Lyme disease in horses is on the rise, “Of Horse” audience. It’s me again, Pony Blogger Gucci here to help with some treatment ideas. Lyme disease can cause many problems if symptoms go unnoticed.
Symptoms can include swelling, pain in joints, ligaments and tendons. Physical symptoms can include shifting lameness, stiffness, weight loss, poor performance, and reluctance to move forward or turn. Behavior changes include spookiness, irritability, fatigue, lack of interest in work, and stubbornness.
If Lyme disease is suspected, have your veterinarian run a Lyme test. This is a simple blood test than can identify if Lyme is present, chronic, and the severity. Lyme adapts to the horse’s body, so each case needs to be treated individually. Not all horses respond to the same treatment plan. There is no vaccine currently approved for horses at this time.
Treatment is best using the best of all worlds, conventional, complementary and alternative medicine. Doxycline is the starting point upon initial diagnosis. The antibiotics are required to help extinguish the infection. Treating the horse with antibiotics along with immune supplements is the best approach. The immune system needs to be as strong as possible. This is very important in the treatment of Lyme. Please administer the supplements after the full cycle of antibiotics.
There are many great immune system supporting compounds on the market for horses. Probiotics are also needed after antibiotic treatment. Use the probiotics for several months after treatment. Again there are many combination supplements out there that include immune formulas and probiotics. Choose the one that fits your budget.
Acupuncture and Equine Massage should also be included in the recovery process. This has been proven to help with the soreness associated with Lyme disease and makes the horses more comfortable. Please remember acupuncture, supplements, and massages should only be administered after the cycle of antibiotics is completed.
Most horses can be returned to full performance even with chronic Lyme disease but will require ongoing maintenance.
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