If you are living in or traveling to an area where lyme is present you may have been tempted to get a lyme vaccine to insure you don’t get the disease.  If you did try, you probably found out  that the lyme vaccine was pulled from the market for good reason.  What you may not know is that same vaccine that was deemed unsafe for humans is still around and perfectly legal to give to dogs. The question is, why should we give something that is unsafe for us to our animals, or better yet, why would we do that? 

We emphasize keeping our pets safe, well nourished and healthy.  Almost everything that we recommend to help accomplish these goals is designed to support and strengthen the immune system in our animals.  The reason for this is that the immune system is our and our animals’ first line of defense against any and all disease, and it is remarkably effective at its job.  Drugs and antibiotics, surgery, radiation, etc. are not really defenses against disease.  They attempt to kill the viruses, bacteria and malignant abnormalities that overwhelm the body’s own defenses when the body is unable to neutralize the pathogens by itself.  But these remedies are applied after the fact and are directed at diminishing the foreign elements rather than directly supporting the natural immune response. 

In the case of lyme disease, studies have shown that the virus carried by the ticks is usually not sufficient by itself to cause the full-blown lyme disease.  It is acknowledged now that a co-factor is required for lyme disease to fully develop.  in other words, another virus, illness or weakened immune system is necessary for lyme to advance, otherwise the immune system develops the anti-bodies by itself to handle the infection and it usually passes after some temporary flu like symptoms  This is supported by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine who have pointed out that in New England, 70-90% of all dogs test positive for lyme but do not have the disease.  They further state that 95% of dogs exposed do not get sick.  Why?  Because their immune systems are perfectly capable of fighting off the threat. 

The article below is an interesting detailed look at lyme disease and contributing factors.  Once we understand better the real factors and the actual statistics regarding canine lyme disease, it is easier to make a decision as to whether it is advisable to add yet one more vaccine to our dogs’ health regimen.  Please read this article compiled by Dana Scott, Editor in Chief of Dogs Naturally Magazine if you are considering giving your dog the lyme vaccine.