. She lay on the floor in the middle of the shampoo aisle in Walmart rolling around in agony. The woman came to her side and asked what had happened. When the trainer told her, she replied, "Oh my, that tuna and peanut butter may have had a bad effect on me. I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself! I had no idea you were behind me or I wouldn't have done it."

The trainer balked while her companion continued to apologize profusely. Eventually, they went and got one of those motorized carts and took the trainer to the hospital where she was diagnosed with the broken elbow.

Which brings me back to the remark that kicked this story off. Always remember: Don't make your horse trainer break her elbow—wear gloves when you give Regu-mate!

Dr. Bo Brock owns Brock Veterinary Clinic in Lamesa, Texas.

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