Had a fascinating conversation with a doctor yesterday. As we live in the Land of Deer and Deer Mice with ticks and Lyme Disease in abundance, he offered some very interesting information.
This doctor removes dozens upon dozens of ticks from people every week. As I live with my sweetheart and two dogs, I was reassured when he said to ignore a lot of what is on the Internet that causes such fear around ticks.
Instead he outlined the following:
1. Check yourself and your pets thoroughly every day if you have been outside. The good news is you have up to 72 hours to be safe from Lyme Disease if you get the tick out within that time period. Yay! 🙂
2. Remove the tick with tweezers. Do NOT pull it out, as you don’t want to leave its little twin mouth saws (chelicerae) flanking an appendage (a hypostome) that appears to be a kind of long, barbed sword in the skin. (The doctor did say if they somehow stay in there, the body will naturally flush them out over time, though.)
Grip the head (or as close as you can to the head) with the tweezers, and do TWO FULL ROTATIONS with them. Then gently “rotate-pull” the tick out. (If you lose your grip on the tweezers, simply start again.) Put the tick in a little paper cup and dispose of it properly, as it will most likely still be alive and able to walk around.
3. Do not take any antibiotics at this time, nor do a blood test, unless you believe the tick has been in you or your pet for at least a month. Lyme Disease does not appear for four – six weeks.
4. If you get sick four to six weeks after a tick bite, do NOT dismiss it as the flu. Symptoms for Lyme Disease can be fever/chills, headache, fatigue, muscle ache, rash, etc. This can also happen if the tick only bites you, yet does not imbed itself.
If you feel “off,” or have any of the symptoms above during the four to six week mark, go to a doctor IMMEDIATELY and get a blood test. In New York where we live, and possibly other states, they will put you on an antibiotic right then and there – without even waiting for the result – because of a crazy rule in our state.
(NY requires that the blood be tested in California, and the wait time for that turnaround matters if you indeed have the Lyme Disease.)
If you go on the antibiotics in this “new” phase of the illness, there is a nearly 100% chance any Lyme Disease will be cured. Yay again! 🙂
5. In many parts of the world, like where we live, ticks abound. A fenced yard will not prevent them from wandering in. The doctor’s nurse said she has even seen them walking up her screen door.
It is a good idea to check over and wash your clothes when you have been outside on grass or in the woods. Your pets can also bring them in on their fur to drop off in your house. You don’t have to be neurotic about it, but it is wise to be vigilant.
OK, so as I KNOW all creatures have a purpose for being on earth, this conversation spurred me to look for the GOOD that ticks do. Here is an interesting link that explains their purpose: http://insects.about.com/od/ticksmites/f/What-Good-Are-Ticks.htm
Hope this helps you have worry-free outdoor time, as it is more important to spend as much time in Nature as possible than staying inside due to concern about ticks! Knowledge is power.
To your happy, One-With-Nature, healthy self! Love, Kathy ♥♥♥
Kathy Ozzard Chism, B.A., LMT
Author and Holistic Wellness Educator
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