In my research on the best and safest preventive measure against Lyme disease, I’ve come to the conclusion that homeopathic Ledum is the best defense for dogs and humans alike. Below is a Q&A on Lyme disease treatment and prevention that should answer some questions and give you a better understanding of the whole picture.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is caused by infection with a bacterium called a spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) and is transmitted to humans by infected ticks (Ixodes scapularis and I. Pacificus).
How do I have my dog tested for Lyme disease?
Many vets don’t test for Lyme if a dog is on year-round heartworm preventive. The Lyme and heartworm test are combined into a test called 3DX or 4DX, so in skipping the heartworm test, you may be missing out on a Lyme diagnosis. If your vet doesn’t test, please insist on it. There is no reason to have a dog on heartworm preventive all year long, especially in New England where we have an absence of mosquitoes during the winter months. Most 3DX and 4DX tests are performed in the spring.
Will Frontline prevent Lyme disease?
No. Frontline will not prevent Lyme. It doesn’t repel ticks at all and the tick still delivers the spirochete before it dies, hence the Lyme pathology is already started by the time the tick dies.
But why does my vet tell me that Frontline prevents Lyme?
In laboratory tests the tick takes 48 hours to infect the dog. The premise is that the tick will die before it has a chance to infect the dog. More proof is coming out that the ticks deliver the spirochete faster, hence “Frontlined” dogs are contracting Lyme disease. It makes perfect sense that wildlife is more robust in its natural environment than in a laboratory. Historically, we’ve seen many dogs with Lyme disease who have been dosed with the spot-on products, both with the Save A Dog volunteers’ dogs as well as our adopters’ dogs. It’s frustrating that veterinarian offices are still promoting these products that have proven to be ineffective.
Is there any safe tick repellent I can put on my dog?
The conventional over-the-counter drops or sprays available contain pesticides. It is a known fact that pesticides cause cancer. Therefore, in my opinion, using spot-on products is like burning your house down to get rid of ants. There is a spray by Wondercide that is safe as it has cedar oil. We also have used Rose Geranium oil and make our own sprays with it. Read your ingredients as there are some oils and herbs that will deter ticks. Rose geranium oil (Pelargonium graveolens) is touted as keeping ticks away. A few drops on your dog’s collar is worth the effort.
Is there something I can put in my dog’s food to keep the ticks off?
Yes. Garlic and brewer’s yeast is well known as a deterrent to keep the bugs off of dogs. It’s safe and it’s been used for years. You can buy it in a tablet or get it in a powder from most health food stores. There is also Moducare, which is touted by holistic vets as building the immune system against Lyme and other diseases. Astragalus is also well known as a good defense against Lyme disease as it builds up the dog’s defense system.
Isn’t garlic toxic to dogs?
No, actually it’s onions that are toxic to dogs, but people sometimes confuse garlic and onions.
How can you safely prevent ticks in your yard?
What can I give my dog after they’ve been bitten by a tick?
A really good defense against Lyme disease is homeopathic Ledum. Homeopathy strengthens the vital force and is very successful at curing diseases of the blood as well as chronic diseases. For a human, take one homeopathic pellet of Ledum 30c twice a day for 2 days following the tick bite. For dogs, give Ledum 1M mixture three times a day for 3 days in a row.
Since dogs aren’t as able to dissolve a pellet on their tongue, you need to dilute it in water. Tap 1 or 2 pellets (4-5 if the remedy is in the tiny pellet form) of the remedy into a glass or bottle containing 4 oz. of purified or distilled water. If you use an 8 oz spring water bottle, pour out all but 4 oz. Let the pellets dissolve for about 5 minutes, then shake vigorously and give the bottle a couple of thwacks on your open palm. If you don’t have a bottle, use a cup. Put 4 oz of the distilled water in a glass cup, add the pellets, and stir until dissolved. Each time you give a dose (1cc to 1 tsp. on tongue), you need to stir the water briskly first. You can also put it in your dog’s drinking water, but not in food. Cover the cup and keep in fridge. Discard after the 3 days of treatment.
If your dog is getting bit by ticks that might also be carrying other tick diseases, such as ehrlichia or anaplasmosis, you should also go on a maintenance plan of giving the Ledum 200c once a week during tick season. The Ledum treatment works for Ehrlichia and other tick diseases as well. Also give the 200c once a week as maintenance after treating Lyme.
What about the homeopathic nosode?
The homeopathic nosode made from the Borrelia Burgdorferi spirochete has been used successfully to prevent as well as treat Lyme disease but you should work with a homeopath as the dosage needs to be monitored and the advancement of the disease needs to be assessed. If the disease is advanced, there are other remedies that may be more effective. I’m finding that as more tick diseases are emerging, ledum is a better choice as it treats all tick-borne diseases whereas the borrelia burdorferi only covers lyme.
What about the Lyme disease vaccine?
The lyme vaccine is linked to heart disease and heart attacks. We’ve seen more than a few of lyme-vaccinated dogs whose lives have been cut short as a result of complications following these vaccines. The vaccine only protects 17-34% of the dogs and is not worth the risk of heart disease and painful arthritis. Your dog will have better protection with a strong immune system. If your dog has already been vaccinated with the lyme vaccine, you can strengthen his heart by giving him hawthorn and dandelion.
What can I do if my dog has Lyme disease?
If your dog has Lyme disease, you should work with a homeopath or a vet who is open to holistic treatments as the treatment is individualized depending on a number of things, one being the advancement of the pathology. This will determine the course of action. At the very least, ask for a C6 test so that you can get a baseline of the number of antibodies in the dog’s blood. This will be your yardstick for determining if the disease is progressing or is on its way out of the body. Dr. Stephen Tobin of Meriden, CT, has successfully treated thousands of lyme-infected dogs and horses. He advises giving the lyme positive dog Ledum 1M three times a day for three days in a row. For more information on treating Lyme Disease with homeopathy, I recommend The Homeopathic Treatment of Lyme Disease by Peter Alex.
Does Doxycycline work?
More information is now out there that doxycycline does not stop the disease from progressing. It seems to lower the numbers of antibodies for a while, but Lyme disease progresses nevertheless. Many homeopaths agree that doxycycline and other antibiotics will prevent the immune system from fighting the disease, so it’s a double-edged sword. The numbers look good for a while, but it comes back with a vengeance. I’ve personally seen this over and over with friends and volunteers’ dogs, and with humans too. Also, since the lyme spirochete confers no immunity, once a dog has lyme, they can be re-infected every time exposed. Once you treat for lyme, you have to wait six months before having another C6 blood test done.
I have heard that Astragalus can help, is that true?
Astragalus acts to enhance the immune function during early-stage Lyme disease. It works by enhancing the Th1 immune response, producing higher levels of Th1, which lessens the chance that an infections will occur, or results in more mild symptoms as a result of that infection. However, late-stage Lyme disease is Th1 dominant, so the use of astragalus in the later stages of this disease has the potential to exacerbate this Th1 response and worsen the symptoms of the disease.
What about chronic Lyme disease?
When the diagnosis is missed, the case turns chronic. Holistic Veterinarian Dr. Roger DeHaan, says that if your dog has chronic Lyme, you need to think outside of the box. He recommends large doses of buffered vitamin C. Vitamin C is a key in connective tissue integrity – the tissue most often attacked by the Lyme organism. You can also add colloidal silver, joint support formulas, immune support and, of course, a superior diet. Ozone therapy provided by MASH Vet in Hopkinton, MA has been very successful for treating Lyme.
What else can I do?
Homeopathic Aurum Arsenicum has been successful in treating chronic lyme disease. It’s best to work under an experienced Homeopath as you will need to assess the totality of the symptoms along with the progression of the disease. Please send your comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.