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Alternative Herbal Treatments for Animals with Chronic Lyme Disease
Lyme Disease in Animals
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Alternative Herbal Treatments for Animals with Chronic Lyme Disease

Alternative Herbal Treatments for Animals with Chronic Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is caused by a gram negative, doubled walled bacterial spirochete known as Borrelia  burgdorferi.  Researchers have also identified another  new spirochete causing Lyme disease in 2016 and is known as Borrelia Mayonii.  Lyme Disease is an emerging disease infecting vectors such as not only ticks, but  can be potentially carried by fleas, mosquitos and other insects and is found not only in Deer but other mammals as well, like white footed mice.  Lyme Disease and co-infections can be found through-out the United States, Europe, Russia and Canada and is appearing more and more in both humans and animals.
The first stage of Lyme and co-nfections is known as the acute phase with the tick biting the animal and passing bacterial spirochetes thru the blood to the host causing potentially a temperature, lameness, lack of appetite, fatigue, lethargy.  it has been discovered by researchers that the newly identified spirochete known as Borrelia Mayonii can infect the host within hours of a tick bite and will show a greater amount of spirochetes in a blood sample.
Other infections that the animal or human can get from a tick or insect bite are also Ehrlichiosis,   Babesia, Anaplasmosis, Bartonella (known as Cat Scratch Fever) and it is believed by researchers that if Lyme is transmitted then potential confections are also easily transmitted to the host (human or animal).
An earlier Natural Sage blog (last week) stated how to treat an acute stage of Lyme Disease and co-infections by using immune enhancing adaptogens like Astragalus Root powder during tick season and diluted Essential Oils to prevent the disease in Dogs and Horses (avoid essential oils on Cats because they metabolize them differently).  Stephania Tetrandra Root in a powder or an alcohol tincture can be added to the acute or chronic phase to fight infections and to treat pain in both humans and animals.   The chronic phase of the illness can result in:
Bacterial spirochetes affecting collagenous tissue and causing chronic arthritis, heart problems, brain and cognition problems, chronic fatigue and other joint or muscle problems in animals and humans, alike.  Antibiotics have a fairly high failure rate and if an acute condition was treated it is very likely that a chronic condition can result due to biofilms protecting the bacteria and mutations in the DNA of the bacteria making antibiotics ineffective plus, they can cause liver and kidney damage in both humans and animals if used long-term.   Stephania  tetrandra root has a long history in TCM-Traditional  Chinese Medicine-in both Veterinary medicine and for humans and is usually mixed with Astragalus Root  Powder (acute phase).  Stephania is used to fight the bacterial spirochetes (and other infections), relieve pain, has anti-arhythmic, cardio protective qualities by reversibly blocking calcium and sodium channels, and causes insulin release reducing diabetes risk, plus, is synergistic with Astragalus root powder.  Stephania also causes less osteoclastogenesis and prevents the losses in bone mineral density.  Stephania tetrandra  is traditionally used for autoimmune diseases such as rheumatism and lupus and has strong antiviral properties inhibiting H1V1 replication and has anti-bacterial properties as well.  Stephania reduces kidney cell inflammation and reduces liver enzymes.  Stephania side effects might cause some constipation because of it"s Calcium Channel blocking properties but can easily be resolved by adding effervescent Vitamin C powder to each animal's bowel tolerance.
Stephania tetrandra should not be used with pregnant or lactating animals due to the lack of studies in pregnancy.  Dosages for Horses:  20-60 grams of powder mixed in food or as a decoction. Animal  Dose:  Small Dogs & Cats: 1 pinch to 1/8 teaspoon depending on size, Medium Dogs 1/4 teaspoon, Large Dogs 1/2 teaspoon of powder in food 2 to 3 times per day.
Japanese Knotweed Root (Polygonum cuspidatum) another herb from Asia used in TCM  is a beneficial herb for use in combating emerging bacterial infections of both Lyme and co-infections.  Japanese Knotweed has a wide range of actions: antibacterial, antiviral, anti-spirochetal,  anti-fungal, immunostimulant, immunomodulant, anti-inflammatory, angiogenesis modulator, CNS relaxant, CNS (brain and spinal cord) protectant, antioxidant, vasodilator, inhibits platelet aggregation, anti-carcinogenic, anti-thrombotic,  cardioprotective, analgesic, anti-ulcer (slightly reduces stomach acid), hemostatic and astringent.  Japanese Knotweed modulates and enhances immune function, is anti-inflammatory for both arthritic and bacterial inflammation including the brain and CNS since it can cross the blood brain barrier.  
Cytokine cascades can be initiated by bacteria and it's toxins plus, can cause a Herxheimer reaction with pain in the joints and muscles including headache pain.  Both Japanese Knotweed and Stephania Tetrandra are strong inhibitor's of these cytokine cascades. In TCM, Japanese Knotweed is used to 
clear blood stasis, as an anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic to treat jaundice, rheumatic pain, leukorrhea, bleeding hemorrhoids and anal fissure, wounds, injury, scalds, burns, skin infections and snakebite for both animals and humans.  While a very safe herb, Japanese Knotweed is contraindicated in Pregnancy.  Dosage for Animals is similar to that of Stephania Root Horses: 20-60 grams of powder twice daily.   Dogs:  Small Dogs & Cats-1 pinch to 1/8 teaspoon depending on size, Medium Dogs-1/4 teaspoon, Large Dogs-1/2 teaspoon of powder two to three times daily.  Side effects can include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea. If gastrointestinal side effects occur, reduce the dosage. Japanese Knotweed should not be used with blood thinning agents and should be discontinued 10 days prior to surgery.  The plant is a synergist and may potentiate the effects of pharmaceuticals and other herbs.  Both Stephania Tetrandra and Japanese Knotweed can be used together to fight bacterial infections.

Susan Livesey, M.S. is the founder of Natural Sage (http:/  She is an educator and herbalist who taught Animal, Plant and Biological Sciences and raises and shows Quarter Horses.