Dizzy and I were up and out early this morning, for his annual veterinary check-up. Dr. Sarah said he looked "great for an old guy," tested him for heartworm and Lyme disease, cleaned his ears, checked his teeth, looked carefully at what seems to be a lipoma on his chest -- and gave him his annual vaccines against Lyme disease and leptospirosis. Those vaccines are important for dogs that run off-leash in this part of the country, or anywhere they're likely to encounter deer.
Several members of my own family have had Lyme disease over the years, and this morning I'm wondering -- once again -- why there is no human vaccine against the illness.
Relatively speaking, Lyme disease is rampant in New England -- or more precisely, from Maine to Delaware, and in Wisconsin, too (though not, mysteriously, in Michigan). If caught early it's very treatable, but it can have bad longterm effects in a small but significant percentage of victims: muscle and joint pain, chronic fatigue, cognitive defects.
An attempt to introduce a human vaccine about ten years ago wasn't successful; the vaccine had some bad side effects, and the demand was never high enough to make its production worthwhile. But I don't understand why, if they've been able to develop a vaccine that is safe and effective for an 80-pound dog, they can't figure out suitable dosage for a human.
Dizzy, looking good for an old guy.