questions about ticks

  1. My sister just removed a tick from 5 year old. How is this usually handled? Is it necessary to have child see doctor to be treated for possiblity of lymes disease? Or do you watch the site and see if anything developes? My cousin lives in tick infested area and she says the doctors do not want to be called about every tick she sees. Where she lives they mark it on calendar and if bullseye or other symptoms develope they are to call. This approach makes me nervous considering the possibility of so many complications.
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    About oramar

    Joined: Nov '98; Posts: 7,097; Likes: 5,234
    returned nurse


  3. by   GPatty
    Sounds logical to me....
    I've never called anyone about any ticks I have removed ( not very many).
    Just wash the area well, and apply a bit of Neosporin.
    That's what I do...
    Of course, watch it and make sure nothing out of the ordinary happens.
    I think your sister is doing fine.

  4. by   Rustyhammer
    I do what Julie does.
    I'm not sure about Lyme disease but I don't think it's THAT common.
    Maybe just not that common in my corner of the world.

    I have had experience with this myself. My Dr. had me save the Tick. They sent it out to a lab to make sure it did not have lyme disease. Then I had a blood test 6 weeks later. The tick came back negative, but they still did the blood test as a double negative.

    My Dr consulted an infectous disease expert at Beth Israel Hos in Boston and she said that a course of early antiobiotics (before 6weeks) ( usually Doxycycline) **** NOT FOR KIDS**** is worthless. At the six week period with a positive. Doxy or another antiobiotic is administered. Is lyme disease prevalent in your area? In MA there are alot of cases.

    I would be proactive and have the tick sent out to a lab. For peace of mind anyway.

    Lyme Disease is a crippling neurological disease.

    Best of Luck,

  6. by   oramar
    Interestingly enough, MA is where my cousin comes from. We have the tick, my sister is in the process of asking the ped if it should be sent out.
  7. by   colleen10
    Hi Oramar,

    I would call a pediatrician anyway, just in case. It doesn't hurt to call and ask.

    Either way, I would still mark down what day it happened and keep an eye on the affected area. I was just reading about Lyme disease in my MicroBiology book and it said that the "red bullseye rash" only occurs in about 2/3 of all cases.

    Also, I have a friend who contracted Lyme Disease via a tick bit while bike riding in Wash., D.C. He got the bullseye rash and was then prescribed a course of anti-biotics which really sent him for a loop. The Anti-biotics were very strong and made him sick, fatigued, etc. for a number of weeks.

    So, I can understand why a doctor might not want to prescribe them to a small child without first being certain that they are positive for it.
  8. by   boggle
    Boy, if we had sent every deer tick we pulled off our kids and ourselves to the lab, we would have made the lab very rich!
    Not every tick bite results in infection.

    We lived in "deer tick country" out east for a few years. Luckily my family was never infected, but most families we knew had at least one family member with LYME. It really changed how we spent our time outdoors. Lot's more paved playgrounds and sandy beaches, and less yards and fields.

    The routine out there was to carefully check your kids and yourselves each night for any ticks. The tick does not transmit the Lyme bacteria right away, (takes several hours to get a good grip on you).

    When found, pull the tick off with a tweezer, save it and note who, when , and where on the body the tick was found. Then be vigilent for signs of rash or fever, joint aches etc.

    You had to be watchful for symptoms anyway, because it was assumed you may be bitten but not notice the tick. They are extremely tiny little critters!

    The docs in that area were very aware of the constant chance of Lyme exposure and that was always addressed whenever there was illness and at your check-ups.

    Besides being watchful for bites, PREVENTION of bites is so important. Stay out of the high grass. Wear long pants, shoes and socks and tuck your pant legs into your socks when you have to go into the brush. (Sure it looks dorky, but everyone else is doing it!). Change your clothes when you come in so those ticks don't rub off or have more time to get'cha. They can't jump.

    DEET does work. I tried to spray it on the clothing and avoid the kid's skin as much as possible. Some folks sprayed their yards with insecticide regularly. I wasn't comfortable with that.

    Well that's probably a lot more than you wanted to know about my Lyme/deer tick experiences. I hope your sister and her child have no problems with the tick. I suggest you have her talk with the local Dept of Health for the most recent recommendations for her area.
  9. by   Jenny P
    Rusty, Lymes is much more prevalent out East, and though it isn't in the Twin Cities (Mn) area YET, it is slowly creeping this way. When he was about 13-14, my son got bit by a tick at Boy Scout camp and developed the classic bulls' eye rash. Got put on antibiotics and did okay; then got it again the next year at a different BS camp again; put on abx again. He's now 23 with no problems that we are aware of-- yet.

    Deer ticks (which carry the Lymes disease) are so small that most peopl can't even see them-- they are smaller than the period at the end of a sentence, even when they have bit someone. They get larger the longer they are attached to a victim, but even so, it's kind of like seeing a pepper flake on the skin, they are so small.
  10. by   Rustyhammer
    These boards are a non-stop educational experience.
    Thanks Jenny
  11. by   NRSKarenRN
    Lyme Net FAQ---great info here:

    I've taken care of many Lyme patients-some worst scenerio:Lyme virus in spinal fluid and pt bedbound at age 40. TX with IVAB x 6 weeks able walk with Canadian crutches.

    Best Practice advice:
    1. Remove tick with tweezers as close tohead as possible without squeezing too hard.Wash soap and H2O apply antibiotic ointment

    2. Save tick in baggie. Mark date on bag.

    3. Observe person for next 2-3 weeks. Any rash/fatique/malaise can signifiy infection. See doctor for antibiotics immediately and tick analysis.
  12. by   sunnygirl272
    let's to be vague..i once knew a young woman, a gold medal athlete, who contracted lyme disease...first detected when she began bumping into things...she is one ivatb for a yr and has a pi$$poor prognosis as far as ability to physically be independant ever again...had to learn to walk , etc all over again..but even a tiny thing in her path can cause her to fall, as her neuro system is so "immature" now that she can not regain balance from even stepping on a piece of dog food...
  13. by   semstr
    We have lots of Lyme-ticks here, as the FSME we call it here. That stands for (translated) early-sommer-meningo-encephalitis.
    now you can have shots against this FSME, but NOT against Lyme. A mistake a lot of people made here in the last few years!

    important with ticks is not only take them out as close as possible to the head, but turn them out against the clock. Otherwise the risk of "headloss" is pretty high.
    What we also do (old tip of my father in law, he was a very experienced dr.) put a drop of saladoil on the tick, so it gets saturated and is easier to remove.

    take care, Renee