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Tick bites-medical folks or others with knowledge

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Lionne posted 5/14/2013 19:42 PM

I love to be in the garden. We have deer. We have deer ticks. I usually have to resort to spraying something noxious every 2-3 years, but I don't do it unless I absolutely have to.

Despite precautions, I have found two ticks on me so far. They bite, but don't really get all the way through to the blood supply, I guess. They are so tiny, it's hard to tell if they are full of blood or not. The second one has left a round, red area about 1 1/2 inch in diameter, although not (yet?) a true bullseye. It's itchy...

So, given how debilitating Lyme's disease can be, when do I call the doctor? I apply antibiotic and cortisone cream. They take a significant time to heal.

Any advice is appreciated.

Tripletrouble posted 5/14/2013 19:49 PM

We also have deer ticks. My teenage son showed me an itchy bite with a classic bullseye and we went straight to the ER. We were told how lucky we were to catch it because the bullseye can last as little as a few hours. He was put on antibiotics and it was no big deal. So my advise is to go ASAP. Early treatment is extremely effective, and they can do bloodwork that will show if you actually have Lyme.

metamorphisis posted 5/14/2013 20:01 PM

I wouldn't play around. Even if unsure I'd go to be looked at and get the antibiotics.

ETA.. CDC info..

[This message edited by metamorphisis at 8:02 PM, May 14th (Tuesday)]

Catwoman posted 5/14/2013 20:40 PM

GDM has permanent asymmetrical hearing loss from Lyme. Don't fool around--you were bitten and potentially exposed. Get diagnosed.


Nature_Girl posted 5/14/2013 22:25 PM

I'd go to the ER in the middle of the night if I saw even a halfway-looking bullseye coloring. I have an aquaintence who's husband is permanently disabled, painfully so, due to Lyme. I don't even think he'll live to age 50.

Lucky2HaveMe posted 5/15/2013 06:02 AM

My son had lyme disease. The tell-tale sign, from what I understand, is the bullseye mark it leaves. His covered his entire upper arm. Caught his quickly and he didn't have any major issues, but my H's cousin was in the hospital for weeks with it.

Don't mess around. They can do blood tests for it.

TrulyReconciled posted 5/15/2013 10:07 AM

I'm shocked that you have both deer *and* a garden!

Use a minimum 25% DEET product, mostly on clothing. It works.

If you can fence your yard you can eventually nearly exclude ticks, although they are carried by white-footed mice and other mammals.

You can use damminix tubes to address the mice (they work).

All of these measures are expensive, but so is disease.

Last I heard, a tick had to be embedded for a minimum of 12 hours to transmit Lyme.

Some people seem to have natural immunity - others do not.

[This message edited by TrulyReconciled at 10:08 AM, May 15th (Wednesday)]

Lionne posted 5/15/2013 21:52 PM

I'm shocked that you have both deer *and* a garden!

True dat! I often go to the garden store and think "deer salad, deer salad, deer salad" and come home empty handed. Fortunately, they tend to leave us alone in the summer.

Use a minimum 25% DEET product, mostly on clothing. It works.

Yep, I had Deet and was covered...the buggers still got me. And we are fenced, the deer treat it like it is a small step. They do the same for my neighbors 7 foot fence. I'll look for the tubes, but frankly, we have chipmunks, groundhogs, moles, voles, not to mention the squirrels. I doubt if we can eliminate the ticks completely. I will be spraying my shrubs, trees and grass this year, I'm afraid.

I did get antibiotics. And I learned something from my doctor. If bitten, no rash, a ONE TIME DOSE of doxycycline has proven effective if given immediately. I may ask her for a RX to have this on hand. If there is a rash, and you know you have had a deer tick bite, you can be treated with doxy or amoxycillin, or, I think tetracycline for 2-3 weeks.

Thanks again for all your advice!

[This message edited by scaredyKat at 9:53 PM, May 15th (Wednesday)]

LastChanceLarry posted 5/16/2013 10:02 AM

I agree with everyone else, hospital for sure! At the very least you will be able to do away with the nagging concern.

It's very importan to remove a tick correctly in order to minimize the risk of disease. NEVER grab them by the body or use a match or oil to get them to release. These techniques will cause the tick to regurgitate and significantly increase your chances of getting infected. The safest way is to grasp them by the head, as close to the mouth as possible, with a pair of fine tweezers or tick removal tool. Gently and steadily pull the tick away from your skin without twisting or turning. The longer the tick has been embedded the harder it is to remove.

Here is a link to the standard removal process.

As for tick repellant? I've found that high-deet sprays and lotions work the best. Ben's makes a 30% and 100% deet spray that works wonders. Just be careful not to get any on your membranes (eyes, nose, etc) and keep it away from plastic, i've seen it have pretty remarkable corrosive properties (clothing is fine though).


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