I'm just in what I hope is the final stages of recovery now from a disease that really knocked me for six. Now I'm fighting my way back to health. So I'm posting this up to warn you to watch out for the symptoms.
We all know what a adult tick looks like but even the small pinhead sized ones can spread disease. One of these found its way under my watch strap, had its fill and left.
I noticed the itchy lump and initially thought it a mosquito bite and sterilised it with alcohol gel.
I put the aching joints and tiredness down to overwork, getting everything out of the way before I went on holiday to Turkey.
It was in turkey whilst applying sun cream that I noticed the rash on the underside of my arm, spreading away from the bite site.
I was lucky, the doctor who saw me called an ambulance straight away, I was in hospital in double quick time, seen by a specialist and getting intravenous antibiotic in almost no time at all. 2 Weeks of Doxycline followed and a function level of 60%.
Its no joke so be careful out there!
A friend of mine who also is a gardener was off for about 4 months with it.
At first they thought it was MS it took them 2 weeks to figure out what it was.
Here's a picture of the Bullseye rash taken on the underside of my arm. The tan covers it topside, one reason why I didn't notice it sooner.
It's worth bringing this back to the surface.
The warm weather will see increased activity...I've already removed several from my little collie dog
We get a lot of ticks over here. We are always finding them, especially as we walk the dogs in the forest everyday behind us, and that is full of deer. We also spend a lot of time in overgrown gardens where deer have been. My wife was sitting on the loo one day and looked down to find one crawling about in her pants! I was thinking of frontline for both of us as well as the dogs :)
We also get 'processional caterpillars' which move from tree to tree in long line of about 1 or 2meters! They can be lethal to dogs and cats and their fine hairs can cause some nasty rashes in people, you just have to lie down where they have crawled!
Watch out people.
We get processionary caterpillars here too from the Oak Processionary Moth, imported from Holland into the Kew area of SW London about three years ago.
Both they and the Brown Tailed Moth caterpillars have urticating hairs which embed in the skin causing an irritating rash. The hairs are shed when either the caterpillars or their webbing shelters are disturbed and breathing them in is risky, especially for asthmatics.
Just been doing my First aid at work course. DO NOT use vaseline or other things to smear on the tick as this usually irritates it and it will expell it's stomach contents into you. You are supposed to use standard tweezers, grab near the head and pull it out slowly. It will release it's grip on your skin if you hold with steady pressure.
Time to be vigilant and take precautions.
My wife Donna woke up one morning this week with a tick embedded in the back of here leg, just behind the knee.
It was very small and I suspect it had only been attached for no more than 12 hours: it had not blood sack so I guess it hadn't been feeding.
I checked out various sites to be sure that there was no risk. I read that it will be at least 36 hours, after a tick has fed, before it passes its poison back into the blood stream.
Worth checking yourself regularly for live ticks and/or red marks just in case, especially if working in long grass.
I always thought the worst thing you could do was try and pull them off as more than likely the mouth parts/head could be left imbedded in your skin which then gets infected.
A couple of years ago I got one on my leg after a days walking in Snowdonia, in the evening i liberally sprayed it with deodrant, hoping it would have a similar effect to fly spray as i had nothing else suitable to hand and it dropped off dead the following morning.
A friend of mine is not very well after contracting Lymes after a tick bite. 30 days of max dose antibiotics and she is not very good at all. She is a health practitioner and has done a lot of research about Lymes.
It is only carried by about 30% of ticks but vigilance is a priority not only for those that work in gardens etc but our families as well.
From experience it is misdiagnosed in a lot of cases.
Thumb and forefinger either side of the tick and tug...if it doesn't come out cleanly, then dig the rest out with needle, scissors, scalpel, tweezers etc.