People who oppose the fluoridation of drinking water say that livestock, as well as humans, are susceptible to the effect of the chemical.
A Pagosa Springs couple, Wayne and Cathy Justus, say six of their quarter horses and four dogs died from drinking fluoridated water between the mid-1980s and 2005, when the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District discontinued the treatment.
Lennart Krook, a veterinarian and Cornell University professor emeritus, says in a video that fluoride poisoning was responsible for a host of the Justuses’ horse health problems, including hoof deformities, wheezing, constant urination and lung cancer.
Dr. Stacy Hudelson, a past president of the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, wouldn’t dismiss the experience of the Justuses out of hand.
“If there’s a trend it bears investigation,” Hudelson said by telephone Thursday. “But scientific research must be done scientifically. You have to look for cause and effect.
“It’s easy for people to connect the dots in their own mind, but I’d have to see the evidence,” Hudelson said. “There can be such a thing as too much fluoride, but it would take a ton. Without a necropsy on each and every horse it’s a bold statement to make.”
Dwayne Hamar, a biochemist at the Colorado State University diagnostic laboratory, has his doubts.
“I know of no real good controlled data that shows that the proper amount of fluoride in drinking water causes any problem with animals,” Hamar said Tuesday by telephone.
Hamar said fluoride poisoning of livestock could occur from other sources. He recalled a case years ago – confirmed by Dr. Jeffrey Hall, a veterinarian toxicologist in Logan, Utah – in which cattle and horses suffered fluoride poisoning from grazing on land near a fertilizer plant south of Salt Lake City. The purification of phosphate shale to produce fertilizer contaminated forage.
SEE VIDEO: Poisoned Horses (8:25 min)
February 2008. Produced by David Kennedy DDS. Interview with Cathy and Wayne Justus of Pagossa Springs, Colorodo. A discussion of the death of 6 of their horses and the problems identified due to fluoridated water. Problems included: dental fluorosis, thickened bones, hoof deformities, attitude problems, chronic coughing and wheezing, skin bumps, and cancer.