When Human and Veterinary Medicine Connect

In the March 2015 issue of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association Update (monthly newsletter), there was an interesting piece about the Patterson family from Des Moines, Iowa. They have not one, but two family members diagnosed with Lyme disease.

That may not sound intriguing, but one of the family members is their black Lab, Lady. The other is their 11-year-old son. Now, dogs and humans can’t transmit Lyme disease to each other. Lyme disease is spread by ticks. So, what’s the connection?

negative 4Dx snap test

negative 4Dx snap test

Lady’s veterinarian, Nancy Peterson, DVM, uses a 4-Dx blood test to check her canine patients for Heartworm, Lyme disease, Erlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. This is the same four-way test we use here at Den Herder Veterinary Hospital. When we use this test, we often refer to it as a “Heartworm test”, but it really covers much more than that.

As the family talked with Dr. Peterson, they shared their son was having joint problems, but they weren’t exactly sure what was happening. Something clicked in Dr. Patterson’s mind. She suggested they contact their family doctor and have their son tested for Lyme disease. Sure enough, he was also Lyme positive.

Pretty great catch by their veterinarian to connect the dots on a often undiagnosed disease!

Read the full story about the Patterson Family and their veterinarian with razor-sharp diagnostic skills from the March 2015 IVMA Update.