I just had the most ridiculous telephone conversation with the receptionist at our large animal vet's office. Dr. Emily (yes, they call her Dr. Emily rather than Dr. Miller...welcome to Little House on the Prairie) is going to vaccinate our horses this afternoon, did we want the straight tetanus or the one with eastern-western?
Having had the horses for a little over a year now, and no real idea what this woman was talking about, I asked, "Ummm...what's the difference?" I was, of course, thinking she would tell me a bit about the illness creating the need for this eastern-western addition to the tetanus vaccine. Nope.
She responds with, I kid you not, "Well, one has eastern-western added to it, rather than just straight tetanus."
I reply with the equally idiotic, "OK...but what IS eastern-western?"
Silence. Shuffling of papers.
You have got to be kidding me?!?! I'm supposed to decide whether to give my horse a vaccine and you can't even tell me what it is?
I say, rather calmly (I was proud of myself), "I've only had the horses a year and I didn't get that vaccine last year...what does the doctor recomment?"
More silence. More shuffling of papers.
"Well, it's really up to you."
At this point I'm smiling and trying not to laugh hysterically into the phone.
I decided against the added vaccine...I wonder why.
For those that are wondering, Eastern is Eastern Equine Zncephalomyelitis, a virus commonly referred to as sleeping sickness. Western is Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, its closely related cousin virus. There is also Venezuelan equine encephalitis...another cousin.
Who needs a vet when you have the internet?