Dogs can get a Lyme disease vaccine, why can't you?


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/07/25/dogs-can-get-a-lyme-disease-va.html


#2

So, not to sound incredibly shady, but couldn’t a human just get the dog vaccine?


#3

Would it work?


#4

Anti vaxxers are a special kind of stupid.


#5

Not that I’m a doctor or anything, but assuming it’s a “normal” vaccine it should just be Lyme, but damaged sufficiently to not give you Lyme disease, right? Don’t see why you’d have a difference between dogs and humans aside from maybe dosage.


#6

The same thing happened to me. I got Lyme disease in 2014 which attacked my central nervous system and went after my heart. It slowed to 40bpm when I went to the doctor who sent me immediately to the hospital. Later that night it dipped to 20bpm and my heart arrested. Fortunately I was already in a hospital so doctors and nurses brought me back pretty quickly but I spent a week on the cardiac floor with a pacemaker attached to my neck. I’m fine now since it presented and was treated in a very short timeframe, but I’d gladly get a vaccine for my family, even if I have to pay for it out of pocket. The hospital bill was north of $30,000 (almost all was covered by insurance), so it seems cheaper for the insurance companies to cover 200+ people getting vaccines than 1 person getting what happened to me.

On a somewhat lighter note, however, cardiac arrest was relatively painless. I got woozy and flush in the forehead for 15-20 seconds, then I was out. Had that been the end of me, it would not have been a bad way to go (other than leaving my wife and 8 month old son). It’s nice to know that not every way to die is a Game of Thrones level of pain.


#7

Man. I’d be happy to pay even a couple hundred bucks out of pocket for something that covered me even for a year or two. I am outdoorsy enough that I find a few ticks on me a year even just tromping around by bodies of water. In fact, a few years back I went camping with a buddy of mine on a deserted island in the middle of Lake Michigan. Upon arriving, new details not to be found online were mentioned, “The island is completely covered in poison ivy, and about 40% of ticks carry lyme disease”.


#8

“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”


#9

I am not sure. I get that the disease can be shared intra-species but the anti-body might not be the same?


#10

Well, sure, but that’s the point, right? A human is going to develop a human anti-body, while a dog is going to develop a dog antibody. Now, before I wallow in my own smarminess, there’s a good chance I have no idea what the hell I am talking about.


#11

The real question is Will It Blend?


#12

There’s an anti-Vaxxer in my family. I don’t hate her, and I consider her quite intelligent on the vast majority of topics. But she’s allowed herself to be taken in by con artists and put her children and her community at risk because of it, and yes, that is a special kind of stupid. Smart people are capable of stupidity, we all are. Doesn’t mean I’ll let it slide. YMMV.

But hate is a strong word and badly overused, IMHO. I occasionally mutter to myself You moron! when I catch myself doing something stupid. Doesn’t mean I hate myself.


#13

Anti-Vaxxers are people but if they start talking about vaccination I feel an obligation to calmly and clearly explain that they are operating with incorrect information and making dangerous choices for other people.


#14

Actually staring at the wikipedia page for vaccines, it’s possible that it simply wouldn’t be effective because it’s a different thing. Maybe they’re not using deactivated or weakened Lyme, but rather some related disease which is fine for dogs but not for humans or cats? Kinda like how our first vaccine against smallpox was to just smear cowpox pus into open wounds. Fine for us (mostly) but that sort of thing might kill a dog.


#15

Why can’t I get this from the black market? There’s a demand, and I presume the patent application is thorough enough for a skilled biochemist to make the thing…


#16

There are several kinds of vaccine - for example, some vaccines contain the antibodies to the pathogen, which would not work across species. Others use some other less dangerous pathogen that is known to promote creation of antibodies that work against the actual pathogen, this would be hit-or-miss across species and could theoretically kill you. Still others use dead pathogens, still others use weakened or genetically crippled preparations of the pathogen. All these are “normal”.

So without knowing anything about the specific vaccine preparation, it would be very unwise to suppose that a nonhuman vaccine would work on humans, but the data shouldn’t be too hard to dig up.


#17

Why did insurance companies refuse to pay for the vaccine in the first place? I doubt they were oblivious to the numerous and expensive complications that can result from not treating it.


#18

Perhaps the perceived risk of unregulated meds is greater than the perceived risk of Lyme disease?


#19

Heh, careful the more you learn about Lyme the less you want to know. Basically it’s hard to diagnose and harder to treat. So if you can’t run a test to prove the diagnosis then it must not exist, and no one wants to pay for long expensive treatments on a disease that doesn’t exist.


#20

Yeah. That pisses me off that a few fucking idiots ruined it for the rest of us.