What If A Tick Bites My Dog
The more ticks in your region, the likelier it is that your furry pal will bring them home.
Your dog is much more likely to be bitten by a tick than you are. And where Lyme disease is common, up to 25% of dogs have had it at some point.
About 10% of dogs with Lyme disease will get sick. 7-21 days after a tick bite, your dog might seem like theyâre walking on eggshells. They also might have a fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Plus, they might seem tired. Dogs also get antibiotics for Lyme.
What if my dog brings ticks into my home?
Use a tick control product on your pet to prevent Lyme disease. Also, have your dog vaccinated against Lyme.
Check your dogâs whole body each day for bumps. If you notice a swollen area, see if thereâs a tick there. If you find a tick, wear gloves while you use tweezers to separate it from your dog. Then, put it in soapy water or alcohol, or flush it down the toilet.
Use alcohol to clean the spot on your dog where the tick was attached. Keep an eye on that spot, and also on your dog to make sure theyâre behaving normally. If you notice any changes, check with your vet.
John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report: âVital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases — United States and Territories, 2004-2016.â
American College of Rheumatology.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Getting A Tick Bite
If you are planning an outdoor activity, especially those in a heavily wooded area, it is important to follow a few simple precautions to protect yourself from tick bites.
- Wear long-sleeved, light-colored clothing, with tightly woven fabric. This gives ticks less area to target and allows you to see ticks on your clothing. Make sure you tuck your pants into your socks, shoes, or boots so that ticks cannot easily get under your pant legs.
- When traveling through the woods or grassy fields, stay near the center of the trails. At home, make sure that you mow your lawn regularly.
- Use insect repellents with 20% or more ofDEET on exposedskin and clothing. Your clothescan also be treated with permethrin. You can purchase this product at most sporting goods stores. Always read product labels to be sure you use the product properly.
- When returning from the outdoors, check for ticks. They may attach anywhere. Check your hair, body folds and inside your belly button, or behind your knees, along your beltline, between your legs, in or behind ears, underarms and your back.
- Be sure to check your pets, too. You should discuss using tick prevention products for your pets with your veterinarian.
- Check your clothes and gear for ticks and wash these items immediately. Placing them in a hot clothes dryer for 15 minutes will kill the ticks.
- You should take a shower after you have been on hikes or working in your yard.
My Lyme Disease Story Starts Two Years Ago
At 27 I was fully devoted to my career and would blow off steam from a long days work at a kickboxing class 2-3 times a week. It felt good to release negative energy after a stressful day. But in April 2015, I started missing regular workouts because I just couldnt shake the flu. I had a scratchy throat, mild fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches as well as sudden bouts of vertigo. This would come and go for a few days at a time but I would never actually get sick.
As the months dragged on my health did not improve and my energy was dropping. I couldnt stay late at work when my job demanded it and would limit social engagements. I felt like my body was telling me, Youre not getting enough XYZ!!. If only I could figure out what XYZ was surely Id feel better. My new family doctor, a female, thought I was being dramatic and ordered some routine blood tests and a physical exam to quell my fears. It turned out I was deficient in Vitamin D, a common ailment in our cold Canadian climate. I started taking a supplement and carried protein bars since I was also borderline hypoglycemic. Years later I would find out that reactive hypoglycemia is common in Lyme-MSIDS patients .
My bloodwork had come back with a positive Mono-spot test.
It had taken nearly two years to receive a proper diagnosis for the many symptoms that ailed me
Chelseas Symptom Breakdown:
Recall tick bite/bullseye rash? No possible rash
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Lyme Disease
Despite some skepticism in the medical community, chronic Lyme disease is a growing epidemic in the U.S. This stems partly from the shortcomings of many of the officially recommended Lyme disease tests, which leave too many patients with untreated infections that then become persistent and debilitating.
The following article will cover what you should know about chronic Lyme and provide an introductory but non-exhaustive chronic Lyme disease symptoms checklist.
Some Chronic Lyme Disease Symptoms
As mentioned, chronic Lyme disease consists of a broad cluster of physical, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. Some of these symptoms are much more common, while others almost never occur, but can be deadly. But even the less severe symptoms, such as chronic fatigue and pain, can lead to drastic changes in quality of life for chronic Lyme patients.
Chronic Lyme survivors have reported experiencing the following symptoms for months to years after infection:
- Intermittent fevers, chills, and sweats
- Chronic inflammation
- Numbness and tingling in the limbs
- Dizziness and shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat
- Anxiety and paranoia
- Multiple-chemical sensitivities
Chronic Lyme disease can be linked to deadly symptoms, such as Lyme carditis .
According to Lymedisease.org, studies consistently show that chronic Lyme disease patients have poorer quality of life than those with other chronic diseases. One of their own studies showed that 75% of surveyed patients reported at least one symptom as severe or very severe.
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Chronic Lyme Disease Symptom Severity
In LDos chronic Lyme disease survey, over 75% of patients reported at least one symptom as severe or very severe and 63% reported two or more such symptoms. Find out more about LDo peer-reviewed published surveys. The chart below shows the severity of ten common chronic Lyme symptoms.
The survey also found that patients with chronic Lyme disease have high disability and unemployment rates. Over 40% of patients with chronic Lyme disease reported that they currently are unable to work because of Lyme disease and 24% report that they have received disability at some point in their illness.
What Should You Do About A Tick Bite
If you experience a tick bite, the best way to remove it is by taking the following steps:
- Tug gently but firmly with blunt tweezers near the head of the tick at the level of your skin until it releases its hold on your skin.
- Avoid crushing the tick’s body or handling the tick with bare fingers as you could expose yourself to the bacteria in the tick.
- Wash the bite area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Do not use kerosene, petroleum jelly or hot cigarette butts to remove the tick.
- Do not squeeze the tick’s body with your fingers or tweezers.
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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the most common tick-borne disease in Arkansas. RMSF is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. This bacterium is carried mostly by the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, but also by the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Not all ticks are infected. It takes an infected tick four to six hours to spread disease after attaching to the host. Adult ticks look for large hosts such as dogs, but they also feed on humans. Ticks are often found in overgrown lots and along weedy roadsides, paths and hiking trails. Most RMSF cases occur between June and August when tick populations and outdoor activities are highest. Half of all people with RMSF do not remember being bitten by a tick.
- RMSF Symptoms and Treatment
- Symptoms of RMSF generally appear suddenly, about one week after an infected tick bite. However, there may be symptoms any time between 2 and 14 days after a bite.
- Symptoms can include:
- Muscle pain
- Non-itchy, pink rash usually starting on the wrists, forearms and ankles
It is important to get medical care as soon as possible if you think you have RMSF. Blood tests are required to diagnose RMSF, but treatment should begin as soon as symptoms and/or recent tick exposure suggest RMSF.
Chronic Lyme Disease Vs Ptlds
The terms chronic Lyme disease and Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome are sometimes used interchangeably. However, PTLDS is slightly more restrictive, referring to patients who have received treatment for Lyme disease but go on to experience Lyme disease symptoms. It does not include those who received a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis and have developed chronic symptoms of Lyme disease before receiving any kind of treatment.
The CDC defines PTLDS as generalized and/or recurring pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties that last for more than 6 months after treatment. These mirror symptoms associated with chronic Lyme disease, with or without treatment.
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Key Points For Healthcare Providers
What Are The Symptoms That A Tick Bite Might Cause
Many of the conditions caused by ticks have common symptoms that include:
- Itchiness or irritation, but usually not right away.
- Skin rash.
Some rashes caused by ticks indicate the infection. Small reddish or purplish spots happen in Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Expanding rashes that may look like a bulls-eye are the erythema migrans signal of Lyme disease. A similar rash happens with southern tick-associated rash illness or STARI. STARIs rash may be known as the Lone Star tick rash.
Some rashes can just look like small red or darker-colored blotches that can be difficult to see.
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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.
What Are The Stages Of Lyme Infection
There are three stages:
- Early localized Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, and a rash that looks like a bull’s-eye or is round and red and at least 2 inches long
- Early disseminated Lyme: Flu-like symptoms like pain, weakness, or numbness in your arms and legs, changes in your vision, heart palpitations and chest pain, a rash , and a type of facial paralysis known as Bellâs palsy
- Late disseminated Lyme: This can happen weeks, months, or years after the tick bite. Symptoms might include arthritis, severe fatigue and headaches, dizziness, trouble sleeping, and confusion.
About 10% of people treated for Lyme infection donât shake the disease. They may go on to have three core symptoms: joint or muscle pain, fatigue, and short-term memory loss or confusion. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. It can be hard to diagnose because it has the same symptoms as other diseases. Plus, there isn’t a blood test to confirm it.
Experts arenât sure why Lyme symptoms donât always go away. One theory is that your body keeps fighting the infection even after the bacteria are gone, like an autoimmune disorder.
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How Is A Tick Bite Diagnosed
Ticks like wooded areas and high grasses. Paying attention if you walk in these types of areas will help you be aware of the possibility of tick bites. They like leaves. If you hike trails, try to stay in the center away from fallen leaves and brush.
Sometimes you might be able to find and keep the tick that has bitten you. Ticks arent like other insects that bite you many times. They usually bite once and then burrow into your skin. If this happens and youre able to find and remove the tick, you or your healthcare provider can identify the type of tick. You want to know if its the kind of tick that spreads disease.
Your provider will ask you questions about your medical history and about your time spent in tick-infested areas. In some cases, you may need blood tests.
Touched By Lyme: When Lyme Disease Affects The Heart
Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physicians Search for True Healing, by Neil Spector, MD.
Neil Spector was a seemingly healthy physician living with his wife in Florida. One day, he experienced what appeared to be textbook symptoms of a heart attack. Erratic heartbeat, chest pressure, pain radiating from chest to neck and jaw. Except all the tests the emergency room gave him turned out normal. He wasnt having a heart attack, his doctors said. They chalked it all up to stress, suggested he learn how to relax, and sent him on his way.
Spector continued to have troubling symptoms. Often, his heart pounded too fast. Other times, way too slowly. Sometimes, without warning, hed fall to the ground. He had extended periods of bradycardia, when the heart doesnt pump enough oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Yet, the answer from doctors was always the same: Nothing wrong at all. Just a little stress.
Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physicians Search for True Healing, Spectors gripping memoir, covers about two decades. It starts with those initial heart-related episodes. Then it progresses to stages where he needs a pacemaker, then an internal defibrillator, and eventually a heart transplant. Its a riveting account of how this affects him, his wife, and their family. Its also about Lyme disease.
Several weeks after receiving a pacemaker, Spector develops arthritis in his wrists. Coincidentally, he takes doxycycline for something unrelated. To his surprise, his wrist pain goes away.
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Digestive Symptoms Related To Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, in conjunction with the inflammation caused by leaky gut, primes the immune system that surrounds the digestive tract. Mast cells are part of the immune system and tend to be located where the outside world interfaces with the inside of the body. The skin, lungs and gastrointestinal tract are examples of these locations.
When mast cells are triggered by a variety of stimuli, they release histamine and other chemical mediators. In MCAS, mast cells are more prone to releasing their contents leading to a myriad of symptoms. The most common digestive symptoms experienced in MCAS are nausea and heartburn, but abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation also be present. MCAS also contributes to systemic symptoms and digestive dysfunction needs to be addressed if it is contributing to MCAS.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
With early-stage Lyme disease, youâll take antibiotics for about 10 days to 3 weeks. The most common ones are amoxicillin, cefuroxime, and doxycycline. The antibiotics will almost always cure your infection. If they donât, you might get other antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot.
If you donât treat your Lyme infection, you might need oral antibiotics for symptoms like weakened face muscles and irregular heartbeat. You may need antibiotics if you have meningitis, inflammation in your brain and spinal cord, or more severe heart problems.
If your Lyme is late stage, the doctor might give you antibiotics either by mouth or as a shot. If it causes arthritis, youâll get arthritis treatment.
Thereâs no therapy for post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.
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Planning For The Future
At Stratford Commons Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, our care is person-centered. We are here to tackle your medical needs, concerns and questions from day one. We provide a better way of getting better with high-quality health care and a holistic wellness approach for every condition. We are able to support you on your road to recovery through our meticulous monitoring and our attentive therapy team, which allows us to be ready to ward off any medical problems that may arise. Set up a tour today.
Lyme Carditis: How Does Lyme Disease Affect The Heart
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As the weather warms, you may hear about more cases of Lyme disease. This condition, which spreads through tick bites, can cause a wide range of symptoms and even affect your heart if left untreated.
When Lyme bacteria reach your heart tissue, it can cause Lyme carditis, which affects your hearts electrical system. Learn more about this condition.
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