When it comes to Lyme disease and exposure to the biting bugs that carry the disease… i.e. ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, horseflies, etc. … your dog may be your “canary in a coalmine.” In other words, because your furry friend is rambling through areas of higher exposure to these bugs than you, it may get exposed to Lyme disease before you do.
Consequently, you may notice your dog exhibiting the following symptoms, and if you do, you should contact your vet to have your pet tested for Lyme disease:
- Stiff joints
- Sudden lameness & limb atrophy
- Partial facial paralysis
- Fatigue & sluggishness
- Gastrointestinal problems
Like with humans, a 4-6 week course of doxycyline has the highest potential to knock the infection out and keep it from going into the chronic phase if caught within the first 60 days of infection onset.
However, if you don’t catch it in time or if you are not interested in giving antibiotics to your pet, there are three natural treatments with high levels of effectiveness.
COWDEN PROTOCOL FOR DOGS
The Cowden Protocol was developed by Dr. William Lee Cowden, MD initially for the treatment of late-stage Borrelia and Lyme co-infections. Since the protocol helps to resolve the majority of the root causes of most patient’s symptoms in humans, it can also be used to treat “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome” and many other chronic health conditions of unclear cause in dogs as well.
The Cowden Protocol utilizes 15 different products including 8 microbial defense herbals (4 pairs of herbals) that are taken in rotation.
The majority of the protocol is administered through herbal tinctures, whereby drops of the treatment are mixed in water before ingesting, and it is easy to put these drops in your dog’s water dish as long as you make certain your pet drinks all of it.
In regards to dosing for a dog, below are guidelines:
- Large dogs (45-88 lbs.) would take about ½ of the human dose (recommended on the bottle)
- Medium dogs (23-44 lbs.) would take about ¼ of the human dose
- Small (5-22 lbs.) dogs would take 1/10 of the human dose
BUHNER PROTOCOL FOR DOGS
Dr. Stephen Buhner has also developed a well-known and effective treatment for Lyme disease and co-infections for humans, and he recommends the following herbal treatments for dogs.
- Japanese Knotweed Root (Polygonum cuspidatum) can reduce the inflammation from Lyme disease which in turn can reduce many of the symptoms that occur. The powdered form of the herb can be added to your dog’s food at 3 tablespoons, twice per day… morning and evening.
- Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) helps raise the immune system to best fight the disease. The powdered form of the herb can be added to your dog’s food at 3 tablespoons, twice per day… morning and evening.
- Glucosamine Sulfate is a natural supplement that is often included in dog snacks to help joint problems. It helps with pain and inflammation and restores and protects cartilage. The powdered form of the supplement can be added to your dog’s food at 2 tablespoons, twice per day… morning and evening.
DR. TOBIN’S PROTOCOL
Dr. Stephen Tobin is a holistic vet in Connecticut who has successfully treated more than 1,000 dogs with Lyme disease using homeopathy. He reports the treatment also works well for cats and horses.
- Ledum palustre in a 1M potency given three times per day for three days. DO NOT give more than one tiny pellet per dose. Here’s a link to purchase it: Ledum 1M Palustre 1M 80 Pellets
- After finishing the above, follow with LYME NOSODE. A nosode is a highly-diluted preparation of the disease itself used by homeopathic doctors to treat the illness with no danger of contracting the full disease.
This dosage is for medium-size and larger dogs. For small dogs, use half the dosage:
- STEP 1: 1 dropperful daily for a week
- STEP 2: 1 dropperful each week for a month
- STEP 3: 1 dropperful every 6 months
Try to apply drops under your dog’s tongue 30 minutes before or after any food or drink (including water) or simply apply it far back in the deepest part of your dog’s cheek.
Of course, prevention is the best method for avoid Lyme disease all together. What follows are the best steps to remove a tick successfully from your pet…
To safely remove a tick, please do the following:
- Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to its head and the skin’s surface as possible.
- Pull straight upward without twisting or picking at the tick. Twisting can cause the tick’s head and mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove them with tweezers.
- After removing the tick, avoid any contact with blood or fluids coming from the tick. Thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub, or soap and water. Adding a drop or two of clove oil (oil of clove essential oils) directly on the bite area can help eradicate infection.
- Dispose of a live tick by placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet. Never crush a tick with your fingers to avoid any possible contact with pathogens.
- Free tick testing is available courtesy of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation by clicking here.
Cistus Tea can be ingested as a tick repellent! According to Dietrich Klinghardt, the Sardinians have discovered through the decades that when giving Cistus Incanus to their pets or livestock, the animals who ate the tea leaves exhibited no ticks whereas those who didn’t eat the plant had dozens of ticks. This trick seems to work with humans and it’s a great side effect of the tea and a pleasant alternative to putting on chemical repellents to keep ticks away. You can sprinkle the leaves on your pet’s food to keep them tick-free as well.
Dosage: Just use 1/2 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight. You don’t have to put the kettle on for your pet, you can just put the herb directly into their food. Pets LOVE the taste!