I Have a Tick Bite —
Tick bite — detailed instructions on what to do
- 1 Tick bite — detailed instructions on what to do
- 2 Warm winter, spring means early tick season in Upstate NY
- 3 Public Health Column: How to protect against ticks and prevent Lyme disease
- 4 Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
- 5 Jump to Section
- 6 What are Tick-Borne Diseases?
- 7 Symptoms of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
- 8 Causes of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
- 9 Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
- 10 Treatment of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
- 11 Recovery of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
- 12 Tick-Borne Diseases Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
I HAVE A TICK ATTACHED! WHAT DO I DO NOW??
Prompt, careful tick removal is very important in not causing accidental transmission of bacteria from the tick to the host. Tick removal instructions can be found here.
DO I NEED TO HAVE ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY FOR LYME DISEASE?
Anyone removing an engorged deer tick should call their doctor as soon as possible per Maine CDC!
Some considerations for determining whether or not to treat for a tick bite include the following:
Is this a Deer tick (Ixodes Scapularis or black-legged tick)?
There are a variety of other ticks that carry other diseases, but at this time it is not thought that other ticks transmit Lyme disease to humans.
Was the tick attached for longer than 24 hours?
Not all ticks carry infection. We know that the longer the tick is attached the higher the risk of disease transmission from an infected tick, though some other tick borne diseases may be transmitted earlier than Lyme disease. Obvious engorgement of the tick indicates a sufficiently long attachment for infection to happen, but some engorgement can occur before it is visible to the naked eye. Less than 24 hours attachment can be a low risk attachment time, but it is not always known how long the tick has been attached.
Was the tick removed easily with all identifiable parts intact?
Squeezing or damaging the tick body, or annoying the tick with applied substances increases the risk of bacterial transmission, and may increase the need for treatment. Leaving mouth parts in the wound does not increase bacterial transmission, but may cause a local infection. Ideally, you would like to have a live, active tick after removal.
Is there a rash?
When there is a single, small, eraser sized red area at the site of the tick bite in the first 24 hours, this usually indicates a local reaction to the tick bite and is not considered an Erythema Migrans, or bulls-eye rash. If there is any other kind of rash, draw an ink line around the rash and check in the following days to see if the rash increases beyond the borders of the line. The hallmark rash of Lyme disease is a red, expanding rash.
If there is such a rash present, this IS Lyme disease and must be treated with a full course of antibiotic therapy. (There are at least two views on how long to treat early Lyme disease, varying between 2 weeks to 6 weeks. See guideline recommendations www.mainelyme.org/what-is-lyme/treatment-guidelines/ According to the 2018 Lyme Legislative Report by the Maine CDC, an EM rash was present in only 49% of CDC positive cases reported for surveillance in Maine. Therefore, we cannot rely on seeing the rash as necessary for the diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Should I get tested for Lyme disease?
Test results for Lyme disease are unlikely to be positive until about 4 weeks AFTER the known tick bite. It takes our bodies that long to mount a measurable antibody response. There are problems with our current 2 tier testing methods, but the Western Blot (WB) tends to be more reliable than the ELISA. The WB was developed for surveillance purposes, but is now used for diagnosis in many instances. If you are symptomatic, but
not testing CDC positive, and unable to get any relief, you should continue to explore the issues surrounding tests and disease. Approximately 50% of individuals with well-characterized Lyme disease may have a negative test.
Should I test the tick?
Testing a tick by PCR is more reliable that other methods. If the tick tests positive it does not necessarily mean you have acquired the disease, but it may heighten your vigilance if you are taking the wait and watch approach. If you or your doctor want to send the tick for free testing in Maine, to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Lab in Orono, the type of tick and the state of engorgement will be identified, and for a nominal fee the lab will test for diseases. This is a new service, and we are grateful that it is finally available in Maine. There are other labs around the country that will test the tick for a fee and IGenex in California is one and UMass Amherst is another. Free tick testing is available at Bay Area Lyme Foundation.
Can I watch and wait?
Watch and wait to evaluate for symptoms has been a realistic option in the past, but If you and your doctor do choose to watch and wait, you must be attentive not only to the development of a rash, but also to the subtle and variable symptoms that can occur and be ready to treat aggressively if they do.
Is one (or 2 or 3) doses of Doxycycline the answer?
Choosing to treat patients with one dose of Doxycyline on tick bite as recommended by the IDSA Clinical Practice Guidelines for certain tick bites is becoming very common, and may be being applied to situations for which it was not recommended, and may be very dangerous. The recommendation for this treatment came from a single study with insufficient follow up on patients who received this treatment. Dr. Elizabeth Maloney has written a paper to this protocol which may be helpful to the provider who is recommending this very short treatment, Challenge to the Recommendation on the Prophylaxis of Lyme Disease . In short, the one dose of Doxycycline may prevent an antibody response, and may prevent the rash from appearing, but may not prevent disease dissemination. Opting for watch and wait may be the better choice.
Other treatment considerations
Some very small studies in the past failed to demonstrate a statistically significant benefit to treatment with 10 days of an antibiotic for tick bite. Some physicians treat tick bite as if it were early Lyme disease with 3-6weeks of antibiotic. Interesting note: A mouse study demonstrated that using a single dose of long-acting doxycycline was able to prevent Lyme disease in 100% of experimentally tick infected mice. That antibiotic was active in mice for 19 days. There has not been a similar human study.
Warm winter, spring means early tick season in Upstate NY
Syracuse, N.Y. – There’s at least one unwanted consequence of Upstate New York’s warm winter: Disease-carrying ticks are out in force, hungry for the blood meal they didn’t get last fall.
“They’re hungry because they haven’t fed,” explained Brian Leydet, a tick expert and professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. “They’re getting towards the last minutes of their life, so that makes them more aggressive to get that blood meal.”
Ticks collected by Upstate residents are already flooding the mailboxes of the testing lab at Upstate Medical University. Since Jan. 1, the lab has received 394 ticks, including 127 of those in the past two weeks.
“That’s a pretty remarkable number,” said Saravanan Thangamani, director of the disease vector lab at Upstate. “That kind of makes me think the season is a little early this time, and that’s an indicator we’ll be swarmed with a lot of ticks.”
Thangamani launched the free tick-testing program last year when he came to Upstate from Texas. Anybody can send in a tick using an online submission form and the U.S. mail.
Results of the program show that about a third of ticks tested carry some type of disease-causing germs, primarily the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. The ticks are revealing the spread of other diseases, too, including the rare miyamoti, which was only found in humans in 2011.
Black-legged, or deer, ticks feed just three times during their two-year life cycle: first as larvae on small rodents; then as nymphs and finally as adults, when they feed on larger hosts, including deer and humans. Adult ticks are generally most active in fall, feeding and then settling down for the winter beneath leaves and snow. Females lay eggs in the spring.
Syracuse just recorded its 12th-warmest winter, defined as the average temperature from Dec. 1 to Feb. 29. This month has been even more extreme: The first 13 days of March were the third warmest such period on record.
“Once the weather warms up and snow melts, that’s when people are increasing outdoor activities and human contact (with ticks) is increasing,” Thangamani said.
Thangamani said some of the ticks submitted this year are nymphs, which generally aren’t spotted until late spring or summer. That indicates this could be a bad year for ticks, he said.
While adult ticks are twice as likely to carry disease as nymphs, because adults have already fed twice, most disease is passed on by tick nymphs. That’s because nymphs are most active in summer, when people are outdoors; and because nymphs are tiny – about the size of a poppy seed – and are difficult to see on skin. Removing a tick from the skin reduces the chances of getting a tick-borne disease.
Leydet said ticks and their diseases are endemic to Central New York, and they’re not going away. Every year will be a bad year for ticks, he said.
“I don’t think you’re ever going to have a good year in Syracuse again,” he said.
If you find a tick and want it tested for disease, you can fill out the online form and mail it to Thangamani’s lab. The website also contains detailed instructions on how to submit the tick. Make sure you include the tick ID number you get from the online form.
Results are generally emailed within 10 to 12 business days.
Public Health Column: How to protect against ticks and prevent Lyme disease
From the Genesee & Orleans County Health Departmenta:
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.
“It’s important for you and your family to learn how to prevent a bite, how to remove a tick, and what to do if you think you could have a tick-borne disease,” said Sarah Balduf, Environmental director for the Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments.
In tick-infested areas, your best protection is to avoid contact with soil, leaf litter and vegetation.
“As we continue to balance the implications of COVID-19 and working to enjoy outdoor activities, remember to follow Governor Cuomo’s 10-point New York State on PAUSE Plan, including that individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people,” said Paul Pettit, director for the Genesee & Orleans County Health Departments.
For more information about the New York State on PAUSE Plan click here.
However, if you garden, hike, camp, hunt, work, or otherwise spend time in the outdoors and maintain appropriate social distancing, 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.
- Consider using insect repellent.
- Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails. Walk in the center of trails. Avoid dense woods and bushy areas.
- Avoid sitting directly on the ground or on stone walls.
- Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening.
- Bathe or shower as soon as possible after going indoors (preferably within two hours) to wash off and more easily find ticks that may be on you.
- Do a final, full-body tick check at the end of the day (also check children and pets), and remove ticks promptly.
What About Insect Repellent?
Consider using insect repellents registered with the Environmental Protection Agency:
- DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can be applied to exposed skin. Products that contain 20 percent or more DEET can provide protection that lasts up to several hours. Use the lowest concentration of DEET that you will need for the length of time you will be outdoors.
- Picaridin is a colorless, nearly odorless ingredient that can be applied to exposed skin in a range of 5 to 20 percent of the active ingredient.
- Permethrin: Clothes, shoes and camping gear can be treated or purchased pretreated with permethrin. Its protection can last through many washes.Neverapply permethrin to skin. The New York State Health Department recommends taking these precautions when using repellents that contain these active ingredients:
- Store out of the reach of children and read all instructions on the label before applying.
- Do NOT allow children to apply repellents themselves.
What Can I Do To Reduce Ticks In My Yard?
- Keep lawns mowed and edges trimmed.
- Clear brush, leaf litter and tall grass around the house, and at the edges of gardens and stone walls.
- Stack woodpiles neatly away from the house and preferably off the ground.
- In the fall, clear all leaf and garden litter, where ticks can live in the winter, out of your yard.
- Keep the ground under bird feeders clean so as not to attract small animals that can carry ticks into your yard.
- Locate children’s swing sets and other play equipment in sunny, dry areas of the yard, away from the woods where ticks can be abundant. For more information on Lyme disease, contact your local health department or refer to the NYS Department of Health website.
Also Consider These Important Facts:
- If you tuck pants into socks and shirts into pants, be aware that ticks will climb upward to hidden areas of the head and neck, so spot-check clothes frequently.
- Clothes can be sprayed with DEET or treated with permethrin. Follow label instructions carefully.
- Upon returning home, clothes can be put in a high temperature dryer for 20 minutes to kill any unseen ticks.
- Any contact with vegetation, even playing in the yard, can result in exposure to ticks. Frequent tick checks should be followed by a whole-body examination and tick removal each night. This is the single most effective method for prevention of Lyme disease.
How Can I Safely Remove a Tick?
If you DO find a tick attached to your skin, do not panic. Not all ticks are infected, and your risk of Lyme disease is greatly reduced if the tick is removed within the first 36 hours. To remove a tick:
- Use a pair of pointed tweezers to grasp the tick by the head or mouth parts right where they enter the skin. DO NOT grasp the tick by the body.
- Pull firmly and steadily outward. DO NOT jerk or twist the tick.
- Place the tick in a small container of rubbing alcohol to kill it.
- Clean the bite wound with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
- Monitor the site of the bite for the next 30 days for the appearance of a rash. If you develop a rash or flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately. Although not routinely recommended, taking antibiotics within three days after a tick bite may be beneficial for some persons. This would apply to deer tick bites that occurred in areas where Lyme disease is common and there is evidence that the tick fed for more than one day. In cases like this you should discuss the possibilities with your doctor or health care provider.
For information on Health Department services in Genesee County contact:
- Genesee County Health Department at: 344-2580, ext. 5555, or visit their website.
Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
Most Common Symptoms
Jump to Section
What are Tick-Borne Diseases?
Although it is impossible to know if a tick is carrying the disease, just one bite from them can infect your dog. The worry is that the disease symptoms are so vague and owners may not realise until too late that their pet has been infected.
Diseases from ticks are known as zoonotic, which means that you (as a human) can get infected too if the tick latches onto you. If your dog is found to have a tick, it is vital to check your family and yourself to ensure there no other ticks around.
Ticks bring with them the possibility of several serious diseases for your dog which includes Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Symptoms of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
There are many combinations of symptoms of tick-borne disease depending on the disease carried by the tick including:
- Blood clotting issues and abnormal white blood counts
- Loss of interest in food
- Weight loss
- Changes in the gum color within your dog’s mouth
- Discharge coming from the eyes or nose areas
- Vomiting of bile
- Pain in the neck or back – tender to touch
- Neurological symptoms such as seizures
- Uncontrolled urination
- Enlarged spleen or lymph nodes
- Swelling of limbs or joints
- Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can affect dogs and humans and is transmitted by deer ticks and western blacklegged ticks
- Ehrlichiosis is a blood infection that is transmitted by the brown dog tick; symptoms are slow to become apparent only showing until months after the first bite
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms include fever, a stiff awkward gait, and neurological problems such as the development of seizures
- Anaplasmosis is a blood cell infection transmitted by deer ticks and western blacklegged ticks; it shows symptoms similar to Lyme disease but also includes vomiting, diarrhea and the development of seizures
Causes of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
- Tick bite symptoms show a small lump, redness of the skin and swelling of joints if your dog has been bitten on a limb
- Ticks carry more than one of these diseases so your dog can have with multiple infections
- Sometimes the tick will detach and fall off after a feed, but attached ticks need careful removal so that their head and mouth parts are not left in the skin
- Stage one of a tick disease occurs within the first to fourth week after being bitten
- Your dog feels unwell, has no appetite, and may develop diarrhea and lameness
- Your dog is tender to touch
- Bloodwork shows a decreased blood count, increased white count and high liver enzymes
- Sub- acute stage is a slightly inactive phase of the parasite, and your dog’s symptoms may appear near normal, but undue stress can disrupt the parasite pushing into the next stage
- The chronic state is an attack phase by the parasite impacting upon your dog’s immune syste
- Due to the parasite having lived in one or more of the organs, it becomes difficult to treat
- Sadly, treatment can be ineffective, and death is imminent
Diagnosis of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
Prevention is the best management to avoid these nasty parasites. Their bites may respond to treatment but leave adverse effects on your dog’s health for many years to come. If you live in an area where ticks are known, checking your dog thoroughly after walks especially if you have visited heavy, busy areas and long grass, is advisable. (Also check yourself as humans are susceptible to tick bites too.) If your pet is off his food, feeling tender to touch (yelping when you pet him) or is showing any other symptoms, transport your dog to the veterinarian clinic for a full check-up.
Some symptoms of tick disease can mimic other diseases, so it is best to find out in the early stages what the cause of your pet’s discomfort is. Your veterinarian will do a full physical check of the body, especially in areas where your dog’s hair is not so thick to see if there are any bite signs or ticks still attached. He will be able to show you the correct way to remove ticks. Blood tests will be done to determine what the disease is. Often your dog may have more than one tick-transmitted disease which often causes more severe symptoms. Your dog may need blood transfusions or intravenous fluids especially for Ehrlichiosis.
Treatment of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
The drug chosen for treatment will depend on the specific disease that the tick has infected your dog with. Doxycycline is the most popular and effective for the three most common diseases (Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme disease.) The dose is determined via body weight, and the dosage will need to be administered twice a day for six weeks or longer. All tick-borne diseases in dogs are administered treatment in the form of a broad spectrum antibiotic therapy. Ideally, the best results come from treating when the disease is in its early phases.
Screening for tick-borne diseases should become a natural part of your dog’s annual check-up. The prognosis for treatment during the acute phase is good if your dog gets immediate treatment. German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers tend to have a more severe chronic form of the Ehrlichiosis disease, and the prognosis here is quite poor. Depending on the time that has passed since your dog was first infected, the treatment and recovery time can vary considerably. Your dog will require home care and plenty of rest to allow treatment to work effectively.
Recovery of Tick-Borne Diseases in Dogs
There is a vaccination for Lyme disease, although it is not considered as suitable for all dogs. It will be recommended on a case by case basis; your veterinarian may suggest that you get your dog vaccinated. A tick preventative product prescribed by your veterinarian will help prevent tick attacks. Getting into the habit of checking your dog each evening for ticks is another great management tool. If you find an embedded tick, careful removal and disposal are advised.
Being proactive in protecting your dog against ticks, you will be able to enjoy walks and exploring safely. If your pet is on a veterinarian prescribed treatment for tick-borne diseases, home care will help him to recover. Plenty of rest on a comfortable soft bed, easy to digest food to tempt his appetite and fresh water will all aid in his recovery.
Tick-Borne Diseases Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
I leaft my dog fr a week in a kenal. When i came back to get her,she was full of ticks on her body. I took her to Dr. He treated her fr ticks. But after 20 days she loose her intrst in food,she started sneezing blood from her nose,she started crying in pain. So i took her to the hospital,Dr did a blood test & found her HB was 4%,she needed a blood trnsfusn. & detected by tick borne. As per dr she is suffring from internal bleeding,so the blood clot inside her eyes,& she cant see any thing.. Dr prescribed Doxypet200 & many other medcns.its been 14 days of her treatmnt,but still she is not able to see. Plz help me out with ur sugstions.. m desprate to see my kid health & fit again.. Thanku
I had a 4 year labra.until one month back he was well.he started with black semi solid poo.I gave some meficiy ,but no help.I talked to a vet who advised some meficine.over a one month’s period appetite became zero and dogs tummy swelled.I co sulted another vet who did xray and ,blood tests,LFT and KFT. all were deranged.Tivk borne fever was diagnosed He was advised oral doxycyvy.Immefiatrly after taking doxycycline,my pet vomitted blood.nect day injectable doxycyy was started .just after 2nd foze of Doxycycline ,I lost my pet this morning.He passed about 600ml blood with syoolsy just before he died.I am pained ,we have almost no qualified vet here.I pray God for peace to soul of my pet
This is saddening to hear is she okay now ?
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10 year old Scottish terrier, first had signs of diarrhea, and lethargic for three days. Took her to vet, blood test shows low WBC count, chem panel came back normal, but urine shows protein loss with upc ratio of 1.5. Ultrasound shows enlarged liver, and intestinal thickening Vet wants to do blood work to test for tick borne disease and start on doxycycline.
Does this sound like Tick borne disease or.. something else? Need second opinion, but vet bills are stacking up.
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I’ve just removed a tick from my poodle for the first time. I’m from Vermont. The tick bite my dog and was like 1/4 under it’s skin. It took me 15 minutes to remove the tick carefully and I’m pretty sure I removed 99% of the tick. I’m also pretty sure that my dog caught the tick last night (12 hours ago). Should I go to the veterinary? Is there antibiotics to «prevent» from any eventual deseases from that bite or should I wait for any symptoms?
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Last summer I went to visit family family in New Hampshire. We went to their lake house in Laconia. I brought my miniature dachshund Bella with me. When returning to Delaware, I noticed she had a bunch of ticks on her belly. I removed them all. The area where the ticks were, were red. About 3 weeks ago, Bella has developed hair loss, and scab like lesions on her back and ears. I have been treating her with antibacterial and antifungal shampoo, along with a medicine called Happy Jack, which is for mange. Could she be suffering from a tick borne disease instead and not A skin infection?
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My 2 year old cocker spaniel, Molly, became very ill suddenly on Monday evening. She was lethargic, vomiting, had a fever, and blood in urine. Tuesday, Vet said she tested positive for tick borne and that her RBCs were low. Could be the tick borne or poison or autoimmune. I am sure it is tick related as she had a tick recently. Gave her fluids, doxy, vitamin k, and prednisone. She had not improved and today she is staying overnight to get a transfusion. I understand the issue with the RBCs and the need for the transfusion, just looking for reassurance this will work.
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My dog received a dental about 3 weeks ago w anesthesia. chem 6 pre blood was normal. A day after the dental she became lethargic and spiked a fever of 105. was treated with a steroid and was tested for Addisons which came up negative. After improved status for one day, her condition declined again and she became lethargic and stopped eating. On her second visit to the vet, a low Albumin (1.7) was discovered and an elevated WBC. They also ran a Tick panel which came up negative. Her platelets became low, I think in the 40-50 thousand range. She presented signs of Horner’s syndrome around the eye and also began limping from her right hind leg (disclosure- she had double hip replacement as a young dog but had not shown any lameness to date in the three years post op). X rays showed good implants on the hips and no sign of issues from the surgery site. GI Panel showed low Cobalamin and folate and a Cobalamin injection was given and I order 400 mcg Folic acid to supplement. She stayed in the hospital for 2 days and was Prescribed Pred (30mg daily for 5 days and then 20mg daily for 5 days) and Doxycycline 150mg twice daily. she ate well for the next 8 days but upon recheck, had lost about 2 lbs since her discharge. Follow up bloodworm showed improved Albumin (2.2), high WBC (26,000), and elevated ALT (1400). Platelets were in normal range (I believe the upper 200 thousands). She was prescribed Denamarin to help her elevated ALT. Upon an additional consultation with an internal specialist, we’ve been asked to discontinue doxy (she received it for about 12 days), lower the pred to 10mg daily, and continue the Denamarin. Beezus has not had an appetite for about 24 hours, still shows some signs of Horners, is becoming more lethargic, is panting somewhat more than she was at the higher pred dose, and has a fever of 103. While lethargic, she doesn’t seem to be particularly lame on any limb anymore. Could she be suffering from a Tick borne disease even though the test was negative and would it be worth it to recheck the tick panel at some point?