Lyme disease, also known as borreliosis, is a tick-borne disease first seen in dogs in 1985. Symptoms appear two to five months after an infected deer tick bites the dog. The most common symptoms are fever, lameness, swelling in the joints, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy and loss of appetite. Conventional treatment in dogs involves tetracycline or penicillin antibiotic therapy. Many homeopathic and other natural treatments may assist in conventional treatment. Pet guardians who use homeopathic treatments in lieu of conventional treatments should work with a homeopathic veterinarian.
Homeopathy uses extremely diluted preparations of various substances–plant, mineral and animal– that would create symptoms similar to the disease if they were given to healthy humans and animals. The basic premise of homeopathy is that like cures like. If you plan on treating your dog’s Lyme disease using homeopathy, exclusively or in conjunction with conventional treatment, it is best to work with a homeopathic veterinarian. You can find homeopathic veterinarians in your area by visiting the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s website at www.ahvma.org.
Crotalus horridus, the venom of rattlesnake, is one of the most common homeopathic treatments for Lyme disease in dogs and people. Homeopathic practitioners say the venom supports the integrity of red blood cells, maintains liver health and supports the immune system. According to Herbs2000, the introduction of the venom is said to produce antibodies that make the venom an effective medication.
Ledum is an evergreen shrub that grows in Canada, northern Europe and some parts of North America. The shrub has been used in traditional medicines by Native Americans and other people and has long been used as a natural first-aid treatment to prevent infections. In 1995, it began to be commonly used as a homeopathic treatment for Lyme disease after Connecticut veterinarian Stephen Tobin reported success using it in animals.
Herbal remedies are often employed as part of homeopathic treatment. Silybum marianum, a milk thistle, is often prescribed for dogs undergoing treatment for Lyme disease. The herb is used as a liver tonic and is thought to help restore the liver to health. This focus is chosen because Lyme disease often adversely affects an animal’s liver. Aconite is often used when the disease causes fever, fatigue and fluid loss.