“Help! My dog tested positive for Lyme disease! The vet says he needs antibiotics for four to six weeks … What should I do?”
This is a common scenario these days.
My first response is “How’s your dog doing? What symptoms are you seeing?”
The response is usually, “Oh, he seems just fine … happy and healthy, no symptoms at all!”
My answer is … your dog probably doesn’t have Lyme disease!
Let me explain.
A positive Lyme test only indicates that your dog has antibody to Borrelia burgdorferii (Bb) … the bacterium associated with Lyme disease.
It means your dog has been exposed … and mounted an immune response!
The dirty little secret is that Lyme-positive dogs rarely show any signs of illness. Researchers haven’t even been able to create illness by infecting dogs in the lab!
So there seems to be much ado about nothing when it comes to “Lyme disease” in dogs.
Lyme Disease Is Different In Dogs
Dogs and humans experience Lyme disease differently. But conventional treatment for dogs is based on the human model. This doesn’t work well.
Misdiagnosis, antibiotic-associated problems, and treatment failures are common in humans with Lyme. So this carries over to the veterinary side as well.
Each case is a unique blend of symptoms and disease history that we can treat safely, regardless of diagnostic label. There is also no worry of drug resistance … and homeopathy can even increase the patient’s resistance or immunity.
Homeopathic treatment is not based on diagnosis, but on the individual symptoms of the patient.
In some cases, antibiotics help treat severe infections. But Lyme doesn’t really fit in this class.
And these drugs can actually work against disease resolution. There’s definite evidence that antibiotics …
- Delay host immunity.
- Can promote a state of perpetual illness (aka chronic Lyme in humans).
Lyme And Immunodeficiency
It’s more accurate to classify Lyme disease as an immunodeficiency disease.
The organism Bb is associated with the syndrome, but not the actual cause of illness, in most cases.
Healthy individuals are not affected by the Lyme organism. A state of illness must precede infection.
This idea of immunodeficiency fits perfectly with homeopathic thinking …
All disease begins on the energetic level, with a disturbance of the vital force.
Allopathic (conventional) medicine is very materialistic. It sees the microorganism as the root cause of disease.
But in fact … the power of all diseases to cause illness depends on …
- Existing chronic disease state
Not every individual gets sick every time.
This seems obvious … but we often forget it when fear takes hold. And conventional doctors apply pressure to the situation.
The “Experts” Agree
The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) is the ultimate authority in the allopathic veterinary world.
A group of ACVIM diplomates published guidelines in 2006, and updated them in 2018.
The paper is an interesting explanation and summary of recommendations of the conventional approach to Lyme disease in small animals (dogs and cats).
However, it seems most of the veterinary community has not read this … or is ignoring it.
Here are some of the high points, and the ACVIM’s conclusions …
- Unlike exposed humans, 95% of exposed dogs remain asymptomatic (meaning they aren’t sick!).
- Researchers have never been able to cause Lyme disease in experiments by putting infected ticks on dogs.
- Renal, cardiac, neurologic or skin disease attributed to Lyme has not been reproduced in experiments with dogs.
- In some Lyme endemic areas, 70 to 90 percent of all dogs have Lyme antibodies, yet most are healthy with no symptoms.
- No individual test result documents illness from Lyme infection.
- Positive tests only indicate exposure to Bb, not clinical disease.
- Titer strength does not relate to presence or absence of disease.
Don’t Test Healthy Dogs
In fact, ACVIM argues against routine screening of healthy dogs … for these reasons:
- Routine testing results in over-diagnosis and over-treatment … based on a test that does not diagnose Lyme disease nor predict its occurrence.
- Most positive dogs never become ill with Lyme disease and don’t need treatment.
- Over-treatment with incomplete removal of Bb can result in resistant strains.
- Overuse of antibiotics generally increases other microbial resistance in the environment (a bad thing for everyone).
- Not all dogs are cleared of infection even after one month of treatment.
- Immunity is not permanent; treated dogs can be reinfected.
- Drugs used to treat Lyme disease have potential side effects.
- Detection of positive results could cause unnecessary owner distress and expense … and potential drug reactions in dogs who don’t even need treatment.
Don’t Give Lyme Vaccines
And finally …
- Most ACVIM members do not recommend Lyme vaccination … due to poor efficacy and safety concerns
This is true even in Lyme-endemic areas.
Hmm …. do most vets know this?
The Homeopathic View Of Lyme Disease
A well known homeopath, Ron Whitmont MD, published an article on homeopathy and Lyme disease. It shows the great potential of dealing with this problem without resorting to drugs … (just in case it ever becomes a real issue with dogs).
He first states that Lyme disease in humans is divided into three stages:
Stage 1 – Early localized disease; first 1-2 weeks. The famous bull’s eye skin rash appears during this time.
(This is the stage for most dog cases … after an engorged tick is found and removed. That’s when the fear of Lyme kicks in!)
Stage 2 – Early disseminated disease; from 3 weeks to several months. Polyarthritis, fibromyalgia-like symptoms, and less commonly kidney, neurologic and other deeper symptoms
(Dogs rarely if ever get to this stage … or stage 3).
Stage 3 – Late chronic disease; from ten months to several years. Humans develop more severe arthritis and neurologic, cardiac, kidney diseases which are usually progressive. (Dogs are not known to get to this stage).
Looking at the difference in the way Lyme progresses in humans compared to dogs …
… it’s obvious dogs are more resistant to this illness.
Ledum Used For Lyme Disease
Any remedy that can cause symptoms similar to a disease may also be a good preventative for that same illness.
It’s easy to see the similarity between Ledum and symptoms of Lyme disease by reading a Materia Medica (the reference homeopaths use to study remedies and their associated symptoms).
Here are a few symptoms for Ledum from Lippe, Red Line and Keynote Symptoms:
- Adapted to rheumatic or gouty diathesis / constitution
- Painful knots on joints
- Hot swelling of painful joints
- Acute and chronic arthritis
- Gout (joint pain / swelling)
- Stings of insects (esp mosquitoes)
- Sleeplessness; restlessness; tossing about
- Worse from motion, walking; at night; warmth
- Better with cold applications; resting; cool air
And others from Cowperthwaite’s Materia Medica:
- Rheumatism of small joints
- Painful hard nodes and calcareous concretions on joints
- Hip joint pain; worse walking or when touched
- Cracking in knee (stifle), painful when walking
- Swelling of feet, with pain
- The limbs and whole body are painful as if bruised or beaten
- Heat of bed intolerable
- Skin has red, pimply eruptions; corrosive itchy skin
These are just a few of the more obvious symptoms that are similar to those of Lyme disease syndrome. Many other remedies might also help, based on the symptom picture at the time.
Final Thoughts About Lyme Disease In Dogs
Homeopathy demonstrates worldwide effectiveness in treating a variety of infectious diseases, with over 200 years of amazing success in epidemics, human and animal.
As a dog owner, don’t give in to the fear and hype surrounding Lyme disease. Be mindful of the reality of its rarity … and of the power of homeopathy to cure if it does occur.
Visit theavh.org to find a homeopathic vet to help with your dog’s journey to health.