5 things you should know about Lyme Disease in Dogs

I am hearing about more dogs testing positive for Lyme disease – the ticks that carry Lyme appear to be increasing in number and range…

Meaning you need to be aware of what you can do to prevent this in the 1st place.

Now of course the chance of your dog ever getting Lyme disease is miniscule, especially in comparison to the array of more common health conditions such as Cancer.

An array of medicinal nutrients may help your dog avoid serious disease… antioxidants, essential fatty acids, flavonoids, colostrum, probiotics, 95% curcumin.

These are all in our ADVANCED supplement for dogs.

Lyme Disease in Dogs: 5 Things Pet Owners Should Know

Dogs may develop Lyme disease from the bite of a blacklegged tick, which may transmit bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. Once ill, dogs can become feverish and lame in one or more joints. They also may exhibit sluggishness, and their lymph nodes may swell. A more serious form of the disease that affects the kidneys often is fatal.

Here are five things for pet owners to know about helping protect dogs from Lyme disease.

1. Ticks carry the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease

Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterial agent that causes Lyme disease, is one of the most common infections transmitted by ticks, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Following transmission from an infected blacklegged (or deer) tick, Borrelia burgdorferi travels to different parts of a dog’s body and can cause problems.

2. It can take time for your dog to show signs

Dogs with Lyme disease can experience an array of signs, including joint pain, swelling and fever. Dogs may not show signs of illness for weeks or months after an infected tick bites them – and many dogs that are infected never show signs of illness. Fortunately, some tests can determine if a dog has been infected, though it can take up to nine weeks for some tests to show positive results.

Signs of Lyme disease depend on the progression of the initial infection. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), pet owners should watch for these signs:

  • Fever
  • Swollen joints and limping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy and/or depression
  • Kidney problems

3. Veterinarians can test your dog for Lyme disease

Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose, and infection can be difficult to detect in dogs.

A veterinarian may perform blood tests to detect the presence of antibodies to the bacterial agent of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). He or she may conduct additional tests to help diagnose infection and determine whether the infection has affected a dog’s kidneys.

In some cases IF your dog is showing flu like symptoms, and Lyme disease exists in your area, some veterinarians will suggest a course of a simple antibiotic such as Amoxicillin.

4. How can I prevent my dog from getting Lyme disease?

The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect an approaching animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas.

It helps to groom your dog daily, checking for ticks.

There are holistic tick preventives now available, such as Nootkashield. Here is a recent article about it…

The US EPA has approved a citrusy new chemical to fight mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects that is natural and nontoxic to people and furry pets.

The name of the chemical is “nootkatone” (NOOT-ka-tone). In nature, you can find it in grapefruit peels and certain Alaskan pine trees. And it is already used in perfumes, colognes, and grapefruit-flavored drinks.

It’s more than a repellent. In high enough concentrations, this skin-safe compound can kill mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting pests.

See more about this at www.nootkashield.com

5. How is Lyme disease treated?

Because the Lyme spirochete is a bacterium, it can be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic of choice is doxycycline, followed by amoxicillin, then azithromycin. Treatment lasts for 4 weeks. Occasionally, the initial infection will recur, or the pet will become re-infected by being bitten by another infected tick.

Natural Treatment… Garlic!

Here is a recent review study:

Laboratory study hints that plant compounds may be better than current antibiotics at treating persistent Lyme bacteria and associated symptoms

Oils from garlic and several other common herbs and medicinal plants show strong activity against the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. These oils may be especially useful in alleviating Lyme symptoms that persist despite standard antibiotic treatment, the study also suggests.

The study, published October 16 in the journal Antibiotics, included lab-dish tests of 35 essential oils–oils that are pressed from plants or their fruits and contain the plant’s main fragrance, or “essence.” The Bloomberg School researchers found that 10 of these, including oils from garlic cloves, myrrh trees, thyme leaves, cinnamon bark, allspice berries and cumin seeds, showed strong killing activity against dormant and slow-growing “persister” forms of the Lyme disease bacterium.

“We found that these essential oils were even better at killing the ‘persister’ forms of Lyme bacteria.

A ‘standard’ and safe garlic dose for dogs is 1/4 of a clove/20lbs of body weight daily. You can also use garlic in a tablet formation, dosing your dog at 100mg per 10lbs daily.

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew

P.S. Unfortunately the deer tick populations are expanding, and Lyme disease is becoming more of a problem throughout North America.

You need to be aware of this and be treating for ticks if this is a problem where you live.


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