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I pulled a damned tick off me yesterday ... now what???

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  • I pulled a damned tick off me yesterday ... now what???

    Had no idea what the damned thing was until I rubbed it off with a towel into the sink (I thought it was a scab or something that was just starting to come off ...) and it grew legs and started to move ...

    Ive stuck it in a bottle with a wet piece of paper towel in there and am calling the Public Health Unit up this morning once they open

    After reading through the Chronic Lyme thread last night and freaking out, I am at least now armed with questions and have some knowledge of what is and isnt the proper course of treatment

    I did get to speak to a nurse on a 24 hour health hotline last night and she said that most ticks dont carry Lyme and I shouldnt worry too much. Is that correct? Do I only worry if I develop the bulls eye rash? Or if I start to get the symptoms weeks/months/years down the road? Or do I aggressively start to treat it now? Staying on heavy duty antibiotics for months isnt my idea of fun either, but if its going to stave off having something acute going chronic, I am more than willing to do so

    Do they test the ticks or not even bother?

    What is the most intelligent plan of action for me to take at this stage?

    Thanks so much ...
    www.TrueColoursFarm.com
    www.truecoloursproducts.com

    True Colours Farm on Facebook

  • #2
    Was the tick bloated? (round fat balloon body)
    What color was the body?
    What size was it?

    Deer ticks are very very small. When not bloated they're the size of a dot made on paper with a pen, maybe slightly larger. When bloated they're about the size of a pinhead.

    When not bloated their bodies are tan/brown with a darker spot towards the head and when bloated they're mostly a beige/tan color.

    Deer ticks are the ones that carry diseases the most, however other ticks can also carry diseases. However most ticks do not carry diseases. Being outside and around animals often means you will find ticks on you from time to time. Most of the time it'll be just a tick bite, nothing else.

    Keep an eye on the bite sight for any signs of reaction...such as large swelling, area becomes tight/warm, discoloration or bullseye marks. If so, go to the doctors. They may test you, they may not and just start antibiotics. Normal round is 30 days, it's not that bad. Just take Pepcid and chew antacids.

    But if the site just gets a normal bug-bite lump and itches...or stings slightly when scratched...that's normal wiith an arachnid bite.

    To keep the tick to identify later, drop it in a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Kills the tick. If you'd like, take a photo of the tick and post it or PM me the picture and I'll let you know what kind of tick it probably is. I'm petty goood at identifying ticks...being a rehabber means I see (and get bit by) a LOT of ticks.

    Most importantly...try to ignore the squicky heebie jeebie feeling you're probably having right now.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Tick was definately bloated when it was on me and about 2-3 times larger than it is now sitting in my bottle. It never went that tan colour - it stayed dark when it was on me. Its black and looks like

      http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/id-mi/tickinfo-eng.php

      Figure 3 - the one on the far right side

      Its about 1/8th inch long - probably about twice the size of a flax seed??? (and it looks like a flax seed with 4 legs on each side!)

      Okay - so unless I do get a reaction, I dont need to see a doctor or flip out over this at all???

      Thanks so much MB!!!
      www.TrueColoursFarm.com
      www.truecoloursproducts.com

      True Colours Farm on Facebook

      Comment


      • #4
        Personally I'd wait until/if you get a fever/re-swelling at the bite site/feel like you have the flu, somewhere within the next 10-12 days or so. I've been bitten a dozen times in my life, never had a problem except one: that one my knee swelled up and was so painful I couldn't walk, I felt like I had the flu coming on, I had a fever, and I went straight to the doctor and did the 30 days of antibiotics. Cleared it up right away.

        Comment


        • #5
          I pulled a tick off of myself last summer and went to the doctor that day. One of the first things he told me was that not everyone will get a rash or bulls eye at the bite site - you can be infected with Lymes and never see a bulls eye so it's best not to wait around for one.
          I didn't save the tick so it couldn't be tested, which wasn't the end of the world either, doc said those tests (like all I suppose) aren't 100% perfect. There is an antibiotic the doctor gave me that he said was 99% effective in wiping out the bacteria if you were infected, and the sooner you took it the better. It was literally a one-time antibiotic, just 1 pill (sorry I cant remember what it's called). He said better to take that right away then wait weeks for test results that could be inconclusive. The longer you wait and do nothing, the harder you have to work and the more antibiotics you have to take to try to get rid of Lymes if you do end up having it.
          http://community.webshots.com/user/sahara511

          Comment


          • #6
            sahara is correct...not everyone will get the bullseye rash. Some will get just a lump or heat in the site. Some won't have much of a reaction at all.

            There isn't a need to freak out usually at the time of a tick bite. Just like some mosquitos carry all sorts of illnesses, we don't panic at every mosquito bite.

            But it is a good idea to keep an eye on the bite site...and to see if you feel like you've caught a cold anytime in the near future.

            Some folks will feel symptoms faster, others not as fast. It usually starts with flu or cold like problems within 2 days to 2 weeks after the bite. Common symptoms are:
            More tired than normal; either sleepy-tired or physically tired/sluggish or both
            Slight fever; some never get a fever but many do and it's a slight one usually. Not spiking a high one, just a slight rise in temp which is the body recognizing the new problem.
            Some body aches...and it doesn't always start out in the joints. IT could be regular muscle aches too. And usually travelling aches...like your legs are a bit tired/aching in the morning and your lower back afternoon and your elbows by evening.

            If you just feel "off" or muzzy in the next couple of weeks, I'd go to the doctors and tell them you want to be tested. Save the tick, you can freeze it in a ziploc. And it's not a bad idea to call the doctor's office now and explain that you've had a tick bite, you have the tick and are waiting to see if you feel any symptoms. Just as a head's up or in case the doctor wants you to come in now anyways.

            There are false negative and false positive tests often with various tick borne diseases. False negatives because it might not show up in the blood for some time after a bite and false positives because if you live in a high Lyme area you've probably been exposed to it already anyways without knowing. High risk folks are usually put on doxy for 30 days with a known bite and either result test.
            You jump in the saddle,
            Hold onto the bridle!
            Jump in the line!
            ...Belefonte

            Comment


            • #7
              Gosh, not every tick carries Lyme disease! Don't flip out. Pay attention to how you feel. Watch for rash or fever, and call the doctor if you develop either.
              Click here before you buy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ditto to Delta.. also see doc if you spike a HIGH fever and/or have diarrhea that won't stop.

                Hubby caught ehrlicchia from a tick 5 years ago.
                <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                  Gosh, not every tick carries Lyme disease! Don't flip out. Pay attention to how you feel. Watch for rash or fever, and call the doctor if you develop either.
                  Yep..don't panic...I pulled about 10 off of me throughout this past spring and other than an annoying itchy bump afterwards...nothing happened. Just mark on your calendar as to when you pulled it off....if you start having symptoms, go to your doctor. Doxy is the antibotic of choice for tick borne illnesses.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you are that freaked out about it, go get some antibiotics. It is so early in the process that one 3 week course is going to work just fine.

                    I was diagnosed with Lyme last year - and while it took a couple rounds of antibiotics, I am symptom free now. I did have many and various symptoms, including Lyme arthritis in one knee quite badly. But never got a rash and never had fatigue issues - so all manifestations are different.

                    I only had Lyme's for about 1 & 1/2 years before it was diagnosed, so I was lucky. It generally doesn't get bad unless it goes undiagnosed for a very long time - which unfortunately happens a fairly often.

                    But don't get overly paranoid at this point. It is eminently curable/preventable this early on. There are blood tests that catch most Lyme infections & the regular labs are getting better at testing for it. So get tested after your done with the ABs and see where you're at.

                    Good Luck

                    SCFarm
                    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

                    www.southern-cross-farm.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Seriously - don't worry.

                      It's a bit like worrying if a mosquito bites you, you are going to get West Nile Virus. As a kid we used to take ticks off us almost on a daily basis. We don't have many on our home farm, but at the other farm we have been renovating we pull them off us all the time and I don't really give it a second thought.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you are that freaked out about it, go get some antibiotics.
                        Only if you have a medical license. The odds of an allergic reaction, nasty yeast infection, or contributing to the general pool of resistant bacteria are probably higher than the odds of Lyme disease from a single tick bite. They are not innocuous and should not "just" be given willy-nilly.
                        Click here before you buy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, assuming I read your description correctly: 1/8" long and not tan yet = not a deer tick. Just a plain ol' regular tick.

                          Rip its head off and toss it the toilet and think nothing more of it.

                          I live in a tick area - pulled more off me, the horses, kids and dogs then I can ever remember. It 99.9 % of the time a non-issue - except for the heebie jeebies. (I hate waking up in the middle of the night feeling a tick moving. YUCK.)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ticks happen.

                            Throw it in the freezer in a ziplock with today's date. That way you won't confuse it with the one you find tomorrow

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I recently was in the hospital for what the doctors are pretty sure was Lyme Disease.
                              Started as a stiff neck Sun AM and Mon AM when I woke up but ibuprophen took care of that. I also had a small rash but not a bulls eye on the nape of my neck, about the size of a large man's thumb print.

                              3 AM Tues morning I woke up virtually unable to move my neck and the worst headache. Took a migrain medicine that has a muscle relaxer in it and went to work and hour away. I made a chiro appointment for 2 pm.

                              At about noon if figured out I was running a fever. Drove myself to the ER, yep 102 degree fever.

                              They did a lumbar puncture to rule out spinal meningitis. All other tests and cultures including the Lyme test came back negative. Doctors think I had not yet seroconverted so it was a false negative.

                              The infectious disease doctor put me on doxycycline for a total of 12 days and I recovered just fine. The infectious disease doctor mentioned that a study released recently indicted that one dose of doxycline early enough can cure/prevent 85% of Lyme. I believe he said it was in the NE Journal of Medicine.

                              Therefore if it is a deer tick you may at least want to call your doctor to at least see what he thinks.
                              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If you should become symptomatic, be sure and find a Lyme Literate Doctor (LLD) or Infectious Disease Specialist. Most MD's do not have the knowledge to treat LD and will treat according to the CDC or IDSA's latest recommendation (which often is not what Lyme specialists and researchers recommend). If you have blood work done be sure and have a complete tick panel run, not just LD. Ticks commonly carry multipiple co-infections so if you test + for another co-infection there is a good chance you have LD as well, despite neg results. LD should be a clinical diagnosis.

                                Sonnysmom.....did they test you for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever when you were in the hospital? Symptoms sound very similar to the case I had in '94 (migraine, rash, fever). Because my rash was small and did not fall into the typical RMSF pattern it was dismissed as a cause (depsite the fact that I told Dr. my dog was just diagnosed with RMSF). Only when my fever reached 105 and I was convulsing in ICU did anyone listen to me. Treatment then was 7 days of IV doxy.
                                Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement
                                http://www.horseretirementfarm.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                  Only if you have a medical license. The odds of an allergic reaction, nasty yeast infection, or contributing to the general pool of resistant bacteria are probably higher than the odds of Lyme disease from a single tick bite. They are not innocuous and should not "just" be given willy-nilly.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                    Only if you have a medical license. The odds of an allergic reaction, nasty yeast infection, or contributing to the general pool of resistant bacteria are probably higher than the odds of Lyme disease from a single tick bite. They are not innocuous and should not "just" be given willy-nilly.
                                    This. I would never take antibiotics just because I was worried, they're not like Tylenol and can have way worse side effects than Lyme disease.

                                    I've been bitten by a million ticks, deer and dog and have yet to contract Lyme disease. I grew up in the south and loved playing in long grass as a kid, my dad and aunt (who I spent summers with) would regularly de-tick me upon coming in every night.

                                    I still am grossed out by ticks and would rather not get them on me!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by LLDM View Post
                                      If you are that freaked out about it, go get some antibiotics. It is so early in the process that one 3 week course is going to work just fine.
                                      Not sure if Docs in Canada will just hand out antibiotics to just anyone who's been tick-bitten

                                      Besides, since most ticks, especially if they aren't deer ticks, *don't* carry Lyme, why start antbiotics if there is no infection? That line of thinking is what leads to resistance issues
                                      ______________________________
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by millerra View Post
                                        Rip its head off and toss it the toilet and think nothing more of it.
                                        Or keep a yearly jar of a few inches of rubbing alcohol and dump 'em in there

                                        I live in a tick area - pulled more off me, the horses, kids and dogs then I can ever remember. It 99.9 % of the time a non-issue - except for the heebie jeebies. (I hate waking up in the middle of the night feeling a tick moving. YUCK.)
                                        You mean where you wake up wide-eyed, throw off the covers, do the heebie-jeebie dance while scooting out of bed, trying not to wake the SO and/or step on dogs/cats on the way to said alcohol jar?

                                        Originally posted by katarine View Post
                                        That way you won't confuse it with the one you find tomorrow
                                        Or last night's leftovers?
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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