Don’t Let Ticks Get To You
It is not yet possible to prevent Lyme disease. Tick bites should be avoided from the outset also in view of the fact that the insects can transmit other diseases as well, such as tick-borne encephalitis , for example.
This means that anyone who is out and about in meadows or forests should wear clothing that is as long as possible, especially on the legs. Putting on long socks also makes life a little more difficult for the little parasitic arachnids, especially if they are pulled up over the bottom of the pant legs.
Ticks are more visible on light-colored clothing. Anti-tick sprays keep ticks away, at least for a limited time, but not all products are equally reliable.
After returning home from an outing in the wild, you should thoroughly check for ticks. If you find one, you should remove it immediately . The sooner, the better!
Ongoing Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
A few people who are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease continue to have symptoms, like tiredness, aches and loss of energy, that can last for years.
It’s not clear why this happens to some people and not others. This means there’s also no agreed treatment.
Speak to a doctor if your symptoms come back, or do not improve, after treatment with antibiotics.
The doctor may be able to offer you further support if needed, such as:
- referral for a care needs assessment
- telling your employer, school or higher education institution that you require a gradual return to activities
- communicating with children and families’ social care
Page last reviewed: 05 July 2021 Next review due: 05 July 2024
How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting Lyme Disease
The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf, blade of grass, or short trees, especially cedar trees. Here they wait until their sensors detect an approaching animal on which to crawl or drop. Keeping animals from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas. Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.
“Vaccination against Lyme disease is recommended for pets that live in endemic areas or that travel to areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.”
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How Can Lyme Disease Be Prevented
Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine for Lyme disease. But you can avoid Lyme disease by avoiding tick bites, checking for ticks, and removing ticks promptly, before they become lodged in the skin. Some tips:
Avoid tick playgrounds: Ticks like low-level shrubs and grasses, particularly at the edges of wooded areas. If youre hiking, try to stay in the center of the trail and avoid bushwhacking. Walk on cleared paths or pavement through wooded areas and fields when possible.
Dress appropriately: Long pants with legs tucked into socks and closed-toed shoes will help keep ticks away from skin. Light-colored clothing helps make ticks visible.
Insect repellant: Products that contain DEET repel ticks but do not kill them and are not 100 percent effective. Use a brand of insect repellent that is designated as child-safe if your child is 1 year or older. For infants, check with your pediatrician about what brands are safe to use. You can also treat clothing with a product that contains permethrin, which is known to kill ticks on contact.
Shower after outdoor activities are done for the day. It may take four to six hours for ticks to attach firmly to skin. Showering will help remove unattached ticks.
- all parts of the body that bend: behind the knees, between fingers and toes, underarms and groin
- other areas where ticks are commonly found: belly button, in and behind the ears, neck, hairline, and top of the head
- anywhere clothing presses on the skin
Pets And Lyme Disease
Although pets can’t spread Lyme disease directly to humans, they can carry infected ticks into your home or yard. Regular tick checks and prompt tick removal are just as important for pets as for people.
Sore muscles and joints are the most common symptom of Lyme disease in pets. Some animals may develop a fever or fatigue. Talk to your veterinarian about tick prevention or if you think your pet has Lyme disease.
For more information, visit Canada.ca/LymeDisease.
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Treating Lyme Disease While Pregnant
Treatment for pregnant women with Lyme disease is similar to that of non-pregnant adults. However, certain antibiotics, such as doxycycline should not be used as it can affect your unborn child.
Research shows that there are no life-threatening effects on the child when a pregnant woman receives appropriate antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease.
If I Take Antibiotics To Prevent Lyme And Then Have A Negative Test Am I Lyme
If you do receive prophylactic treatment, be cautious in in interpreting the results of subsequent testing. Widely-used blood tests look for antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, but early treatment can prevent the body from mounting an antibody response. Should you become infected despite prophylactic treatment, subsequent tests results couldbe falsely negative.
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What Are The Clinical Signs Of Lyme Disease
Some people with Lyme disease develop a characteristic bull’s-eye rash at the site of the bite within three to thirty days. If this occurs, the disease can be easily diagnosed at an early stage.
However, signs of Lyme disease are more difficult to detect in animals than in people. The characteristic rash does not develop in dogs or cats. In fact, Lyme disease is practically unheard of in cats.
“Affected dogs have been described as if they were walking on eggshells.”
Many dogs affected with Lyme disease are taken to a veterinarian because they seem to be experiencing generalized pain and have stopped eating. Affected dogs have been described as if they were walking on eggshells. Often these pets have high fevers. Dogs may also begin limping. This painful lameness often appears suddenly and may shift from one leg to another. If untreated, it may eventually disappear, only to recur weeks or months later.
Some pets are infected with the Lyme disease organism for over a year before they finally show symptoms. By this time, the disease may be widespread throughout the body. Non-specific signs which may indicate that Lyme disease is affecting the kidneys include vomiting, lethargy, anorexia , and weight loss. The kidney form of the disease is less common, but often fatal.
Living With Lyme Disease
Most people treated in the early stages of Lyme disease make a quick and complete recovery. Some may experience symptoms for a few weeks after treatment. If you were treated for Lyme disease but you still dont feel well, call your family doctor. He or she can make sure there isnt something else wrong. They can help you find ways to ease your symptoms. Some patients have found relief with treatments typically used for chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.
Other things you can do to help manage Lyme disease include:
- Educate yourself.There is a lot of inaccurate information to be sorted through, especially on the internet. Ask your doctor if you have questions.
- Track your symptoms.Keep a diary of your sleep patterns, eating habits, exercise routines, and how youre feeling. You or your doctor may be able to make connections between them.
- Take care of yourself.Eat a healthy diet. Exercise as regularly as you can. Get plenty of rest.
Find support. It can be hard to not feel well and not know why. Some people may think your symptoms arent real. Talk to friends and family. If they cant offer support, talk with a counselor who can help you.
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How To Prevent Post
While you may not be able to prevent post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, you can take precautions to prevent coming into direct contact with infected ticks. The following practices can reduce your likelihood of getting Lyme disease and developing persistent symptoms.
If a tick bites you, contact your doctor. You should be observed for 30 days for signs of Lyme disease. You should also learn the signs of early Lyme disease and seek prompt treatment if you think youre infected. Early antibiotic intervention may reduce your risk of developing chronic symptoms.
The signs of early Lyme disease can occur from 3 to 30 days after a bite from an infected tick. Look for:
- a red, expanding bulls-eye rash at the site of the tick bite
What Are Other Diseases Spread By Ticks
There are two other common diseases spread by ticks in New England. These diseases are anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Anaplasmosis can be spread by both lone star ticks and deer ticks. Babesiosis can only be spread by deer ticks. For both of these diseases, a tick needs to be attached for at least 24 hours to spread the bacteria. Even though ticks can carry these diseases, it is NOT a good idea to send the ticks to a lab for testing.
As with Lyme disease, even if a tick carries an infection, it does not spread bacteria every time it bites. Not everyone who gets the bacteria in their blood will develop anaplasmosis or babesiosis. These diseases can go away on their own with few or no symptoms. There are no good treatments to prevent these diseases.
If your child has symptoms of anaplasmosis or babesiosis, their doctor might send blood tests to decide whether they need treatment. If your child does not have symptoms of either disease, they should not get blood tests or antibiotics.
Rev. 5/2018. Vandana Madhavan, MD, MPH, is the clinical director of Pediatric Infectious Disease and Immunodeficiencies at MGHfC. She is also the director of the Pediatric Advanced Clerkship at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Caitlin Li, MD, is a pediatric resident at MGHfC.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Diagnosing Lyme disease can be difficult as symptoms vary from person to person. Symptoms can also be similar to other illnesses.
A diagnosis of Lyme disease is based on:
- the outcome of laboratory testing
Laboratory testing may be recommended for patients with signs, symptoms and history of exposure to tick bite to support a clinical diagnosis.
Seek your health care provider right away if you develop symptoms of Lyme disease after being bitten by a tick or if you visited a known at risk area for Lyme disease. The earlier a diagnosis is made, the greater the chance of a successful treatment.
The Types Of Animal Medication/antibiotics That Humans Can Use
Now that you have assessed the type of infection you are dealing with, you can look at the animal antibiotics that can help treat it. Here is a breakdown of the kind of antibiotic animals most people agree are the ones they took in a pinch once or twice fish antibiotic.
There are four types of fish antibiotics, Fin Pen Forte that contains Penicillin 500g as the active ingredient. Fin Mox Forte contains Amoxicillin 500g as the active ingredient. Fin Flox Forte contains Ciprofloxacin 500g as the active ingredient, and Fin Flex Forte has Cephalexin 500g as the active ingredient.
So when purchasing or before taking one of these medications, make sure the only ingredient in the medication is the active ingredient you are looking for, such as
Also, make sure the antibiotic does not have any fish supplements or added medication, oils, etc., that can make you ill.
Ensure that you always do proper research about any prescription and the side effects of each drug before taking them. Always make sure you take the correct dose.
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Antibiotics May Prevent Lyme Disease
June 12, 2001 — New findings released Tuesday show that an antibiotic taken within 72 hours of being bitten by a deer tick carrying Lyme disease can prevent people from developing the illness.
Only about 3% of people who are bitten by ticks will develop Lyme disease, which is characterized by persistent fatigue and pain. But the new study confirms that the risk is highest for people bitten by ticks that haven’t yet reached the adult stage and are at least partially engorged with blood. Although the study will not be published until next month, The New England Journal of Medicine released it early because of the treatment potential.
“The important thing I think is that Lyme disease can be prevented,” says the study’s author Robert B. Nadelman, MD, of New York Medical College and the Lyme Disease Diagnostic Center at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.
He tells WebMD that although antibiotics won’t be recommended for everyone with tick bites this summer, knowing they work gives doctors and patients a much-needed addition to their prevention methods.
The best-known ways to prevent Lyme disease are avoiding areas known to be infested with deer ticks wearing clothing that covers your skin when you are potentially going to be exposed to ticks and checking your body, hair, and clothes carefully for any signs of a tick after being in the woods or other areas where ticks are prevalent.
Lyme Disease Treatment Doxycycline Side Effects
Most patients respond well to this medication. However, doxycycline is known to cause photosensitivity in some people so use of sunscreen is a must. Also avoid strong sunlight exposure as far as possible. To prevent acidity, headaches and nausea it is advisable to drink a tall glass of water with the medicine. Also take the drug with food.
Medicines like amoxicillin and cefuroxime are associated with rashes, diarrhea and other health effects.
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Do I Need To Go To The Emergency Room If Im Bitten By A Tick
You can remove the tick on your own, without going to the emergency room.
“It’s pretty easy to remove a tick gently, says Dr. Moscovitz. You don’t have to yank. You can put some dishwashing liquid on a piece of gauze and rub the tick gently. It will just come out or let go on its own.
In the emergency department, doctors will use the soap they use to wash their hands, apply it to a piece of gauze and rub it in a circle until the tick falls out.
Some people come in for us to remove it because they’re just disgusted, he says.
If you remove the tick at home, Dr. Moscovitz recommends washing the area and then waiting to see whether the rash or fever that’s typical of Lyme disease develops before starting treatment.
Tobacco To Turn Off Ticks
Birds get ticks, too. The house finch has developed a strategy to fight ticks. A study in the Avian Biology journal has shown that breeding house finches use cigarette stubs to “proof” their nests. The nicotine wards off parasites, but sadly the neurotoxin can also have negative effects on the chicks.
Ticks – a plague for humans and animals alike
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How Do I Remove A Tick From My Dog
Check your pet immediately after it has been in a tick-infected area. The deer tick is a small tick and only about pinhead size in juvenile stage, but is a little more obvious in the adult phase and after feeding. If you find a tick moving on your pet, the tick has not fed. Remove the tick promptly and place it in rubbing alcohol or crush it between two solid surfaces. If you find a tick attached to your pet, grasp the tick with fine tweezers or your finger nails near the dog’s skin and firmly pull it straight out. There are also tools available called Tick Twister® or Tick Key® which can be useful. However, take care to use them cautiously as twisting or jerking the tick may cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. See your veterinarian if you are unsure or unable to remove the tick from your dog.
Make sure you protect your fingers from exposure by using a tissue or a disposable glove.You may need another person to help restrain your dog. Removing the tick quickly is important since the disease does not appear to be transmitted until the tick has fed for approximately 12 hours. If you crush the tick, do not get the tick’s contents, including blood, on your skin.
Note: The bacterium that causes Lyme disease can pass through a wound or cut in your skin.
A Targeted Lyme Disease Treatment
But back to the optimism mentioned at the start of this article: During a recent study, a team under Kim Lewis at Northeastern University found that a compound called hygromycin A is completely harmless to animals and has little effect on most bacteria except so-called spirochete bacteria, named for their spiral shape. For those, it is deadly. And Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen that causes Lyme disease, belongs to just this group.
Hygromycin A is an antimicrobial agent found in soil. The substance was originally discovered in 1953. At the time, however, scientists dismissed it as ineffective, probably because it seemed too weak to fight normal pathogens. But Lewis considers it exceptionally effective against spirochetes.
Lewis’ team discovered the efficacy of hygromycin A while screening microorganisms in soil for antimicrobial compounds. “We set out to find such a compound that would selectively kill Borreliella burgdorferi , placing a bet, if you will, that Mother Nature had bothered to evolve a compound to selectively take out spirochetes that live in the soils,” Lewis says.
And indeed, Mother Nature has done exactly that.
The researchers have already licensed the compound to Flightpath, a biotech company specializing in Lyme disease, to conduct development studies and advance production of this treatment.
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