I never thought about Malathion exposure until I received an e-mail (copy below) from Roger Marion. The AF dog section at Da Nang AB 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 leash. At Phu Cat Ab, the Agent Orange killed all the vegetation, so no habitat for them on post.
"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.
To further 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 Marion
Photo below: Roger Marion & another Army Sentry Dog Handler (212th MP Company, Long Bien, Republic of Vietnam) in the empty dip tank.