Tuesday, May 28, 2024

How To Know If A Tick Has Lyme Disease

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About Ticks And Lyme Disease

Ticks and Lyme disease – all you need to know

Ticks are small crawling bugs in the spider family. They are arachnids, not insects. There are hundreds of different kinds of ticks in the world. Many of them carry bacteria, viruses or other pathogens that cause disease in humans and/or animals.

In the midwestern and eastern United States, Ixodes scapularis or deer tick is the primary vector of Lyme disease. On the West Coast, the spirochete is carried by Ixodes pacificus or western black-legged tick. In the South, lone star ticks can also transmit Lyme disease or a closely related illness.

Ticks have four life stages: egg, larva, nymph and adult. In each stage after hatching, they suck blood from animals like mice, squirrels, birds and deer. Then they drop off, enter a dormant period and molt to enter the next stage.

Ticks dont start out being infected with Lyme. They get it by feeding on an infected animal, often a mouse or other small rodent. Then, they pass it along to the next animal or person they bite.

Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About Lyme Disease Tests

At-home test kits for Lyme disease are available. To do these tests, you usually collect a drop of blood from your finger and send it to a lab for testing. If you want to do an at-home test, it’s important to talk with your provider first. Some at-home tests may use lab methods that aren’t proven to work, so your results may not be accurate.

What Can I Do To Prevent Lyme Disease

Deer ticks live in shady, moist areas at ground level. They will cling to tall grass, brush and shrubs, usually no more than 18-24 inches off the ground. They also live in lawns and gardens, especially at the edges of woods and around old stone walls. Deer ticks cannot jump or fly, and do not drop onto passing people or animals. They get on humans and animals only by direct contact. Once a tick gets on the skin, it generally climbs upward until it reaches a protected area.

  • In tick-infested areas, your best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation. However, if you garden, hike, camp, hunt, work, or otherwise spend time in the outdoors, you can still protect yourself:
  • Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily.
  • Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants.
  • Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and check again once indoors.
  • Consider using insect repellent. Follow label directions.
  • Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Avoid contacting vegetation.
  • Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls.
  • Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.

Read Also: Which Kind Of Ticks Carry Lyme Disease

How Long Has The Tick Been Attached

It can be difficult to determine how long a tick has been attached. To help with this, think about times when you may have been in areas where ticks are often found for example, in the woods in or around tall grass.

Lyme disease is rarely passed on during the first 48 hours a tick is attached. To pass on Lyme disease, the tick will typically be engorged . This means the tick has had a blood meal. Ticks need to eat to pass on Lyme disease.

How Long Does A Tick Need To Be Attached To Transmit Lyme Disease

The Reality of Lyme Disease Infectiousness

Even if the tick is infected with Borrelia burgdorferi the risk of developing Lyme disease is low. The tick has to have taken a “blood meal” from the human host before it can pass along an infection. This means the tick has to be attached and feeding for more than 36 hours before it can transmit Lyme. A tick that has not yet attached to the skin is easy to remove or is not engorged when removed, could not have transmitted Lyme disease or any other infection. Thats why it is important to do regular “tick checks” on yourselves and your children so that ticks can be identified and removed quickly.

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How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Been Bitten By A Tick

Bloodthirsty ticks can be difficult to spot once theyve buried themselves into your pets fur and latched onto their skin.

Ticks can transmit infectious diseases, including Lyme disease, which can cause serious symptoms in dogs .

One of the greatest dangers of a tick attaching itself is that dogs often dont show any obvious signs a tick has attached. The tick may remain hidden and silently be spreading disease to your dog without you even knowing it. If you know what to look out for, however, you can reduce the risks. Use our guide to find out whether your dog has become a ticks latest meal.

How Does A Person Get Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick, which also is known as the black-legged tick. Immature deer ticks can be very small, about the size of the head of a pin adult deer ticks are slightly larger. Both can be infected with and transmit Lyme disease. Deer ticks acquire the bacteria by feeding primarily on small mammals infected with the bacteria, particularly the white-footed mouse. Deer ticks infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease have been found in Illinois. Areas in the United States where deer ticks are most frequently infected with Lyme disease are the northeastern United States , northern California, and north central states, especially Minnesota and Wisconsin. However, Lyme disease has been reported in almost all states in the United States as well as in many countries throughout the world.

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How Is Lyme Disease Transmitted

Not all deer ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Ticks can become infected if they feed on small animals that are infected. The disease can be spread when an infected tick bites a person and stays attached for a period of time. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36 hours or more before the bacteria can be transmitted. Lyme disease does not spread from one person to another. Transfer of the bacteria from an infected pregnant woman to the fetus is extremely rare.

Time For A Refresher On Ticks

Do you know the signs of Lyme disease?

Tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis are a serious health concern in New Hampshire. Although ticks are likely to be active any time the temperature is above freezing, you are more likely to contract a tick-borne illness in the summer months.

While there are several tick-borne illnesses to watch out for in our area, they are carried by the smaller Deer Ticks, not Dog Ticks. Says Marika Henegan, MD, a provider at Cheshires Urgent Primary Care Visits . A baby, or nymph, Deer Tick can be hard to notice, which is why checking yourself thoroughly for ticks is important after you have been in the woods or long grass.

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Signs Of Lyme Disease That Appear On Your Skin

Signs of Lyme disease

If you see a rash or another sign of Lyme disease on your skin, see your primary doctor right away. When caught early and treated, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics and most people recover fully.

Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a black-legged tick. If you are bitten by this tick and develop Lyme disease, you may see a bulls-eye rash. Its a common sign of Lyme disease, but its not the only sign.

Lyme disease occurs in stages. Heres what you may see on your skin during each stage.

How To Prevent Lyme Disease

The best way to prevent Lyme disease in dogs is to prevent your animal from contracting ticks. For this, you should deworm your dog as often as the vet recommends, making your dog?s health a priority. Aerosols, necklaces or pipettes are a good alternative to protect your pet against these parasites.

It is also important that, if you decide to take your dog to the countryside or green areas where ticks may abound, you always check its coat on your return. If you find a tick, remove it immediately, as this will reduce the possibility of spreading the disease. Take a look at our article to know what to do if a tick bites you.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Know if Your Dog Has Lyme Disease, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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What Precautions Can I Take Against Tick Bites

  • Avoid wooded, brushy, and grassy areas, especially in May, June, and July.
  • Wear light-colored clothing so that you can see ticks that get on you.
  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and shoes that cover the entire foot.
  • Tuck pant legs into socks or shoes, and tuck shirts into pants.
  • Wear a hat for extra protection.
  • Spray insect repellent containing DEET on clothes and uncovered skin.
  • Walk in the center of trails to avoid brush and grass.
  • Remove your clothing, and wash and dry them at high temperatures after being outdoors.
  • Do a careful body check for ticks after outdoor activities.

Keep A Lookout For Symptoms From Tick Bite This Summer

Bedford to Participate in the Newly Formed Middlesex Tick Task Force ...

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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How Does A Tick Bite Affect My Body

You might not even know youve been bitten by a tick. Most dont cause pain or itching but some do. Some tick bites dont cause disease. Sometimes you can remove the tick before it can pass on any germs.

The tick bite itself may not cause symptoms except for some type of skin reaction, like a rash or a small hard lump. The infection that tick bites can give you may begin to cause symptoms.

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Infection Prevention And Control

  • Wear light coloured clothing to help spot ticks
  • Use insect repellents that contain DEET or Icaridin. Always follow the manufacturers instructions.
  • Do daily full body checks on yourself, your children and pets after coming in from the outdoors
  • Cut your grass and dipope of leaf litter where ticks can live.
  • Outdoor workers should shower or bathe within two hourrs of being in forested or long grass areas

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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

The list of possible symptoms is long, and symptoms can affect every part of the body. The following are the most common symptoms of Lyme disease. But symptoms are slightly different for each person.

The primary symptom is a red rash that:

  • Can appear several days after infection, or not at all

  • Can last up to several weeks

  • Can be very small or grow very large , and may resemble a “bulls-eye”

  • Can mimic such skin problems as hives, eczema, sunburn, poison ivy, and flea bites

  • Can itch or feel hot, or may not be felt at all

  • Can disappear and return several weeks later

Several days or weeks after a bite from an infected tick, you may have flu-like symptoms such as the following:

Weeks to months after the bite, the following symptoms may develop:

  • Neurological symptoms, including inflammation of the nervous system and weakness and paralysis of the facial muscles

  • Heart problems, including inflammation of the heart and problems with heart rate

  • Eye problems, including inflammation

Months to a few years after a bite, the following symptoms may include:

  • Inflammation of the joints

  • Neurological symptoms including numbness in the extremities, tingling and pain, and difficulties with speech, memory, and concentration

Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.

Where Do Ticks Live

Tick bites and lyme disease: How to recognize and prevent them | FOX 5 DC

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.

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How Ticks Can Make You Sick

Despite the prevalence of ticks and the exposure theyve garnered in the news, many people are still in the dark about tick-borne diseases. The CDC reports that a national survey shows that 20 percent of people living in an area where Lyme disease is common were not aware of the risks. And those risks are substantial. Somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of blacklegged ticks carry Lyme, says Richard Ostfeld, PhD, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York.

Heres a primer on the best ways to avoid ticks, how to identify their bites, and what to do about a bite if one is discovered.

Early Symptoms Of Lyme Disease

Early symptoms will typically develop 1 to 4 weeks after being bitten, however, they can appear anytime between 3 to 30 days after exposure.

Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular red rash usually, but not always, at the site of the tick bite.

The rash is often described as looking like a bulls-eye on a dart board and is known as erythema migrans. The affected area of skin will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised.

The size of the rash can vary significantly and it may expand over several days or weeks. Typically, its around 15cm across but it can be much larger or smaller than this.

Some people may develop several rashes on different parts of their body. However, around one in every 3 people with Lyme disease do not report seeing a rash.

As well as a rash, people with early Lyme disease may experience any of the following:

  • flu-like symptoms such as fever and sweats, chills, fatigue, neck pain or stiffness, headaches, joint or muscle pains
  • paralysis of the facial muscles, typically only on one side of the face
  • nerve pains, which may be shooting, sharp or prickly and which follow the course of the nerve

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How Are Dogs Tested For Lyme Disease

Diagnosis is made by a combination of history, physical signs, and diagnostics. For dogs, the two blood tests for diagnosing Lyme disease are called the C6 Test and Quant C6 test. Veterinarians perform both.

The C6 test detects antibodies against a protein called C6. Presence of the antibodies suggests an active Lyme infection. The C6 antibodies can be detected three to five weeks after an infected tick bites a dog and may be found in the bloodstream even before the dog shows signs of illness.

The next step is to do a Quant C6 test. This, along with urinalysis will help determine if antibiotic treatment is necessary.

What Happens At Your Appointment

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The GP will ask about your symptoms and consider any rash or recent tick bites you know about.

Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose. It has similar symptoms to other conditions and there’s not always an obvious rash.

2 types of blood test are available to help confirm or rule out Lyme disease. But these tests are not always accurate in the early stages of the disease.

You may need to be retested if you still have Lyme disease symptoms after a negative result.

Read Also: What Are The Effects Of Lyme Disease In Dogs

What Increases Your Risk

The main risk factor for Lyme disease is exposure to ticks that are infected with Lyme disease bacteria. In areas where Lyme disease is widespread, such as the eastern and south-central areas of Canada, southern British Columbia, and northeastern United States, several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Spending time outdoors during the warm months of the year when ticks are most active. This is usually between May and November, with peak activity in June and July.
  • Having indoor/outdoor pets. They can bring infected ticks into the house. Although dogs and cats can become infected with the Lyme disease bacteria, they cannot pass the illness to humans. But the infected ticks can drop off the animal and then bite and infect a person.
  • Having a stone fence or a bird feeder near your house. Stone fences often become homes for mice, and mice may feed on spilled seed from a bird feeder. Where there are mice, there are ticks.

Remove ticks right away, as soon as you notice them. Your risk for getting Lyme disease increases the longer a tick is attached to your body. Ticks generally cannot transmit Lyme disease until they are attached for at least 36 hours.

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