I’ve spent the last 2 years managing and treating one of my dogs various health conditions and until recently hadn’t even considered lymes disease, why hadn’t I? Having never seen or found any evidence of ticks it never crossed my mind until a latest round of tests to see how she was progressing identified a specific active bacteria. Further research and tests pinpointed the source as not from the UK, being raised on a puppy farm in Hungary and imported at a year old it’s hard to say at what point prior to her rescue she may have become infected. but the fact is she’s had it for a long time.
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-transmitted diseases in the world but only causes symptoms in 5-10% of affected dogs. It is caused by a spirochete (bacteria) species of the Borrelia burgdorferi group but is it actually caused by the tick itself?
Lyme disease researchers and specialists have found that the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria we used to think was the cause of Lyme disease isn’t actually the real cause. In most cases, Lyme disease only occurs when there is an existing health issue in the animal called co-infection, which means living with more than one infection at a time with clinical features often overlapping with other conditions.
Chronic inflammation Immune suppression Co-infections from other viruses Parasites Other bacteria and fungi Heavy metals and toxins The above are all examples of co-infection, bacteria and parasites prey on weak animals, a healthy immune system is an essential part of prevention.
The Borrelia bacteria found in ticks typically causes flu-like symptoms. Research shows that about a third of ticks carry Borrelia. If your dog/cat is bitten by a tick, it’s only 33% likely to carry the potentially harmful Borrelia bacteria. If the tick is infected, then you or your dog will typically develop flu-like symptoms and possibly a rash at the site of infection. This is the first stage of Lyme disease. It’s estimated that only 10% to 20% of tick bites will lead to stage 1 of Lyme’s disease. So your dog has about a 1% to 2% chance of stage 2 Lyme disease.
Stage 3 Lyme is the chronic stage, which can appear months or even years after infection and more common in animals that have a compromised immune system. Only 1% of stage 2 cases of Lyme progress to stage 3. Blood tests can confirm if your dog/cat is suffering from Lyme’s disease, symptoms of stage 3 can vary, kidney failure may set in as the dog begins to exhibit such signs as vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, weight loss, increased urination, thirst, abnormal fluid build-up, sensitivity to touch and nervous system complications.
Conventionally it’s treated by using antibiotics such as Doxycycline for a period of 4 weeks, sometimes longer depending on the animal and its symptoms. For us conventional treatments isn’t an option as she allergic to antibiotics so a natural approach is required.
Ensure that the animal has a good healthy diet and its immune system is fully supported. You can’t always guarantee an animal has had the best of starts even if you know where they came from so ensuring they have a good healthy diet and its immune system is fully supported is key to preventing many of the problems we see every day.