Good Question: Why is your dog better protected than you?

May 28, 2018 06:50 AM

When it comes to Lyme disease prevention, your pup is better off than you!

Lyme disease is a serious illness that both you and your pets can get this time of year. But why is there a vaccine for your dog and not one for you?

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Pat Taney was asked that for this week's Good Question report.

Al Krause, who took his dog to the vet asked about this so we went back to the vet to find out.

They're back! Ticks and some of them are carriers of Lyme disease.

"There's a big exposure especially in this area where we have many parks and we know there are ticks around." Said Dr. Katrina Thornton from the Penfield Veterinary Hospital.

But when it comes to protection, your dog is better off than you!

"There has been a Lyme vaccine out for a few years for dogs." Thornton said.

But the one for humans is no longer available.

Taney: how come there's a vaccine for dogs but not humans?

Thornton: That question, I get a lot from owners too. I know there was a vaccine that was for people and it came off the market in 2002.

It was called Lymerix and there are several reasons why it's no longer around,  mainly there was a lack of demand.

One of the big issues:  some people claimed the vaccine gave them ill effects.. even though clinical trials did not show that.

Lawyers were even looking at filing class action lawsuits so the drug maker, SmithKline, pulled it.

As for your pup, Dr. Thornton says the vaccine for dogs isn't perfect, but she's certain it's keeping many dogs healthy.

"No vaccine is 100 percent affective but the one we have now is highly more effective than the ones that were out previously." She said.
A French biotech company, Valneva, is looking to get a Lyme vaccine back on the market. They're currently in the early stages of getting it approved through the U.S. F.D.A.

No word on when it could be available.


Pat Taney

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