FAQ SHEET ON LYME PREVENTION
(for an updated version of this post, see http://www.saveadog.org/blog/?p=138)
(Originally published 04/27/2011)
The ticks are out in full force so I’ve been doing some more research on the best and safest preventive measure against Lyme disease. I’ve come to the conclusion that homeopathic Ledum is the best defense against Lyme disease (for dogs and humans alike). Here’s a FAQ sheet on Lyme prevention.
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).
Will Frontline prevent Lyme? No. Frontline will not prevent Lyme. It doesn’t repel ticks at all and the tick still delivers the spirochete before it 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 local ticks deliver the spirochete faster, hence Frontlined dogs are contracting Lyme disease. It makes perfect sense that wild life is more robust in its natural environment than in a laboratory. It’s too bad it took so long for the medical community to figure that out. Historically, we’ve seen many dogs with Lyme disease who have been Frontlined, both with the Save A Dog volunteer’s dogs as well as our adopter’s dogs. It might be a hard sell to convince some of the high end veterinarians who sell the preventive to let go of that idea or of the revenue.
Is there anything I can put on my dog to keep the ticks off? There are virtually no benign drops or sprays available as most 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. Read your ingredients as there are some oils and herbs that will deter ticks.
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. http://www.holisticpetinfo.com/conditions/immune_support.htm is a helpful Web site. They also sell 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 against Lyme.
Isn’t garlic toxic to dogs? No, actually it’s onions that are toxic to dogs, but people sometimes confuse garlic and onions. See http://www.examiner.com/pets-in-denver/garlic-for-dogs-friend-or-foe for more information.
What can I put on my lawn that’s safe for dogs? There’s a product called Garlic Barrier that you can spray on your lawn to keep the ticks away. It’s safe for pets. http://www.garlicbarrier.com/ and it’s sold at Home Depot .
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 the same dose of Ledum 200c. Since dogs aren’t as able to dissolve a pellet on their tongue, you can dilute it in 4 oz of distilled water, once the pellet dissolves, stir briskly, and give 1cc or several drops on the dog’s tongue. Discard the water after the second day.
What about the homeopathic nosode? The homeopathic nosode made from the Borrelia Bordorferi spirochete has been used successfully to prevent as well as treat lyme disease. It’s wise to use the nosode to prepare yourself or your dog when the ticks are not biting. Separate instructions for its use are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The same nosode can be used in a 200c potency to treat Lyme, but you should work with a homeopath as the dosage needs to be monitored.
What about the lyme vaccine? The lyme vaccine causes heart disease and heart attacks – don’t be fooled into this deadly vaccine as we’ve seen more than a few of lyme-vaccinated dogs whose lives have been cut short as a result of heart disease. The 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 treat them herbally with hawthorne and dandelion. A good product is available at http://www.heartwormfree.com/hawthorn_dandelion.htm .
What if my dog has Lyme disease? If your dog has Lyme disease, you should work with a homeopath 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 yard stick 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. More information on treating Lyme Disease with homeopathy, read The Homeopathic Treatment of Lyme Disease by Peter Alex.
What about giving Doxycycline? More information is now out there that doxycycline does not stop the disease from progressing. It seems to lower the numbers of antibodies for awhile, 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 awhile, but it comes back with a vengeance. I’ve personally seen this over and over with friends and volunteer’s dogs, and with people too. Also, since the lyme spirochete confers no immunity, once a dog has lyme, they can be reinfected every time exposed. Once you treat for lyme, you have to wait six months before having another C6 blood test done.