This news raises a number of questions, such as “Why did it take so long to finally bust this guy?” and “What exactly is butorphanol and xylazine? And will those words be included in the National Spelling Bee?”
Of course, we here at Post Parade don’t have all the answers, but when it comes to drugs we might be able to shed a some light. As you are probably aware, we have a sound scientific background as well as Wikipedia at our disposal.
Butorphanol is a synthetic opioid analgesic; a narcotic pain reliever, similar to that of morphine. In humans it can be dispensed as a nasal spray to treat migraine headaches. In veterinary practice or in Dutrow’s stable, butorphanol is used to relieve pain making a horse easier to handle. It is considered five times more effective than morphine in controlling pain, beginning to alleviate pain within 15 minutes and lasting up to as long as 4 hours. It is a class A medication and prohibited for use in competitions. Interestingly enough, butorphanol is also used for sedation when combined with tranquilizers such as xylazine which, coincidentally, Dick Dutrow keeps on his desk.
Xylazine hydrochloride is a non-narcotic compound used as a sedative and muscle relaxant in horses. The drug reduces the respiratory rate to that of natural sleep. It has been successfully used in diagnostic, dental, and orthopedic procedures in horses. Xylazine has also been used to calm fractious animals as well as serve as therapeutic medication for sedation and pain relief following injury or surgery. And an extra tidbit of information: Xylazine is used to shorten musth in bull elephants, however it is extremely important to know that drug dosages vary between Asian and African elephants, so know your species before administering the drug. Also, be sure to “like” Xylazine on Facebook!
Whatever Dutrow’s “medication violation” this time, it’s not his first. His past performances of infractions and violations is damaging to horse racing. There needs to be greater strides to separate pharmacology from horse racing. Even if we have to go through one medicine cabinet at a time.
"Oh, look! Our local newspaper has invented a new drug!"