I never thought about Malathion exposure until I received an e-mail
(copy below) from Roger Marion. The AF dog section at Da Nang never used Malathion (at least
when I was there). Instead we took the dogs to the beach and gave them a
good bath in salt water. The salt water killed all ticks and the dogs
(and handlers) loved playing in the water. Later in my career, as
Instructor, Kennelmaster, etc. I didn't have much of a chance to hold a
- From: Roger Marion, Army Sentry Dog Handler,
MP company, Viet Nam 1971
"This may sound strange, but I have been misdiagnosed by
doctors since the 70's. I used and was exposed to Malathion in Vietnam, we
used it to dip the dogs in to kill insects and other critters. We dipped the
dogs every six weeks. I usually helped with all the dogs and we had about
sixty dogs in the company. Shortly after using Malathion in Vietnam I began
to experience periods of "lack of air'. Then I stated clearing my
throat all the time, later I began to have trouble swallowing. I went to the
24th Evac hospital and the tech there said I just had sinus drainage, he did
not know what he was looking at, and was wrong. This scenario continued
after Vietnam and with several doctors. I was prescribed everything you can
imagine, nothing worked.
Only recently did my family physician, who is new
to me said he wanted me checked further, so I went to the VA and to make
this story shorter, I had an upper GI. The test that I had at the VA was a
simple upper GI. Basically you drink various liquids, and eat small wafers
as the doctor watches through an x-ray machine. In my case the test revealed
that my larynx was not closing properly. When swallowing your larynx should
close securely over your windpipe, not allowing food or liquid to to enter,
this happens in a split second, mine is not closing properly. So how does Malathion
fit into this?
The results revealed Dysphagia, which
is a swallowing disorder. It is a neurological or a nerve motor
problem. I met with several doctors and nurses at the VA about my problem,
and when we talked about what the cause could be, when I mentioned Malathion they sat up in their chairs. In their words, without a doubt the symptoms I have
experienced since Vietnam could have been caused by regular Malathion exposure.
I have briefly tried to explain something that is very hard to
explain, I hope this helps, and makes sense to anyone who reads this.
There are many web sites for dysphagia and they will tell you the symptoms to
look for. They are, regularly clearing of your throat, coughing especially after
drinking a cold liquid, raspy voice, tickling in the throat and the most
serious, choking on food.
complicate this I have had a neuropathy in both legs since the eighties, I
now walk with a cane. If anyone has had this or is knowledgeable I would
appreciate them contacting me." Roger
Photo below: Roger Marion & another
Army Sentry Dog Handler (212th MP Company, Long Bien, Republic of Viet Nam)
in the empty dip tank.