April 26, 2010

Pic(k) 'Tick' on Sunday

So we went on this picnic this Sunday. I could tell you lots of nice things about this picnic; the alpine meadow with wild flowers, the crystal clear waterfall cascading down the mountain, the fresh air, the cool summer breeze, the multitude of little butterflies fluttering over our wicket baskets, the soothing sun, the lovely walk uphill (say again?), the food, the wine, the company….. I could go on and on.

But what it boils down to in the end is this; The ticks. Thousands of them. What? Millions of them!
This (yes, you see that right) is what I plucked off my dog this morning. To be more exact; this collection comes from the nose section only.
I haven’t done his ears yet, the armpits, the legs and the rest of the body. I washed him, I sprayed him with tick spray, but these are nasty suckers.

I put my kids in the tub, scrubbed them, inspected them, but didn’t find any, so I assume we're safe there.

I keep telling everyone that we do not have Lyme disease in Lebanon. I googled it, you see. And when you Google, you become an expert. They all believed me (sorry, Allyson). But I really cannot find anything on cases of Lyme disease in the Middle East. I know the disease is uncommon in Israel (Source), so I assume it is uncommon in Lebanon as well. Define uncommon, Allyson? Hmmm, good question.

And you’ll see; those that worry are the ones getting it. So I’m not getting it.

My dog, poor thing, is probably more at risk.
A dog can start to limp on one of its front legs in as little as a 3 hours following an infection. Eventually, all limbs will be affected to the point where your dog doesn't want to move. Swollen lymph nodes may also occur with the joint pain. (Suurce here and here)
But really, after such a lovely picnic, is Lyme disease something to worry about? While checking up on Lyme, look what other diseases I found that you actually can get while in Lebanon: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E , the overall hepatitis B , Hepatitis C, Cutaneous and visceral leishmaniasis (transmitted by sandflies), Mediterranean Spotted Fever (okay, low risk), Brucellosis (from consumption of unpasteurized dairy products), echinococcosis (usually transmitted by contaminated fresh vegetables), rabies (no recent cases though), tuberculosis, parasitic infections (giardiasis, amebiasisis, and roundworm and tapeworm infections), and schistosomiasis (transmitted through exposure to contaminated water while wading, swimming, and bathing),  Travelers' Diarrhea (don’t we all know that one?) and Typhoid fever (source)


Anne said...

It was bloody cold that waterfall.....

Francine said...

So catching a cold is also possible :)

And Botulism?
How do the vaccine programmes look like in Lebanon nowadays?
Good thing that hepatitis vaccines were developed. My sister and I contracted that (one A form, the other B) in the 70s. For my sister it was nearly lethal. I ended up also carrying an amoebe bacteria. However, when not in (semi)tropical area's, there's no problem :)