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Helps Lyme in Horses
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ticks can cause Lyme Disease in horses
Lyme ticks and horeses
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Horses get ticks
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Lyme spirochetes are not only passed through tick bites. Once they infect peoplethey can be found in breast milk, tears, semen, and urine
Lyme disease was first recognized in United States in 1975 in Lyme Connecticut after a significant number of children were found to have a unique form of juvenile arthritis at 100 times the average. The researchers decided that it was probably a bacterial infection, as penicillin shortened the life of the disease
Lyme disease is caused by a particular kind of bacterium know as a spirochete. These microorganisms have been around for billions of years longer than humans and are very smart.
Spirochetes resemble a corkscrew-shaped worm and have an unusual ability to self-preserve. They’re particular about what they eat and are attracted to the collagen around the joints, eyes, and brain. Little is known about them from a bacterial standpoint because they are very difficult for researchers to work with. Even after 60 plus years of bacterial research, they still can’t be grown in a lab. They’re also very thin which makes them hard to see under a microscope without unusual lighting and specific expensive equipment.
The spirochete that causes Lyme disease is the genus Borrelia Burgdorferi of which there are three main species considered to be the cause of Lyme disease. This explains why there are such different symptoms of the disease such as relapsing fever, joint degeneration and central nervous system disruptions of several sorts.
HOW DO ANIMALS GET LYME DISEASE?
The popular myth is that Lyme can be transmitted only by deer ticks, but deer are not the only host for infected ticks. There are many species of ticks and each prefers different hosts such as mice, rats, chipmunks, etc.
Lyme spirochetes are not only passed through tick bites. Once they infect people they can be found in breast milk, tears, semen, and urine. Animal testing for this has not been done to our knowledge but if we think about the similarity in most body functions of humans and dogs, or horses to some degree, why wouldn’t we believe this to pass the same way? Lyme spirochetes have also been found in biting flies, mites, mosquitoes and fleas. Transmission to humans through biting flies has been documented in Connecticut, while transmission with mites has been documented in Germany. Direct transmission via mosquitoes hasn’t yet been documented but there’s reason to believe that it does occur.
It can be difficult to determine whether a horse has Lyme disease because the symptoms mimic so many other diseases. Symptoms may include the following behavioral changes:
- Lack luster, not interested in work, stubborn
- Hyperactivity or spooking easily
Arthritic type symptoms are also common and may be worse at or near a full moon. This may be an immune system response as well.
Lyme infection will bring the immune system out of balance. If the immune system is compromised, the spirochetes will prevail, causing damage throughout the collagen in the body. So it makes sense that the number one preventive measure against tick-borne diseases is to strengthen and support your pets’ immune systems.
It’s also important to support the liver as this is the organ that regulates the health of the collagen, i.e., connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons─the feeding ground of the spirochete.
Using toxins such as spot-on chemicals that are neurotoxins and vaccinations preserved with heavy metals, like thimerisol which is 49% mercury, can directly and negatively affect the immune system and compromise the liver.
BALANCING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Treatments for Lyme disease incorporate a broad-spectrum strategy based on supporting the body’s immune functions and creating an inhospitable environment for the Lyme spirochete to take hold. Numerous herbal, nutritional, and even essential oil-based therapies have helped with Lyme disease such as:
- Species appropriate quality nutrition
- Immune modulating herbs and superfoods for liver support
- Anti-spirochetal herbs administered daily throughout tick season
- Essential oils blended into carrier oil for repellent applied regularly
- Regular detox to prevent overburdening of the organs
Andrographis is an anti-spirochetal, anti-inflammatory that supports immune function, protects the heart muscle, and enhances liver function by helping to clear infection from the body. This is an extreme bitter so should be used in synergy with other herbs in small doses to prevent GI distress.
Astragalus is important in the prevention of Lyme as it increases interleuken2 levels which are reduced through components in the tick saliva. Keeping levels high can significantly reduce the likelihood of infection. If infection does occur, the impacts of the disease can be significantly lessened and will be much easier and quicker to cure. It is used specifically for immune atrophy and enhances spleen and thymus function.
Cat’s Claw is an immune potentiator, a great general tonic for enhancing overall system health to aid in prevention of Lyme.
Neem Leaf is an anti-parasitic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, immune-stimulant. An active ingredient in neem leaves called irodin A is toxic to resistant strains of malaria. As an oil, it kills external parasites quickly and can be used topically in a blend with essential oils safely to ward off ticks and other parasites.
Other herbs such as Eleuthero Root, Bacopa, Ginkgo, Bilberry, and Hemp Seed
will help support circulation and the brain. The use of pre- and probiotics will aid intestinal health and broccoli sprouts are a powerful antioxidant that is also a potent protector and rejuvenator of the liver. At present there is no vaccine for horses against Lyme disease, although a vaccine has been developed for dogs. Until something is available for equines, responsible horse owners should keep horses clear of tick-infested areas if possible, examine their horse on a daily basis for signs of illness and take preventive measures to support a healthy immune system.
Joyce Belcher, an Herbalist-Formulator specializing in organic medicinal formulations for animals, is an herbal consultant in veterinary herbalism. She is a member of the National Animal Supplement Council, American Botanical Council, Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association, American Herbalist Guild and Flower Essence Society, and a columnist for Dogs Naturally Magazine.
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