Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pet Peeve

I went to a pretty good continuing education seminar at the fancy schmancy Cool River Cafe- very nice food, though set up buffet style, which took way too long, even though they brought the salad out to the tables. Not well thought out logistically. The topic was tick borne diseases- Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis. All these diseases cause fever, swollen joints, decreased platelet counts, inflammation, bleeding, and occasionally, if not treated, death, and all three are zoonotic, which means they are transmissible to humans. It is treatable with antibiotics though, and most animals can expect a complete recovery with early treatment. Texas has the ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, but Lyme disease is endemic in only a few small focal areas in the Northeast (Lyme, Connecticut is where it was first recognized), upper Midwest, and California/Oregon border. Interestingly, the reason why only those small areas is that the tick has to feed on an intermediate host and in those areas it is a specific mouse species. In Texas and the southwest, we have the tick, but the intermediate host is a lizard, so no Lyme disease. So the only cases of Lyme disease in dogs and people are ones that have a travel history to the endemic areas. Which means unless your dog is going to go to an endemic area, you don't need the vaccine (take that corporate practices!)

Anyway, the reason I'm posting this is because there is a very irritating thing about Lyme disease, in that a number of people, including veterinarians, call it Lyme's disease. It is not Lyme's disease and you are showing your ignorance by saying that, especially after the expert parasitologist answers your question pronouncing it correctly. Believe the expert when she says Lyme disease! Now you can say rabies, with an S but it would sound just as stupid if you said "here's your rabie certificate." So drop the S on the Lyme disease! Okay, pet peeve over.

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