treating (?) Lyme exposure

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    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    This is a private e-mail response which I just sent to a client who is already treating her dogs with homeopathy (which is germane because my reply doesn’t fully apply to pet owners without vet homeopaths).

    I am reposting it here because I am frequently asked this type of question.

    Dr. Jeff


    On Friday, June 3, 2005, at 02:19 PM, Christine wrote:

    [color=blue]I took Skye for her annual check-up and her bloodwork showed that she has been exposed to Lyme disease. What else is new?

    As you know, over 90% of the dogs in our area test positive (just like you would if tested for flu during the flu season even when you don’t have the flu).

    [color=blue]The vet stressed how important it is to give her 3 weeksworth of antibiotics. [/color]

    In the acute clinical disease (fever, lethargy, joint pain and swelling), if you aren’t treating with homeopathy to maximize the immune response, I guess that is true. Very few of the “authorities” recommend this type of treatment for assymptomatic dogs. As you mentioned, a positive test is just evidence of exposure, NOT disease. A healthy immune system uses this impetus to get stronger and healthier. Antibiotics can actually decrease the health of the immune system.

    [color=blue]When this came up before, you said that since she is not showing any signsof actually having the disease, it is unwise to treat her. Assuming that is still your recommendation, here is my concern. From all my reading,I am learning that lyme disease can be treated effectively with antibiotics if taken early. [/color]

    Antibiotics can only work if the organism is active and reproducing. It is HER immune system that eliminates any organisms that are just “hanging out”. Remember, antibiotics without a healthy immune system are virtually worthless. Many AIDs patients die of simple infections that should be easily treated with antibiotics. Since their immune system isn’t working properly however, all of the antibiotics in the world don’t help.

    [color=blue]Also, untreated lyme can affect the kidneys. [/color]

    Actually, in my experience, Lyme Nephritis (actually a subset of glomerulonephritis), is usually seen in dogs that have already been treated with antibiotics. The kidney disease develops because the *true* underlying (energetic) imbalance was never properly addressed (with homeopathy). The same disequilibrium that caused the weakened immune system in the first place can also cause kidney failure (or chronic arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, etc.).

    [color=blue]If she developssymptomsof the disease at a later date, how likely is it that it might be too late for the antibiotics to work well? [/color]

    Antibiotics are rarely helpful in Lyme Nephritis (again, because there isn’t active disease). They are frequently used however to cover all bases and because “they can’t hurt”.

    [color=blue]And, should I be worrying about the effect on her kidneys? [/color]

    As long as you persist with her *active* homeopathic treatment which is minimizing her internal energetic imbalance and optimizing her immune system I wouldn’t worry. By keeping close watch on her external signs and symptoms we can homeopathically treat any acute problems that arise (as we have before and as I did with *my* acute, severe Lyme Disease 5 years ago this month). The best thing is that by persisting with her treatment you reduce the likelihood of *every* chronic degenerative dis-ease by keeping her well balanced internally.

    [color=blue]I also read there is a blood test, (I think), that can differentiate between just exposure to lyme and actually having it. Is that true?

    The Western Blot can differentiate vaccine exposure from natural exposure. I am not aware of any single test that can differentiate exposure from disease. Aside from clinical symptoms, the best way of doing this is to run paired titers. Since you are worried about active infection then have your local vet draw some blood and *send it out* (this can NOT be done with any in-hospital test at this time) for a Lyme IgG titer. It will come back “positive” of course but there will also be a degree of positivity, e.g. 1:64, 1:128, 1:256, 1:512, 1:1,1024. In 3-4 weeks have him draw and send out a second titer. A higher result, e.g. 1:64 becoming 1:512, is indicative an active immune response (they are essentially measuring the antibodies being produced by the immune system in response to the Lyme).

    Feel free to call me if you would like to discuss this further.

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