Saturday, 13 April 2013

It's the season for ticks - check your pets, check yourself

Yes, it is that time of year, despite a day of icy rain prefaced by snow. I was petting Dorah and felt a little lump. Not a big one, but with her smooth, silky fur, it was incongruous.
Just feel their faces, around their ears, eyes, and heads for the little lump that is a swollen tick.

I am unsure if it it a black-legged tick or a dog tick. Either way, it needed to be removed.

This is a good article on removing them from your dog.
I don't think you can prevent your critters from getting them, but it is fairly easy to remove them or kill them using a veterinarian ampule. They are a pain in the butt, as well as ugly as sin.

They sell a tick remover on Amazon! You want a fine-pointed tweezer.

Put the tick in a plastic bag, or impale it on a needle, as I did. Last year, I taped it to a piece of paper and made a video.

Some say to phone the local health department to check into testing for Lyme Disease in humans, but we were told not to bother after hubby's incident.

We know we have deer ticks (black-legged) and dog ticks around here. I think you just must assume that that is the situation in Ontario, urban or rural. You must prevent Lyme Disease in you and your loved ones, or ensure that you are correctly diagnosed. See: What are the symptoms of Lyme disease? (Public Health Agency of Canada)

Unfortunately, I didn't get the mouth part

Lyme Disease Prevention
It is here. You must protect yourself when you go outdoors, as well as watching for them on your pets. It doesn't hurt them, but it does have the chance that you can pick up a deer tick and Lyme Disease. While we have both deer ticks and dog ticks, it is only the black-legged tick that carries Lyme Disease.

Our physicians are the barrier in our healthcare system. Not only did they not diagnose a severe case of poison ivy in me, over 4 ER visits, living in Lanark County, but many seem unable to diagnose and treat Lyme Disease in humans before it gets to be a terribly debilitating health issue. There are those in the US devoted to treating this disease. It is becoming an awareness issue in Canada, and protocols have been established in the USA, with many for-profit treatment clinics. Beware.

Tucking your pants into your socks and using a pesticide on your lower legs works well. Be sure to read more. Just know that it takes 24 hours for the bacteria to get into your system. Early removal aside from prevention, ensures your safety.

The bacteria lives in the gut of the black-legged tick, and it takes 24 hours for that bacteria to migrate from the tick's gut to you.

The above photos are from an engorged tick. This means it has already sucked the blood from Dorah. The blood engorges the beast and it becomes much larger.

Hubby's tick compared to
the point of a ball-point pen
Last year, I took a tick off of my husband's leg. He could feel some tickling, after a forest walk, and we took it off right away. Only about 10% of ticks carry the Lyme bacterium, which may be why doctors are reluctant to believe you might have it.

They are incredibly tiny before they are engorged and attach themselves to your pants, shoes, and then your leg.

Of course, I took photos, having taped the sucker to a piece of paper! It has terrific little legs to attach itself to us.

Whilst journalists don't always get it right, this is a good article:

Lyme disease: Tiny tick, big problem


Red said...

Ticks can be active very early in the season. We picked up ticks on steep south slope in March. Sheep or deer had obviously been browsing in the area.

Kay said...

Shudder! I got one of those stuck to my tummy when I was about 7 months pregnant and we'd gone camping in Wisconsin.

Powell River Books said...

We have ticks in the bush, but fortunately I've never gotten one on me. - Margy