Diagnosing & Treating Lyme disease
For many veterinary professionals, the telltale sign of Canine Lyme Disease is severe joint pain, especially if the animal has no history of arthritis or joint disease.
When humans become infected with this same disease, one of the most revealing signs of exposure is a bullseye rash that develops around the tick bite. But with dogs, and even cats--although the latter seldom gets Lyme Disease--this does not occur. If you suspect your pet has Canine Lyme Disease, talk with your veterinarian about the following options:
Blood Tests -- To confirm a tentative diagnosis, your veterinary professional may want to run a blood test. In the past these have not been especially reliable. However, newer technologies are always being developed. In the meantime, many veterinarians prefer to rely on their clinical experience when deciding whether or not to treat an animal for this serious disease, so do not be surprised if he decides to start your dog on antibiotics immediately, without testing. When it comes to Lyme Disease, you have no time to lose if you want to prevent your dog from developing irreversible heart and nerve damage.
Antibiotics -- The standard treatment for treating Canine Lyme Disease is at least three weeks of antibiotics, but your veterinarian knows best and will make that decision. He will probably prescribe tetracycline, doxycycline or amoxicillin. If your dog has been infected with Lyme disease and begins receiving treatment during the first week of exposure, he has a 90% chance of recovery.
Holistic Care -- If you work with a holistic pet-care provider, ask about giving your pet probiotics to help keep healthy bacteria alive in his gastrointestinal tract during antiobiotic treatment. Another holistic approach is to boost the immune system so that your pet can use his own defense system to fight infections. TF-Defense contains the homeopathic ingredient Ferrum Phosphate which helps fight infections and reduce inflammation. Another important ingredient in TF-Defense is Milk Thistle, which is widely used to improve liver functioning after antibiotic treatments.
Another homeopathic product that has been used in the treatment of Lyme Disease is called Ledum. Ledum is sold by prescription only and has produced positive results when nothing else seems to work.
Finally, acupuncture can also help your dog fight this disease by boosting his immune system and reducing inflammation.
Preventing Lyme Disease
During tick season, there are several steps you can take to avoid exposing your pet to Canine Lyme Disease, but remember, no method is fool-proof. If you observe that your animal companion is unwell, do not hesitate to seek professional attention. As a precaution, follow these tips.
- Stay away from tick-infested areas. If you walk near wooded, sandy or tall grassy areas, stay on trails and pathways.
- Talk with your vet about tick repellants. There are several products that offer some degree of protection. These include Avon’s Skin So Soft and Preventic collars. Your vet may also suggest the use of a topical spray, but these are not recommended except in situations where there is a serious tick infestation. In such cases, use with caution and never double up on applications.
- Thoroughly examine your dog for ticks if you think he might have been exposed. Ticks can be so tiny they are all but impossible to find, but should you find one, use a pair of tweezers to remove it, taking care not to separate the head from the body. Apply antiseptic after removal.
Vaccinating Your Pet
Presently, there are several vaccinations designed to protect dogs from Lyme Disease, but their effectiveness is questionable. Also, because they have a number of serious, long-term side effects associated with them, including kidney failure, many veterinary professionals do not recommend vaccinating dogs for Canine Lyme Disease.
Recovering From Lyme Disease
Dogs who have been treated for Lyme Disease will sometimes display symptoms even after the bacteria is eradicated. This condition is called Post-Lyme Disease. In such cases, your veterinarian may want to treat your dog with anti-inflammatories, as well as Immugen or Moducare, which can boost the immune system and provide liver support. These products are especially helpful in cases where the long-term use of antibiotics is necessary. Above all, make sure your pet gets professional care. With the right medication and timely intervention, you can help your pet fight this debilitating disease.
TF-Defense by PetAlive
Homeopathic remedy used to treat Lyme Disease and other tick born illness. Also contains nutrients to strengthen the immune system to help fight infections.
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Immunity and Liver Support
Immunity and Liver Support capsules contain a combination of carefully selected herbs known for their ability to cleanse and purify the system, improve immune functioning and support liver health. Recommended during convalescence and recovery phase of illness.
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Immunity and Liver Support...
Immugen is a comprehensive formula that contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs that are known to assist the immune system. Helps to protect against bacterial and viral infections.
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