#21 Lyme Disease: Why treatment is 100% unnecessary

Lyme disease is a strange one, and I invited Dr. Todd Cooney to weigh in on it, as he’s researched it carefully and, like me, has seen dogs with positive titers who are completely healthy and free of symptoms.

All too often, conventional veterinarians recommend a month’s worth of antibiotic treatment for these titer positive yet healthy dogs. Is that more risk than benefit, knowing what we know now about the importance of the microbiome to health?

How about the Lyme vaccine? Should you get that to keep your dog safe? Dr. Cooney brings in the “big guns,” the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, all board certified experts whose answer to this question should make everyone stand up and take notice.

Is your vet up to speed on this disease? If not, when you learn what we’ve got here for you in this episode, you can prevent unnecessary treatment and over-prevention.

“No” is a complete sentence, by the way…

Links for this episode

Dr. Cooney’s website

The ACVIM paper (not an easy read…)

This episode is brought to you by our sister site, Venjenz, where you can get the best immune support for your dogs:


And their powerful yet gentle daily detox:


We recommend using both for maximum benefit.
(Feline and human version are there. I take both!)

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Next week: Don Hamilton, DVM joins us to clear up the misinformation you are likely to find on nosodes on the internet. Cliff notes: Yes, they work, but you have to know HOW to use them properly.

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  1. Susanna- Jerry and Newman's Mommy! on October 24, 2023 at 5:11 pm

    This is such wonderful information thank you! One of our dogs did test positive for Anaplasmosis. We never saw the tick and he did become ill. He was 3. He was a very healthy dog, but he stopped playing, had a loss of appetite, and a fever. I believe he was on antibiotics and was put on Denamarin. He is 5 now and doing well. His liver enzymes are down but he still is on the Denamarin. Any other suggestions? The boys get Steve’s Raw Dog food and other all natural treats. We are using a few layered natural approaches for flea and tick prevention. Thanks!

  2. Maggi Sprague on March 11, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    My dog was diagnosed with Lyme the first time 2 years ago and was put on doxy, he was just a year old. We did all the puppy shots and he has been titered ever since. Lately he’s been limping and lethargic so I took him in and, yep, he tested positive for Lyme again. She sent in a Lyme C6 test to see if he had active Lyme disease and the results came back at 350. Of course she is recommending the doxy again and I’m kind of at a loss as to what I should do!
    The first year he tested positive I used frontline because I was so scared (but hated everytime I had to do it) and last year I used Wondercide and diatomaceous earth. She is a conventional/alternative medicine vet but recommended using a vet prescribed flea/tick product.
    I’m curious as to what are your thoughts are on this.
    Thank you!

  3. Joy Metcalf on June 15, 2021 at 11:51 am

    I ran into someone lately who said her dog’s sire had died from Lyme disease, and since we live in a tick ridden state (Maine), she got her dog vaccinated for Lyme. Yet according to this podcast, dogs don’t die from Lyme. What about the common coinfections? Are they susceptible illness from those? Since I’m constantly picking ticks off my Sheltie, I treat him with a Lyme nosode every four days during tick season.

    Farmers and growers used to burn over their fields every two years. Once they stopped doing that because “it wasn’t green”, the tick problem has exploded.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on June 15, 2021 at 9:04 pm

      Co-morbidity was there in that dog, I think that’s the likely explanation. Even the very sick humans with Lyme don’t commonly die of it.

      Just read a short piece on a voracious tick predator: the opossum. Guinea hens, too, if you can live with their noise. I like the burns. Seems green to me, compared to a lot of ag practices. Wisconsin farmers did this to the ditches every spring, and it took care of weeds and really greened up the next batch of grass growing there!

  4. Lori on May 17, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    My GSD has been losing weight/ muscle lately.
    Adding calories for several weeks has not added any weight.
    We ruled out parasites, so did a full blood work up. All excellent but Lyme positive, though he has not had a tick since 2019.
    His QC6 came back 134 U/ml, so we are treating…..
    He has had a barely detectable hitch to his one back leg at a trot but he could easily have hurt himself playing.
    I did Ledum for 3 days, but now feel bad about the Doxycycline, I’m giving a super probiotic……
    I can’t help but wonder if stress caused the bacteria to emerge from dormancy and his weight loss is due to his body fighting it?? 🤷‍♀️

  5. Salli James on January 27, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Timely topic. I’m confused about the homeopathic remedy for symptoms of Lyme. I know that most don’t need any treatment but I’m seeing every symptom of Lyme in 4 year old Airedale. No recent vaccines, or signs of illness.

    She has been visiting her owner in Redlands Ca who is suffering from DBI after accident. Her dog is just able to visit her but lymph nodes and joints are inflamed. She suddenly has mild fever and heart murmur. All blood work is normal. She is lethargic and not eating. She was exposed last summer but has been fine until this week. I suspected toxin/mold exposure or old case of Lyme. Her conventional vet thinks Lyme. Now I’m curious what would you do Dr Falconer?

    • Will Falconer, DVM on January 27, 2021 at 9:21 pm

      As with anything of a chronic nature, if I were asked for help, I’d refer to my list of homeopathic vets and how to choose one properly. That lives on my Recommended Resources page at the AVH list + video I’ve posted.

      There’s not a “Lyme remedy” like there’s not a vaccinosis remedy or a rabies symptoms remedy, but when a qualified homeopathic vet takes the case, he or she will treat the dog and HOW she’s sick. It’s a process, likely to take more than one remedy (though only ever one at a time with careful evaluation of each as to response by the dog before choosing the next one). Homeopathy can cure this, but it’s beyond DIY or a “one remedy miracle” as it’s not acute.

  6. Heather Petrucciani on January 26, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    Wowza!!! Dr. Cooney is located in my area!!! I have been asking for a new approach to helping our dog age in a healthy and graceful way ! Thank you for living your truth and sending out the word to those that seek a different approach. A slow deep long inhale/exhale thank you to you

    • Will Falconer, DVM on January 27, 2021 at 1:00 am

      Love it, Heather! And I joined you in that long breath, thanks back at you. You’re in good hands now.

  7. Margery on January 22, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Wow, found very interesting, thank you for sharing.

  8. Jen on January 22, 2021 at 7:59 am

    My all raw/organic fed dog was one of the 5% who became symptomatic for canine Lymes– she became acutely lame with bilateral carpal joint pain. She was unable to walk. At first she was treated with conventional antibiotics, but after 3 days she became liver toxic from the drugs (doxycycline and remadyl). So I discharged her from the conventional vet against medical advice, and treated her with Homeopathy and her symptoms FULLY resolved within 24 hours back to her usual active self!

    However, 2 years later my dog developed a bone tumor in her leg. The leg was amputated and pathology confirmed the tumor to be an Hemangiosarcoma.

    In 2020 I learned that there is a link between tick-borne disease and canine Hemangiosarcomas.


    Given the prevalence of canine Hemangiosarcomas, what are your thoughts on the link between Hemangiosarcoma and Lymes?

    What tick preventives do you recommend that are SAFE for dogs?


    • Will Falconer, DVM on January 23, 2021 at 12:06 am

      Hi Jen,first, the majority of bone tumors are osteosarcoma, while HSA usually shows up in spleen or heart. The article you cited doesn’t even mention the causative agent of Lyme, just a few others like Bartonella.

      I’d still focus on the “terrain” vs fearing the tick, as we discussed. Building healthy resistance is never going to steer your dog into anything but vital health. As to safe tick preventatives, see my Non-Toxic Flea (and Tick) Control page. There’s a good one there.

  9. alicia gbur on January 21, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Hello, This podcast was a fascinating episode! I have Lyme disease and was very interested to hear about dogs not having an issue with it. The disease has negatively impacted me for years, so when I found an engorged tick on my dog, I immediately treated her with doxy In fear of it also happening to my dog. The first time she was bitten by a tick, she got the classic bullseye on her belly, and so I didn’t bother testing the tick or her for it. I just treated. The second time I had the tick tested at tickreport.com, and the results were negative on the tick. But while waiting for the results, we treated for a week anyway as a prophylactic
    If I had known, I would have never done that. My dog has always had GI issues, and as we all know, antibiotics wreck the microbiome. This info is beneficial info moving forward. I will not panic about this again. Thank you! And yes, the terrain is #1. Strengthen the immune system! I’m indeed working on mine as well as hers!

    • Will Falconer, DVM on January 22, 2021 at 12:01 am

      Excellent Alicia. Glad to hear it’s been of value and I appreciate your continued focus on the “terrain” vs the germ.

  10. Marli Rock on January 21, 2021 at 11:35 am

    A good friend of mine lost her 11 yr old Cavalier to Lyme disease last year. Her vet told her that her dog was too sick from Lyme disease to respond to treatment and that she should have brought him in much earlier. He was healthy and asymptomatic, until he developed symptoms and she took him in then. I find the podcast disturbing, and wonder if her dog died of something other than Lyme, and how would she know? She is still grieving the loss of her sweet companion.

    • Amaury on January 21, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      Sorry for her loss, I also lost one puppy, Hanna, from this disease. but I managed to cured my puppy Kiara [I guess] from Lyme Disease using herb suplements like samento, banderol, Japanese Knotweed, Sida Acuta root, among others most following the Dr. Stephen Buhner protocol. She has so much energy now..! Her vet recomended the antibiotic doxiciclina, the only one they recommend, but I deciced to used natural remedy for her in order to protect her gut microbione. Also, I used homeopathic nosode Ledum Palustre and Arsenicum Album which are suppose to cure Lyme disease in 3 days.

    • Will Falconer, DVM on January 21, 2021 at 11:59 pm

      That’d be my wonderment as well, Marli. The significant understanding in homeopathy is that we’d not need to know a diagnosis in order to treat the dog: the symptoms speak to HOW the dog suffered and they offer the prescriber a means to carefully choose remedies to cure the sick ones.

      I’m not talking about DIY homeopathy here, as anything chronic needs professional help. Not easy work, but very effective work in qualified hands.

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