Inconspicuous Killer

5 Sep
Brown dog stands in calm, blue water.

Hope, a chocolate lab mix,  looks for fun in a favorite play spot.

September begins quietly, with a heavy heart and golden leaves.  Avid explorer and enthusiastic playmate, my dog Hope fell victim to Lyme disease and complications from Lyme disease this summer.  A vibrant three year old, she was as active as ever until she began a sharp decline.  Visits to various veterinarians and attempts to treat her were unable to thwart the disease processes within her.

My previous post entitled “June!” warned of dangers linked with adventures in the Finger Lakes.  Though wary of ticks and other dangers present in our local environment, my prevention practices did not keep my pet from becoming exposed to this deadly virus.  A visit to Tompkins CountyNY.gov  reveals staggering statistics regarding the increase in Lyme cases in humans since 2007.  There is cause for alarm and vigilance in protecting ourselves! Though there is a vaccine available for dogs, some people are uncertain of its efficacy or safety.  Given the prevalence of the Lyme virus in our area of the Finger Lakes prevention is a practice to be investigated fully immediately.

Dressing appropriately and routinely checking for ticks is necessary but one must do more.  Applying an insect repellent to clothing is a wise choice.  Ingesting garlic or turmeric has also been suggested.  Eliminating my exposure to the outdoors is impossible, yet peak times for tick activity and cycles should be considered.  Running and lying in tall grasses should be avoided like suntanning with baby oil. Once these activities were enjoyed but now the dangers are simply too high.

Hope was likely exposed to the disease that killed her on one of the walks we shared.  The few moments of intense freedom, when we retreated to the woods to run free and absorb the sights, smells and terrain together.  She run’s in my mind’s eye, up ahead on the trail, looking back to be sure I am following.

Reflections of a brown dog.

A ripple surrounds a brown dog as she looks into the clear, still waters of  Lake Ontario.

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2 Responses to “Inconspicuous Killer”

  1. White Alaska September 5, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

    My heart goes for your dog and all people who contracted Lyme disease. It’s indeed a silent killer and hardly anybody is aware of it. It’s said that 300,000 people are exposed to Lyme disease per year but there is another staggering number indicating that it’s most probably 2 million people. The last number appears right since in Germany 1 out of 18 people contracts the disease and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the same in the US. I don’t understand why the media doesn’t send more warnings about the disease since it’s going to be the scourge of the 21st century. People are dying from Alzheimer, Parkinson, liver/kidney failure, heart disease while in reality Lyme disease is the culprit. The pharmaceutical companies are having a ball and laughing all way to the bank about selling useless drugs for those so-called diseases instead of treating Lyme disease.

    • Kristen Moore September 10, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words. Increased awareness and communication regarding Lyme disease is indeed necessary.

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