The Center for Disease Control has come out with a new Lyme disease map and paper.
Let me cut to the bottom line: If you live in most of the United States, you have very little reason to fear Lyme Disease.
This is tick-borne disease that winters over in white-footed deer mice, and is carried to humans through a multi-tier tick life cycle that also involves meso-predators such as fox, raccoon, and possum, as well as deer.
Lyme disease has not spread a bit in the midwest (i.e. Wisconsin) and is slowly spreading in the east into Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia from its northeast stronghold in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.
Folks with all kinds of malingering illnesses, real and imagined, claim they have Lyme, but in fact this is a disease that is actually pretty hard to get, and is pretty easy to get rid of, involving a 30-day regime of doxcycline, the same antibiotic used to treat malaria the world over.
Canine Lyme disease tests are less that useless, as there is no need to treat an asymptomatic dog, and dogs that have recovered from Lyme will continue to test positive even though cured.
A 4-day regime of doxycyline will quickly get a dog well again -- at which point, you simply keep dosing the dog for 30 days. Putting a dog on doxycycline for a month is actually far cheaper than going to a vet for a "well dog" check ($10 versus $80).
What about a Lyme disease vaccine? This is junk billing that reflects a veterinarian's desire to pad his bank account. If you want to jab your dog for nothing, and pay for the privilege, go right ahead, but the Consensus Statement of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine remains unchanged for over a decade:
[On immunization t]he only consensus reached is that immunization of dogs in nonendemic states is unneeded. The majority of respondents do not recommend Bb vaccination in endemic states either.
I live and hunt in the middle of Lyme disease country and I do not fear Lyme or pay veterinarians to mumble incantations over me while they lift money from my wallet . Neither should you.