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George Birchmore and Naryilco Lad"

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One day, when Herbie was about one year old, George called me to come out in a hurry. George wouldn't say it directly, but he indicated that Herbie was really sick and that I might “want” to get there quickly. When I arrived, I was shocked. Herbie was battered and staggering. His head was so swollen I couldn't see his eyes, and his gums were blue. He had no sense of our presence, and he was breathing rapidly. Herbie was the walking dead. Knowing George to be a practical man and a realist, I told him there was no hope but quickly followed with the “never-say-never” speech. He replied that I'd better be wrong and that I had better save Herbie or else. I would like to say I rose to the challenge, but I thought it was futile and only reluctantly agreed to treat him. I had no idea what had caused Herbie's condition. I thought it might be colic, but there were signs of diarrhea all over the place. I hadn't yet discovered the Mallala Council wog. I treated him for shock, dehydration, and pain. I catheterized his jugular vein and gave him intravenous fluids, and I passed a naso-gastric tube and gave him oral fluids and electrolytes. I gave him drugs for shock, steroids, and a drug called DMSO, which is a drug used in horses and in some people for neural trauma and brain edema. It is an industrial solvent that people in fish-packing plants noticed eased their arthritis. After administration, it penetrates into everything and makes the horses smell. It is a sweet sickish smell, and my staff really groan if I use it at the clinic. However, my philosophy is: never let a horse die without the smell of DMSO on their breath.

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