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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The “Stop Lyme One Health Campaign” is Fighting Lyme in Dogs and in People.

Lyme disease, and tick diseases in general, are an epidemic for dogs according to many veterinary parasitologists. What’s more? Dogs are sentinels – so in places where dogs are sickened with tick disease, it’s a safe bet that people will be too. In many ways, when it comes to tick disease, pet medicine is actually well ahead of human medicine. In fact, while the human medical community, at times, struggles to diagnose tick disease, it’s simple to detect the presence of antibodies (for Lyme and various other tick diseases) in dogs. Arguably, tick disease is also more on “top of mind” in veterinary medicine than it is in human health. Stop Lyme One Health is a public awareness campaign that includes support from the American Veterinary Medical Association and the non-profit Global Lyme Alliance. Dr. Ron DeHaven, AVMA CEO agreed that, “More today than ever, we live in the same environment as our pets, and this can be especially true for our children. If Lyme disease is diagnosed in a person, it’s very possible that the family dog has also been exposed, and visa versa.” DeHaven says, “By focusing on disease in animals, we can impact human health as well. This is the basic concept of One Health – that the health of people, animals and the environment are inextricably linked. This is also consistent with the mission statement at AVMA: The mission of the Association is to lead the profession by advocating for its members and advancing the science and practice of veterinary medicine to improve human and animal health. It’s important to work alongside physicians to enhance the understanding of diseases affecting human and animal patients. continue