Lyme disease is a serious condition, and it is often permanent
when it is treated with standard care.
Let’s Look At Taking A Naturopathic Approach.
Lyme is a bacterial infection (not a virus) that of causes inflammation throughout the body. Are you interested in taking a naturopathic approach to restoration of health from this so called disease?
Lyme is said to be the most common tick-borne disease. It has been reported that in Lyme-endemic areas of the country, veterinarians request regular testing for the disease even in “healthy dogs”. It has been found that a large percentage of dogs are seropositive, This simply means that they have the Lyme-related antibodies in their blood due to exposure to the disease but they have no clinical symptoms of infection!
Meryl P. Littman, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, reports that canine exposure to Lyme disease is common, but the disease is not!
“Ninety-five percent of exposed dogs don’t get sick, but they become Lyme antibody-positive on tests, which may scare people into thinking they need to be treated,” she says. “We don’t treat asymptomatic dogs, but we check their urine for protein.” In some areas in New England, 70 to 90 percent of healthy dogs are testing as Lyme-positive but they have NO symptoms.
Again, these are not sick dogs but dogs that have been exposed – naturally to the disease at some time.
These statistics prove that the immune systems of seropositive dogs have identified the Lyme disease pathogen and mounted an appropriate, effective response. So even though they test positive, they do not become sick with the disease!
This would help explain the question I am often asked: Why would one dog be more susceptible to contracting Lymes and manifesting symptoms than another would?
First of all, if the immune system is strong and the animal has natural immunity (has not been vaccinated for Lymes, Parvo, etc. but has been exposed to these viruses naturally) the chances of contracting Lymes and being sick with symptoms is or can be, very low.
Here are a few causes of actually being sick with Lymes Disease :
- Weakened immunity
- Inhibited cellular function and protection
- Systemic bacterial infection
- Poor or improper species specific nutrition
- Environmental factors including exposure to toxic household chemicals
If your dog has symptoms and has tested positive for the infection, please know that there is a natural way to overcome the infection without the use of harmful antibiotics and more immune suppressive drugs!
Naturally Restore the Immune System
Boost the immune system and lower the inflammation response by aiding the body to overcome the root cause of the symptoms. The body can overcome Lyme disease once and for all only once the immune system is boosted and balanced – easing the inflammatory responses being triggered and restoring the body to health.
Focus first on changing the dog’s diet. Reduce nutrient deficiencies by feeding a raw carnivore specific diet, improve the gut health and stop feeding processed, refined foods and treats. These are loaded with harmful, difficult to digest ingredients.
Reduce the stress in your own and your dog’s life and address emotional issues.
Naturally overcoming Lyme disease can take time, focus on getting your dog’s body (and mind) into a healing state for good.
Proper, Species Specific Diet is Crucial
Feeding processed pet food, whether kibble or canned, simply will not and can not supply the nutrients needed to boost the immune system and will in fact only further compromise the immune system and increase inflammation.
Feeding a TRUE species-specific diet (dogs ARE carnivores) means NO vegetables, grains, dairy products or fruits. Think WILD; think what a wolf or cougar would eat. You will never find them stalking broccoli or an ear of corn, you will never catch them digging up a carrot or potato. Our dogs are carnivores and as such, are not designed to properly digest any of these things. Trying to do so will tax the digestive organs, glands and in turn, the immune system.
Feed High-antioxidant, species-specific foods:
Lean, Grass Fed Meat, Free Range Poultry and Fish help control free radical damage and inflammation, lower the risk for nutrient deficiencies in our carnivore companions.
Red meats are the richest in lipoic acid (which is a powerful antioxidant). Raw meats, and especially the liver, contain perfect amounts of vitamin D. Beef and Poultry are great sources of Selenium. They also facilitate the production of the antioxidant, glutathione. Grass-fed beef is a source of carotenoids and are also naturally rich in the antioxidants, vitamin E, beta carotene, vitamin C and Omega 3’s
Fish – Salmon, Mackerel, Halibut, and Herring are good natural sources of vitamin E. Salmon, Tilapia, Cod and Haddock are good sources of Selenium, (a mineral with antioxidant properties). Salmon is a natural source of the antioxidant amino acid, Taurine.
Wild, fatty fish including salmon, sardines and herring are also rich sources of bio-available Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are a vital part of a healthy diet and are beneficial in maintaining healthy cells.
Eggs – (whole and raw– shell, whites and yolks) In 2011, scientists at the University of Alberta found that eggs contain more antioxidant properties than previously thought. Eggs are known to provide Carotenoides (egg yolk), Peptides and Selenium. Pastured eggs are a rich source of Vitamin D, E and Omega 3 fatty acids. Studies have shown they may contain three to six times more vitamins than conventional eggs.
Gut/digestive health is tightly tied to overall immune functioning; in fact, around 70 percent or more of the immune system lives in the gut! Foods that help replenish the good or friendly bacteria will also rebuild the lining of the GI tract which controls inflammation and allergy symptoms. The most natural source of friendly, species specific bacteria is soil based organisms – SBOs. Raw green tripe is loaded with naturally occurring probiotics, enzymes, vitamins and nutrients for our carnivore companions and can be fed regularly.
Raw Marrow Bones
While you may be aware of the healing and nutritional qualities of Bone Broth for humans, the great thing is that we don’t need to cook the bones and marrow for our carnivore companions, they are well able to assimilate all the nutrients they need by eating the marrow out of raw bones!
A prey model raw diet includes raw meaty bones which of course contain the wonderful, nutrient dense marrow.
Bone marrow helps the immune system by carrying oxygen to cells in the body. It is also one of the most effective remedies for the gut lining. Consuming RAW bone marrow, supports the immune system and speeds up the healing process as well as having other benefits to health.
A Few of The Health Benefits of Bone Marrow
Essential Fatty Acids
Vitamins and Minerals
If at all possible, be sure to locate bones from grass fed, healthy cattle, organic pastured chickens, turkeys, bison, lamb etc. If you buy conventionally raised animal products, you can end up with even more toxins which are normally stored in the fatty areas of bones such as the bone marrow.
Natual Supplements to Help Improve Cellular Function
In order to restore cellular health, consider the following natural sources of these essential nutrients:
CoQ10: CoQ10 can help protect the brain and nervous system from degradation and inflammation, while also lowering symptoms like joint pain and aches. CoQ10 is naturally found in high levels in raw organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart, as well as in beef muscle meat, and mackerel.
Medicinal mushrooms: Studies show that medicinal mushrooms (this includes cordyceps, reishi and maitake mushrooms) promote an adaptive immune system, which helps control autoimmune reactions. These have been proven to reduce reactions to inflammation and stress. Medicinal mushrooms boost an intracellular antioxidant called superoxide dismutase (SOD) that protects the cells. They can also increase function of natural killer cells that can kill off bad bacteria.
B-Complex: B vitamins support many metabolic and cellular functions, plus they help fight infections and improve neurological health. Vitamin B-6 is especially important for Lyme patients. Fresh, raw, Tuna and Turkey are the highest in vitamin B-6.
Omega-3 fatty acids: These fatty acids are highly anti-inflammatory and support neurological/cognitive functions as well. Raw, wild-caught salmon and whole pastured chicken eggs are rich in naturally occurring Omega 3 fatty acids, Wild salmon oil fed a couple of time a week can be helpful, especially if you are not feeding meats from grass fed/pasture raised animals which are naturally higher in omega-3 fatty acids.
Magnesium: Magnesium is an electrolyte with hundreds of roles in the body, from supporting nerve signaling to reducing muscle aches. If you don’t feed raw meaty bones or a prey model diet to your dogs, they may well be magnesium deficient, and those with Lyme disease can’t afford to run low since stress and illness only increases the body’s need for more.
Probiotics: In addition to consuming probiotic-rich green tripe, I recommend supplementing with soil based probiotics (SBOs) daily for several weeks and if the dog has ever been on antibiotics or been fed kibble for any length of time, you may want to consider feeding the soil based probiotics for up to a year to totally replenish the beneficial bacteria in the gut. I believe a healthy gut is one the most important factors in destroying Lyme.
Remove or Limit Stress
Whether physical or emotional, it has been proven time and time again to weaken the immune system and increase the risk for getting sick. Stress can trigger inflammation and cause hormonal imbalances, while also disturbing digestive functions and worsening many Lyme disease symptoms. To prevent a Lyme infection from continuing to worsen and spread, you must address stress in your life which will then relieve the stress in your dog’s life.
This might seem silly or even too simple to work, but stress is a very serious issue that makes many pets and people sicker than they need to be. Our dogs pick up on our attitudes, thoughts, and emotions and reflect them back to us! It is important that you keep an upbeat and hopeful attitude and happy, healing thoughts when you are around your dog – especially if he/she is very ill.
Proper daily exercise is very important, it keeps the lymph system moving toxins out of the body and keeps the circulation strong as well relieve stress.
Brisk walking boosts endorphins, which can reduce stress hormones and alleviate mild depression. Regular exercise, through the production of feel-good endorphins, can improve your mood and thence your dog’s.
According to Matthew Stults-Kolehmainen, Ph.D., a kinesiologist at the Yale Stress Center, “Exercise attacks stress in two ways.” Raising the heart rate can actually reverse damage to the brain caused by stressful events: “Stress atrophies the brain — especially the hippocampus, which is responsible for a lot, but memory in particular.”
Exercise, by contrast, promotes production of neurohormones like norepinephrine that are associated with improved cognitive function, elevated mood and even learning. Exercise forces the body’s physiological systems — all of which are involved in the stress response — to communicate much more closely than usual: The cardiovascular system communicates with the renal system, which communicates with the muscular system. And all of these are controlled by the central and sympathetic nervous systems, which also must communicate with each other. So it only makes sense that the more sedentary our dogs (and ourselves) are, the less efficient their/our bodies are in responding to stress.
Lyme can also contribute to fatigue so your dog may require extra sleep/rest, so be sure balance his or her daily exercise and activity with quiet rest and relaxation.
Diffusing calming essential oils will not only reduce both your stress and the dog’s, but they will raise the body’s natural electrical frequencies and boost the immune system. Specific essential oils can be used in combination to be used topically in a massage that can help reduce the symptoms of Lyme as they raise the body’s and its organs frequiencies to better be able to be rid of the bacterial infection.
There are also a few homeopathic remedies that have been used with some success as well as some medicinal herbs, mushrooms and colloidal or Ionic silver which can all be safely used to bring the infection under control while naturally supporting the immune system.
Remember, antibiotics and man-made medicines cannot heal. In fact, they usually only hide or mask the symptoms while compromising the immune system.
Nature’s remedies may be slow but they are sure. Be patient, calm, cheerful and avail yourself of God’s medicine chest in nature to see true health and a thriving animal.
This article is intended as education/information only. It is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat. The Whole Dog, Dr. Jeannie Thomason does not assume any legal responsibility for misuse of any information herein.
The products and information given on these pages is not intended to substitute veterinary diagnosis and/or treatment, but as an alternative approach to consider.
Copyright 2016 This article is the sole property of Dr. Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason and The Whole Dog. It cannot be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the expressed written consent of the author.