Here is a very sad, depressing, but completely true anecdote to start this blog post.
In January 2012, behind the repeatedly jaw-dropping performances of RG3, the Washington Redskins made the playoffs for only the third time since 2000. I decided to throw a party at my place, inviting about 20 people. I planned a massive menu. Was gonna cook all day for the three p.m. start time, and have a fucking blast.
Before starting the day, I took my dog to her favorite park, so she could exhaust herself. Twenty minutes in, she comes running up to me, yelping, having sliced open both her paws on her left side. Stepped on glass or something. She was gushing blood. I scooped her up, ran her back to my car, looked up the nearest emergency vet (it was Sunday morning), then spent three hours waiting there while they stapled her back together.
Total cost: $350. They handed me antibiotics and doggie pain pills for her and sent us on our way. I still had people over, but I scrapped the entire menu. I wasn’t happy.
Flash forward four quarters later and everyone departs my house as RG3 lies crumpled in a heap, his knee ligaments completely shredded and his career as a Redskin essentially over.
I sat there alone for a bit before texting my friend, who was in the third year of his residency.
“Hey, I need you to answer me something and please don’t judge. It’s been a fucking day. But my dog got prescribed Tramadol today. Can I take them myself?”
“Yea,” he said.
Today, I got to learn I wasn’t a weirdo dog freak, but rather a normal American. Because it turns out people are gobbling up their dog’s pills like it is nobody’s business.
There is now scientific evidence that some people may be sharing their pets’ medications.
The use of pet meds was so unexpected, the scientists didn’t even ask about it in their survey about unprescribed antibiotic use. But people must have done it frequently, as they actually wrote it into their answers, saying it is one way they get off-prescription antibiotics.
The study, which was recently published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, looked at how people obtained medicine without a prescription. It only focused on antibiotics, but let’s be serious. When they say pills, we know what they mean.
While most got medicine from friends or from prescriptions they’d never finished but kept lying around, four percent of people wrote in that they took their pets meds.
I wouldn’t be so fucking insane as to take doggie antibiotics. We’ve got completely different immune systems. But doggie pain pills, fuck and yea.
Apparently, that is normal.
Some veterinarians suggested that they had heard about patients seeking pain medication for themselves rather than for their animals and have created awareness programs and workshops to help vets address the problem and to watch out for it. The need for antibiotics was a new one, however.
The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that vets avoid giving unlimited refills of prescriptions or any other activity that might result in misuse of drugs. It did not mention antibiotics specifically.
I don’t get why people would need antibiotics all that much. They’re … not fun to take, and if you really need them, and can afford them for your pet, you should be able to go see a doctor.
What am I missing here?