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Can stomach acid kill Lyme? My baby swallowed an engorged tick.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
My dog most likely has lyme, even though we've treated him for it twice. My baby, 9mo, just swallowed an engorged tick from the dog (I guess it's the season already...)

From what I'm reading, lyme might be able to survive stomach acid -- that's how it gets passed through breastmilk, right?

My doctor says that lyme does NOT survive stomach acid, and that baby will be fine. He did not offer an abx prescription.

What say you, lyme-wise mamas?? I am a little freaked out. I am not at all an antibiotics person, but I will do it to avoid lyme. In fact, I want to do it if there's any possibility of Lyme. I just can't figure out what to believe. There doesn't seem to be much info out there about stomach acid and Lyme.
post #2 of 23
I'm sorry I'm not a lyme-knowledgeable mama, but I wanted to a) give you a hug because I know you must be worried, and b) suggest you get a second opinion if possible. You obviously don't feel comfortable with the outcome of your dr's appointment so why not check with someone else? This is a case in which I, at least, would rather be safe than sorry. If it takes an appointment with another dr to either put your mind at ease, or get you a prescription for antibiotics then that's what I'd do.

Good luck in getting a solid answer.

ETA - also, what about getting the dog tested for Lyme?
post #3 of 23
There is some doctor who is very lyme knowledgeable. I can't remember his name but I imagine you could find it googling. I called his office for advice when Andrew was dx'd with lyme. They were really helpful (he was under dosed and for too short and they told me that). I wish I could remember his name. But I'd try calling someone like that and ask.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbravebird View Post
From what I'm reading, lyme might be able to survive stomach acid -- that's how it gets passed through breastmilk, right?
no, that is not how it gets through breastmilk. It gets passed through breastmilk because it's in the bloodstream.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panserbjørne View Post
no, that is not how it gets through breastmilk. It gets passed through breastmilk because it's in the bloodstream.
That was my initial thought when I read the OP. But then I realized she was thinking that the breastmilk is transmitting via the GI system so swallowing an infected tick might similarly be an issue. I don't know if it is but I think that's the thought here.

I do wonder if it's really transmitted solely through breastmilk or more likely via pregnancy? Do you know. That would matter here. I know we're not transmitting via infected deer meat but it's cooked so...I don't know the answer.
post #6 of 23
That would matter, and I can't answer definitely. It is my understanding that again, the issue is the blood and the placenta not being a barrier against it given that the spirochete can burrow.

It used to be believed that an infants stomach acid could kill the spirochete. I don't know that I believe that, but I don't that that information has been updated either.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yes, that was my concern with the breastmilk issue -- that the infant's stomach acid maybe couldn't kill the spirochete in the mother's milk.

But everything I read is conflicting on it. Kellymom quotes several studies, though small, that seem to point pretty unequivocally to it not being passed through breastmilk. That makes me feel better. But then I read random lyme discussion boards where they say there is some evidence somewhere that points to breastmilk being a route of transmission. That makes me worried, although I don't know what evidence they're using, and whether they've taken into account the possibility of placental transmission.

I gave him a 30c dose of Ledum right after he ingested it. I am going to call or email the specialty doc, I think Burruscano is his name.

Arrgggh! I hate this kind of thing. Any other advice? Should I give him more doses of ledum? The research I found said just one dose of 30c or 1M as a preventative. I have 30c.

Oh, and my dog has tested positive for Lyme. We haven't done a test since his last antibiotics, but the first round made no difference, so I am just assuming he still has it. Thanks everybody.
post #8 of 23
Could you help improve the stomach acid with cabbage juice, sauerkraut, zinc, apple cider vinegar, fermented vegetables?

Maybe B12, HCl?

Spices, teasand herbs, i.e. camomile, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. http://www.healingnaturallybybee.com/articles/dig14.php




Pat
post #9 of 23
ledum as a preventative is really for when it enters through the bloodstream via a puncture wound such as a bite. I think I may say if you have the remedy, you can try it....but that's I'm not terribly convinced that it's the best option or application. Once symptoms appear it becomes *easier* to treat in terms of homepathy, but it's never really easy.

We are having success over here, but we did have symptoms on which to prescribe. Yikes. I wish I could say something concrete. I think it's unlikely that your baby will get it given the circumstances, but I can't say impossible which is what you want to hear. I'm sorry.
post #10 of 23
was the engorged tick that was on the dog the "larger dog tick"? (I'm assuming) because they don't carry lyme disease, or are you just worried since it has the dogs blood in it that has lymes?
Its the smaller deer tick (or black legged tick that carries Lymes)
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay, found the studies where Lyme was transmitted through breastmilk, and it was in mice, and it was only transmitted to their newborns, not to older babies. Stomach acid is much lower in newborns, is part of why they think the transmission happened then.

Found other evidence of spirochetes cultured from stomach tissue, but it could be that the tissue is protected from the acid in some way --

Urrrg. Have emails out to two docs.

Gave sweet babe some raw ACV to help stomach acid production. He tried it with gusto, then looked at me in horror when he swallowed it. Refused further offers. But I got some in. From what I can tell, stomach acid production really ramps up around six months.

I am feeling like you, PB, that it is unlikely that transmission occurred, but possible.

My gut feeling says that everything is OK. But I have been so focused on researching that it's hard to remember what my gut is/was saying, and hard to trust it amidst fear. I will decide soon what to do, probably after I hear the other doc's opinions.

Thanks for all the thoughts and opinions. Any others are welcomed!
post #12 of 23
Hugs mama!
I gave my baby lyme through the womb and it has caused tons of issues. But a baby swallowing a tick is not the greatest concern. I don't know why but I am not feeling worry with it or in your situation.
And even if the tick had lyme, some people are just resistant to lyme. Nourishing the body and energetically not allowing the tick to mess with your lives is a good option.

It is good you were able to see your child swallowing the tick. Since I know what it is to go through lyme, I think I would have done the Heimlich to get the tick out of my kid or given ipicac syrup or something crazy. I would have gone into looony mom mode.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you Bluebirdmama! I was hoping you would see this thread.

Thanks for the reminder about the energetic approach. I think I've been letting it mess with my mind too much.

I did get the tick out of his mouth -- but he had already popped it (YUCK) and ingested the blood. I rinsed out his mouth anyway. I could only see one spot of the blood in his mouth. The blood is what has the lyme in it.

You know, I felt fine about it at first, just gut-level fine, so I am hoping that that was/is right, and now I just need to go with it.

One doctor wrote back and said he didn't know and had no recommendation, the other hasn't replied, and Dr. Burrascano's phone just rings and rings and no one answers it.

I've decided to go with the original doctor's recommendation and with my gut and not treat, but maybe just test for lyme when we do his lead check, which I think is in a month or so. If we turned out to be wrong, then we'll know and can deal with it then. Now I just need to work on the mind part!

Thanks, everybody.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by seemfrog View Post
was the engorged tick that was on the dog the "larger dog tick"? (I'm assuming) because they don't carry lyme disease, or are you just worried since it has the dogs blood in it that has lymes?
Its the smaller deer tick (or black legged tick that carries Lymes)
Dog ticks can absolutely carry & transmit Lyme - it's just not as common as deer ticks. I'd be less concerned if it were a dog tick, but not completely unconcerned.

I know that the Lyme bacteria has been cultured in breastmilk, but I don't know about it surviving stomach acid.

I would have gone with the Ledum too, but continued it for a little while. There's a vet in CT who uses Ledum on his canine patients & has had good results with people too (though he can't technically treat them..) You could Google him.

Good luck, Mama. That's a tough one.
post #15 of 23
that's Dr. Stephen Tobin. He's an interesting guy.

I will second though, that dog ticks can and do carry lyme.
post #16 of 23

I would really love to know the outcome of the tick issue our great grandaughter just did the same thing and I am really concerned please  let me know r-mail me at jerjazz@comcast. thank you

post #17 of 23

Well this is still an issue for me about my great grandaughter chewing on the engorged tick, although everyone that I talked to today has said the same thing that the stomach acids would kill any bacteria and issues with the blood, I hope so.

 

I called poison control, Vet, pediatrician and looked online for answers. I hope that if anyone else has questions regarding this issue this will help to calm your mind. If anything occurs from this episode I will be sure to post to let others know.

post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 

The research I did at the time this happened seemed to indicate that children under six months of age may not make enough stomach acid to kill the spirochete, but around six months of age the stomach acid ramps up, and transmission does not occur after that time. This conclusion was based on studies they did in mice.

 

I also ended up remembering that hunters have eaten rare deer meat without getting lyme, which supports the theory that stomach acid destroys it. For us, the lyme was coming from the blood of our dog, which my baby had swallowed, so eating rare deer meat was an apt comparison, and made me feel better. FWIW.

 

He hasn't had anything that seemed like lyme symptoms since then, although I did treat him for intestinal parasites (because I had parasites, and because I remembered that he could get intestinal parasites from a dog's blood). When I treated him for intestinal parasites, some rashes he had cleared up, he gained some weight, and the circles under his eyes disappeared. I don't know whether he got the parasites from me in utero or from swallowing the dog's blood, but it seemed he had them. Hope this helps!

post #19 of 23

Glad to hear your DS didn't show any symptoms of lyme's. Do you mind sharing how you treated him for the parasites? Thanks.

post #20 of 23

I'll second the parasite option as a great way of keeping the immune system functioning at it's peak ANYWAY.  Traditionally people did parasite cleanses once or twice a year at least *along with* using herbs and spices in cooking that would keep them at bay.  We just don't do that anymore and I don't think it benefits us at all.

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