Where Do Ticks Live
Ticks live outdoors. They hide in grass, trees, shrubs, and underbrush.
If youre outside hiking or playing, a tick might attach itself to you or your pet. Ticks may stay attached to your pet, or they can migrate to you while youre touching or holding your pet. They can also leave you and attach themselves to your pets.
Various kinds of ticks live in large populations throughout the country. Most states have at least one type of tick that lives there. Ticks are at their peak population in the spring and summer months, typically April through September.
What To Do Following A Tick Bite
Most tick bites will require no further action. The first sign to watch out for is a red skin rash which starts at the site of the tick bite and spreads outward in a ring shape. This rash can be up to 50 cm in diameter. It may be followed by:
- a headache
- pain in the joints
- difficulty remembering and concentrating.
If you get any of these symptoms, see doctor as lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. All doctors in the New Forest area are aware of it and will know what action to take. If you are a visitor to the area and symptoms develop after your return home, show your doctor this information.
Note for doctors:
- For further information please see: D. Williams and C.J. Rolles. Lyme disease in a Hampshire child – medical curiosity or the beginning of an epidemic? British Medical Journal Volume 292, 14 June 1986
- Lyme disease. Cases occurring during pregnancy. Weekly epidemiological record No. 39, 26 September 1986.
You can see more information at:
Lyme Disease & Activity Of Blacklegged Ticks In Ohio
Blacklegged ticks are active throughout the year in Ohio. The adults are active in the spring, fall and winter. The nymphs are active in the spring and summer and the larvae are active late summer. The onset of human Lyme disease cases occurs year-round in Ohio but peaks in summer following the emergence of nymphs. .
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Submitting Ticks To A Provincial Public Health Laboratory
If possible, send any ticks that you have removed to a public health laboratory in your area. However, tick identification and testing is not done in all provinces of Canada.The following provinces accept submissions:
Contact your local public health authority for details on:
- the tick identification and testing program available in your area
- how to submit a tick for testing
The public health laboratory will:
- identify the tick
- forward only blacklegged ticks to the National Microbiology Laboratory for testing
Testing For Kidney Disease
Tests to diagnose kidney disease include complete blood count, serum biochemistry, and urinalysis. These blood tests will determine if your pet is anemic, determine white blood cell counts, measure blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and electrolytes. A urinalysis is essential for the proper interpretation of the urea and creatinine values in the serum biochemistry profile and may also provide important clues to the possible underlying cause of kidney disease. A urinalysis will also determine the specific gravity, pH, presence of blood in the urine, and the amount of protein in the urine. An evaluation of the urine sediment will determine the presence of red blood cells, white blood cells, bacteria, crystalline material, and cellular casts all of which provide information to determine the underlying cause of kidney disease in your pet. Further diagnostic tests may be recommended based on the results of these initial screening tests.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Symptoms can start anywhere from 3 to 30 days after the bite. They may look different depending on the stage of your infection. In some cases, you wonât notice any symptoms until months after the bite.
Early symptoms include:
All of those symptoms are also common in the flu. In most Lyme infections, one of the first symptoms youâll notice is a rash.
Without treatment, symptoms can get worse. They might include:
- Severe headache or neck stiffness
- Rashes on other areas of your body
- Arthritis with joint pain and swelling, particularly in your knees
- âDroopingâ on one or both sides of your face
- Inflammation in your brain and spinal cord
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in your hands or feet
What does the rash look like?
Some Lyme rashes look like a bull’s-eye with circles around the middle. But most are round, red, and at least 2 inches across.
The rash slowly gets bigger over several days. It can grow to about 12 inches across. It may feel warm to the touch, but itâs usually not itchy or painful. It can show up on any part of your body.
How small are ticks?
Ticks come in three sizes, depending on their life stage. They can be the size of a grain of sand, a poppy seed, or an apple seed.
The Chance Of Getting Lyme Disease
Not all ticks in England carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
But it’s still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.
Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, but high-risk places include grassy and wooded areas in southern and northern England and the Scottish Highlands.
Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures that live in woods, areas with long grass, and sometimes in urban parks and gardens. They’re found all over the UK.
Ticks do not jump or fly. They attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them.
Once a tick bites into the skin, it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.
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Lifecycle Of Blacklegged Ticks
The lifecycle of blacklegged ticks generally lasts two years. During this time, they go through four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. After the eggs hatch, the ticks must have a blood meal at every stage to survive.
Relative sizes of several ticks at different life stages. In general, adult ticks are approximately the size of a sesame seed and nymphal ticks are approximately the size of a poppy seed.
Blacklegged ticks can feed from mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The ticks need to have a new host at each stage of their life, as shown below:
This diagram shows the lifecycle of blacklegged ticks that can transmit Lyme disease.
What Are Some Conditions Related To Lyme Disease
Other bacterial infections and diseases spread by ticks include:
Southern tick-associated rash illness , transmitted by the lone star tick, with symptoms including rash, fatigue, fever, headache and joint pain.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever, transmitted by the bite of a tick infected with Rickettsia bacteria, with symptoms including rash, fever and headache.
Tularemia, transmitted by ticks and deer flies infected with Francisella tularensis bacteria, with symptoms including a skin ulcer at the bite site, swollen lymph nodes, and high fever.
In addition, the nonspecific and variable nature of many Lyme disease symptoms can delay its diagnosis. Conditions with symptoms overlapping with those of various stages of Lyme disease include chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, mononucleosis, meningitis, septic arthritis, cancer, and lupus, among others.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose Lyme Disease
An accurate diagnosis requires a physician experienced with the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease. For early Lyme disease, the most common clinical sign is the bulls eye rash . The doctor also considers the patients confirmed tick bite or probable exposure to deer ticks in a Lyme disease diagnosis. The fact that symptoms associated with Lyme diseasefatigue, difficulty concentrating, flu-like symptoms, and joint painoverlap with several other conditions can delay diagnosis.
If the doctor is not considering the possibility of Lyme disease, it will probably not be diagnosed. If you have signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, it is fine to ask the healthcare provider, Could this be Lyme disease? Remember that symptoms may develop up to 30 days after the tick bite, although typically 7 to 14 days after the bite. If the problem persists and your provider is unable to determine a cause, seeking a second opinion may give you more information and answers.
A two-step blood test that detects antibodies to the bacteria is available to help confirm a Lyme disease diagnosis. Both tests must be positive to confirm Lyme disease. Results are likely to be negative the first few weeks after infection because the body has not yet built up enough antibodies for the test to detect. The Lyme disease test is most accurate a few weeks after infection.
Recognizing The Rash After A Tick Bite
It is important to understand that a rash is not always present or easily recognizable in early Lyme disease, and this can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
Please refer to our poster of varied Lyme disease rash manifestations as a helpful identification tool.
When present, it is wise to take a picture of the rash with the date for your medical record, since a rash compatible with erythema migrans rash should prompt urgent evaluation and treatment. Lyme disease is most successfully treated in this first stage.
If you have a suspicious rash or your symptoms persist, please seek medical care immediately.
The erythema migrans Lyme disease rash is:
- Round or oval, enlarges in size over days/weeks, & will not fade in a few days
- Usually greater than 2 inches in diameter, often 6-8
- Usually uniformly red
- Sometimes but not often, a bulls eye rash with a red ring surrounding a clear area and red center
- Minimally tender, minimally itchy , and sometimes warm
- Often confused with spider bites
The incubation period from tick bite to rash is usually 3-10 days but can be 30 days.
The Lyme rash can spread through the bloodstream to other areas of the skin.
Sometimes blisters develop in the center of the rash.
Tick bite reactions are often confused with the rash of Lyme disease.
Tick bite reactions:
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When Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have Lyme
The rash is a pretty good indication that you may have been bitten. Take a photo of the rash and see your doctor. At this stage, treatment with antibiotics will probably work.
If you don’t have the rash but have symptoms like fatigue, fever, and headache but no respiratory symptoms like a cough, you may want to talk to your doctor.
Should You Get Tested For Lyme Disease
A minority of black-legged ticks bites will cause Lyme disease, however, that doesn’t rule the danger of developing Lyme disease out. You are more likely to contract Lyme disease…
- If you are presenting with symptoms of Lyme disease in the days following being bitten or having the tick removed.
- If you live in a place that is rich in vegetation or woodland.
- If you live in northern America or central Europe.
- If you go camping or hiking on a regular basis.
- If you come into contact with larger woodland animals on a regular basis.
To avoid more serious conditions that are offset by infected ticks, it is important to get tested if you are presenting with symptoms of Lyme disease or if you had to get a tick removed.
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Ticks And Why They Are Dangerous
Ticks are external parasites that feed on blood and transmit various diseases to humans and animals. Not all ticks carry pathogens. Ticks that are considered dangerous are those that transmit Babesia spp., Borrelia spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma spp., and Bartonella spp. to humans and animals.
Ticks are ectoparasitic mites related to the spider they come from the same class, Arachnida.
Although ticks are especially active from March to October, they can parasitize dogs throughout the year due to mild winters.
A dog can get ticks no matter where it lives. Ticks are usually hidden in grass. When a host passes by , it lifts its forelimbs in the air and clings to the animals fur/humans clothes or shoes.
They are most commonly found near the ears, around the eyes, under the chin on the neck, subaxillary, or paws.
Ticks are hematophagous parasites, meaning they feed on blood. Once they are in their favorite area, they grab the skin and cut the surface, then insert the feeding tube.
Before the feeding begins, the ticks inject saliva to overcome the innate and adaptive immune system of the host. They absorb blood and inject saliva through the same feeding tube in an alternate pattern.
Many species of ticks inject a cement-like substance, which keeps them attached firmly during feeding.
The life cycle of a tick is represented by:
Their size increases as they feed. Ticks do not fly or jump.
The most common species of ticks found on dogs are:
Keep A Lookout For Symptoms From Tick Bite This Summer
Have you checked yourself or your child for tick bites lately?
If you havent already heard, this summer is a particularly booming year for tick populations across the country and in the state of Ohio. A black-legged tick , the kind that sometimes carries Lyme disease, was spotted just to the east of us in Vermilion earlier this summer. And Ohio is on the list of 24 states that contains counties with newly documented populations of deer ticks.
Tick bites are common. Some people are unaware of a tick bite at first. Be sure to check yourself and your children often, especially throughout the summer months when tick populations grow. Ticks are especially attracted to warm, moist areas of the skin like armpits, groins, or hair. Once they bite you, a tick may stick around drawing your blood for up to 10 days. The sooner you spot and remove a tick, the better.
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What Are The Stages Of Lyme Disease
The stages of Lyme disease are progressive and depend on treatment interventions:
Early localized, just after the infection takes hold. Symptoms begin within hours, days or weeks after the tick bite, and can include skin rashthe characteristic bulls-eye rash as well as flu-like symptoms and joint pain.
Early disseminated, occurring weeks to months after the tick bite. The bacteria are spreading further throughout the body. Because more body systems are infected, symptoms are varied and may not look related. Symptoms include eyesight problems, rash in other areas, irregular heartbeat, pain, and nerve symptoms like numbness in the arms and legs or the face.
Late disseminated stage, occurring weeks, months and extending months after the tick bite. Left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to such chronic conditions as arthritis, migraine, widespread pain, difficulty sleeping, and trouble concentrating.
Stage : Early Disseminated Lyme Disease
Early disseminated Lyme disease occurs several weeks to months after the tick bite.
Youll have a general feeling of being unwell, and a rash may appear in areas other than the tick bite.
This stage of the disease is primarily characterized by evidence of systemic infection, which means infection has spread throughout the body, including to other organs.
Symptoms can include:
- disturbances in heart rhythm, which can be caused by Lyme carditis
- neurologic conditions, such as numbness, tingling, facial and cranial nerve palsies, and meningitis
The symptoms of stages 1 and 2 can overlap.
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What Are The Treatments For Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. The earlier you are treated, the better it gives you the best chance of fully recovering quickly.
After treatment, some patients may still have pain, fatigue, or difficulty thinking that lasts more than 6 months. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome . Researchers don’t know why some people have PTLDS. There is no proven treatment for PTLDS long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS. If you have been treated for Lyme disease and still feel unwell, contact your health care provider about how to manage your symptoms. Most people do get better with time. But it can take several months before you feel all better.
How Can You Reduce Tick Habitats Near Your Home
Here are some ways to limit exposure to ticks near your home:
- Mow the lawn regularly to keep the grass short
- Remove leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of the lawn and around stonewalls and woodpiles
- Stack firewood neatly and in a dry area
- Put barriers to exclude deer around your home and seal stonewalls and small openings to discourage rodent activity
- Place children’s recreational playground sets, patios and decks away from the yard edges and trees. Place them on a woodchip or mulch foundation and in a sunny location, if possible.
- Treat pets that are commonly exposed to ticks with oral or topic acaricides as they could carry ticks into the home
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What Should You Do If You Find A Tick
Don’t touch the tick with your bare hand.
Use a pair of tweezers to remove the tick. Grab the tick firmly by its mouth or head as close to your skin as possible.
Pull up slowly and steadily without twisting until it lets go. Don’t squeeze the tick, and don’t use petroleum jelly, solvents, knives, or a lit match to kill the tick.
Save the tick. Place it in a plastic container or bag so it can be tested for disease, if needed.
Wash the bite area well with soap and water and put an antiseptic lotion or cream on the site.