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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

By David Cubberly, Special to Times Colonist
 

 

It’s astounding that a single Victoria veterinarian sees more Lyme disease in dogs yearly than are “confirmed” by the Centre for Disease Control for humans across B.C. (“Tests spot tick-borne disease in retriever,” June 26).

How can it be that we see only four to six cases a year of Lyme in humans if one vet sees a case a month of tick-borne disease in dogs (and most often Lyme)?

I hope the standard of care given Annie the retriever will one day be available to people in B.C. Right now it’s not. Annie’s vet suspected tick-borne illness, recognized the need to test for Lyme disease and knew enough to also test for other tick-borne illnesses.

Humans come to doctors with known symptoms of tick-borne illness, yet often face incomprehension or worse.

VANCOUVER – What if you picked up a crippling bacterial disease, but your doctor says it’s virtually impossible you have it? Or the doctor agrees you’re sick, but won’t treat you for fear of being drummed out of the profession?

Lyme disease patients in British Columbia say that’s what’s happening to them, and they’re being forced to look outside the mainstream medicalsystem for help.

While health officials say a few hundred Canadians contract Lyme disease each year, patient advocates claim that’s a drastic underestimate.

They say they’re given inadequate tests, denied medical treatment or told something else is causing the muscle and joint pain that leaves them unable to walk. And the few doctors willing to treat them with long-term antibiotics — sometimes administered for months intravenously — fear repercussions from their licensing bodies.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/People+with+Lyme+disease+they+treatment/3397141/story.html#ixzz0x4eRzKxU