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Ticks... Nasty Wee Beasties!


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A couple of months ago we moved to Scotland. We love the life here and the scenery.

However, in the last couple of weeks our Geocaching adventures have been somewhat

marred by evil blood-sucking monsters. <_<

 

Admittedly they are small but on several occasions each of us (there are 4) has had one

attached to us :rolleyes: when we return from a caching day out.

 

We previously lived and cached in Cambridgeshire and never saw a single tick.

 

They are not difficult to remove, however having read up on them we gather it is possible

to get Lymes Disease from them.

 

Has anyone heard of anyone getting Lymes Disease, has a cacher ever had it?

Is there a vaccination? Are we just worrying about nothing? <_<

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ive removed ticks from people in a and e before and never had a doc mention anything about lymes disease at any time, the only thing im aware of is making sure you dont leave the headparts in (for anyone who isnt sure cover em in vaseline, they suffocate and fall off releasing their grip - never pull on em - but huge apologies if im telling you all something you all know already)

 

however, (unless someone can provide you a definitive answer beforehand) im back at work sunday night and dont mind asking one of the docs what they know if you wish?

Edited by freespirit1402
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ive removed ticks from people in a and e before and never had a doc mention anything about lymes disease at any time

 

however, (unless someone can provide you a definitive answer beforehand) im back at work sunday night and dont mind asking one of the docs what they know if you wish?

Thanks for the quick response and for the words of reassurance. Yes, if you could ask one of your doc friends we would be very interested.

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Try these 2 websites, they are both UK.

 

Netdoctor

Ticks and Lyme Disease

 

I am a nurse and had to deal with a tick in my son last year after a trip to the New Forest. Firstly, don't worry, not all ticks carry the bacteria that cause the disease. Second, watch the site for any redness or swelling, if you see this visit your GP and get anti-biotics.

 

I don't know how far spread the disease is in Britain, but it was very rare last year.

 

Su.

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Lyme's disease and its transmission is an interesting area. Some regions have hot spots and being married to the local GP I know we are in one with on average 10 cases of Lyme's a year.

 

Methods of removing the tick are important. Effectively they are a blood sucker and are intent on getting fluids from you into them. The transmission of Lyme's from tick to human is not guaranteed from a Lyme's carrying tick. The chances of infection increase in proportion to the traumatic nature of the removal. The more stress the tick is under the more likely it is to regurgitate and vomit some of the contents of its digestive system back into you along with the disease. Conversely a tick left to feast and leave less likely to pass on Lyme's. Some time windows are being defined in the feeding habits of the tick and it may become clear that removal in the first four hours is more risky than at a later point.

 

The removal and leaving of the head parts of the tick is not associated with an increased risk of Lyme's but does increase the risk of infection.

 

I note the Otom Tick Remover has been recommended on this forum already and they are effective and easy to use.

 

All cases of infection that I know of personally have been easily treated.

 

Welcome to Scotland!

 

Dave

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Went on my MLA First Aid course earlier this year and the advice we were given was to get one of those little plastic doofers that look a little like an anchovie jar fork. You slip the flat fork part between your skin and the ticks head then twist the handle and off comes the tick - they cost about £1.50 from a pet shop.

 

Like Cache Traders says look out for red rash and "flu like symptoms" thing is to be aware and go to your Dr and say that you have been bitten by a tick because in e predominately urban setting your Dr is not going to make the connection unless you tell them that you do outdoor activities in areas where ticks live.

 

Be aware, get treated if in doubt cos if you ignore it it will not go away at all quickly andthere are documented cases of ramblers/hill walkers in the UK being debilitated for month because they didn't raise the issue. It won't kill you but it can leave you tired and listless for months (mind you I feel like that most days). <_<

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In the UK Lyme Disease is usually linked to deer parks/areas but it isn't restricted to them. The ticks are widespread and can carry other bugs so should be treated with respect but not paranoia - tick bites aren't Lyme Disease...

The aim is to avoid the tick's stomach contents being regurgitated although the bugs can be in its saliva hence the importance of "technique" but also a degree of speed (the conflicting advice about infection being unlikely if not attached >24Hrs is related to duration of exposure and liklihood of regurgitation (without your squashing it))

There's some good tick advice here

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I know three people who have contracted Lyme Disease in the UK and the worst case took nearly a year to get over it. One picked it up walking in Dorset and the other two orienteering in Northern Scotland. From their experience - always check yourself for ticks after being out in the countryside in summer, watch out for symptoms and be prepared for your GP not being clued up on the condition.

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My sister managed to get a tick behind her ear years ago in Wales on holiday. It got sorted by some "tactful" surgery involving a cigarette by our mother <_<

 

However, I think that the recommended "tick extraction" technique, is to use a special tick removing tool (available from all good veterinarians :laughing::tired: ) and to then bathe the area with an anti-septic such as TCP etc. (although this "advice" is based on removing ticks from dogs <_< )

 

I would suggest though, that a visit to a GP would be a good idea, or at least a phone call to NHS Direct on 0845 4647 and see what they recommend

Edited by Nediam
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Mrs H got Lymes Disease last year after a tick decided it liked her ankle. Her leg had a nasty snake like print running up it and she was very ill indeed. After lots of antibiotics and being very well looked after by the doctors she made a good recovery.

 

As we cache on Dartmoor regularly, already we have had to pick 3 ticks of the dog this week. We have been advised to put cotton wool doused with neat alcohol ie)Gin over the tick. After about 1 minute with tweezers it pulls out very gently and intact.

 

If you are not aware that you have a tick you can get serious complications arising from it. Always check yourselves if you have been in an area where deer etc could be. Ticks are so small but can cause you to get very ill!!

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I would suggest though, that a visit to a GP would be a good idea, or at least a phone call to NHS Direct on 0845 4647 and see what they recommend

 

 

If we did that we would each have visited our g.p.about 150 times each because of ticks.

 

:):):ph34r: Blimey!!! the ticks must love you :P:(:(

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Some good posts here about ticks, particularly about the usefulmess of the tick removal tool.

 

However, one very dangerous urban legend has cropped up in one post. It is absolutely not a good idea to try to make the tick "come up for air" by smothering it in Vaseline or any such compound. Although it will cause a severe reaction in the tick which will result in it abandoning its bloodmeal, it will also cause the creature to puke up any of the many human diseases which it carries in its stomach.

 

Yes, we do have Lyme disease here in the UK, and yes, some of the ticks in the Highlands are carriers. Fortunately only a tiny percentage (perhaps as low as 0.25% or 0.5%) of individual ticks are carriers of the infective agent. Unfortunately Lyme disease is not the only serious disease which ticks carry. Worldwide, ticks carry more human diseases than almost any other parasite. Some, such as encephalitis, are very serious debilitating diseases which can wreck the physical wellbeing of the healthiest and most robust person.

 

Yes, there has quite certainly been a massive explosion in the number of ticks in Scotland over the past decade or so. There are several convergent reasons for that. One is that climate change has made the British climate, even in the wilds of the Highlands, much more favourable for ticks. Another is that a major host for ticks is the huge deer population. There are now more Red deer in the Highlands, as well as the Roe and other deer, than there have ever been since the end of the last Ice Age. More deer means more ticks, with the climate change which is more favourable for tick breeding and survival.

 

The other major reservoir of tick infestation are the hillsheep. A couple of decades ago central government abandoned the requirement for compulsory sheep dipping. Although dipping is primarily a treatment against a skin disease called scab, it also kills off ticks. As was widely predicted, the reduction in the number of times sheep are dipped has resulted in an increase in tick infestaion. The story gets worse. 10 - 15 years ago it became clear that OrganoPhosphates (OPs), which are chemically related to the most potent of nerve agents, can induce serious health problems at the most miniscule of dosages. If you talk to almost anyone in the sheep farming community they will know of a relative or a neighbour or an acquaintance who has mysteriously developed a progressive disease of the central nervous system which behaves something like MS or ME. That has made farmers very wary of having anything to do with OPs and leaves one effective chemical available for sheepdipping: Cypermethrine.

 

A couple of months ago central government banned the marketing of Cypermethrine, following a regrettable incident when a rogue mobile dipper dumped a batch of the used chemical into a watercourse and wiped out the fish-feeding insect population for miles downstream. The riparian landowner is a very powerful figure and pushed for the sheepdip to be banned altogether. It's not illegal to use it now, only illegal to market it. With it being illegal to sell the stuff, farmers cannot get hold of any fresh stocks, so sheep-dipping to kill ticks is becoming even more difficult. The only other chemical which works against ticks is diazinol, but the problem there is that when you use the chemical to any significant extent in a local area, the local ticks develop an immunity to it.

 

Expect the number of ticks attacks this year to reach yet another alltime high. Last year was bad enough, even grouse stocks were seriously affected as the chicks are seriously debilitated by the anaemia effects of tick infestations. This year will be awful.

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We are starting to get conflicting advice here. We can't expect GPs to know absolutely everything, a good one will be open minded to information you can give him/her.

 

Having checked out Archer4's link:-

Lyme Disease Action - Tick information

I think it is the best,

so now I'm off to see a Vet. about a tick remover, but not for a dog...

 

On a lighter note, (but still on topic,) did anyone see "House" last week on this very subject ? Ouch!!

 

Su.

Edited by Cache Traders
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I have manged to collect 17 (all now attached to sellotape) so far this year mostly my own fault! To lazy to put gaiters on.

 

If your in heather or bracken wear gaiters and light coloured breeks that way you'll see them easier.

 

:(

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Think the Forester has said it all.

 

Just be aware of them, always check yourself after being in heather/forests where Deer and Sheep roam, but don't worry about them and let them spoil your day out. They particularly like the back of your knees - grrrrr - OK so I learn't the hard way, once place I didn't check!!

 

If you wear pale coloured trousers you can see them easily, which will make you aware of their presence.

 

Prevention is the best cure, dont wear shorts and sandalls in these areas, gaitors are essential for walking through the heather

 

Should you get bitten, just watch the area for swelling or a rash just incase, and if you remove one, keep it - on piece of selotape or something, just incase you need to take it to the Docs!!

 

Now as for the Scottish midgies ...................

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If in doubt, send Snaik in first, he is a 'Tick Magnet', then follow in his footsteps once he has 'cleared' the area!!

 

:(:ph34r::):):(:):D:D:D:D:D:D

 

Only caches the dog has picked ticks up from seem to have been snaik ones????

 

Must be something in our blood they dont like though- have never had one (YET!!!) but with some recent caches which seem to have gone out in the deep tick ridden deep heather with the only route to them through the deep tick ridden deep heather on the deep tick ridden deep heather hillsides, I guess it wont stay that way for long? :P

 

Apologies to any cache setters who set them on deep tick ridden deep heather hillsides!! B)

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When I lived in Switzerland the locals told me ticks respond to the vibration made by passing animals.

(Don't know if this is true or an old Swiss Wives' tale!!)

 

Su.

True .

 

Read an info leaflet years ago saying they collected some ticks for analysis in the New Forest by drawing a big cloth sheet through the bracken .Some ticks jumped onto the moving cloth .

Memory recalls the results at the time showed that something like 15%f the ticks collected carried Lyme disease .

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When I lived in Switzerland the locals told me ticks respond to the vibration made by passing animals.

(Don't know if this is true or an old Swiss Wives' tale!!)

 

The way ticks hitch a lift and cadge a meal is by climbing up to the top of a tall blade of grass or other vegetation and holding their forelegs outstretched. On the 'wrist' of each foreleg they have very sensitive chemical receptors which detect the presence of metabolic products from the skin of warm blooded creatures such as mammals and birds (and Snaiks). They then hop aboard and forage around in the fur or feathers to find a comfy place to latch on their mouthparts.

 

I dunno if vibration also plays a part, but it's not at all like the way leeches detect a potential host. In the swamps where leeches are to be found, you can chuck a stick or stone into the ooze and watch the leeches suddenly swarming towards the disturbance. They will actually move away from you, if you are very quiet, and they go towards the area of maximum disturbance. Ticks are a bit different. They definitely wait until they detect those chemicals. They can be incredibly patient, waiting many weeks or even months.

 

The reason why their distribution is so patchy and you can go hundreds of metres without seeing any ticks and then suddenly find hundreds of the blighters within a few tens of metres is that they do not walk very far. Once the female has had her bloodmeal, she drops off the host and lays her eggs right where she falls. A hundred or more wee ticks then emerge and don't walk very far before climbing a piece of vegetation and hunting for a host 'vehicle' to provide them with a free lunch.

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Ticks are endemic in the forests round where I live, so the local doctors are all up to speed on it.

 

Last year I found what I thought was a blocked pore (or some other regular "zit") on, um, the small of my back, but it seemed rather firm... my wife had a look and saw some little insecty legs sticking out. I went straight to the doctor that morning; he gave me a local anaesthetic and spent 10 minutes with forceps trying to remove the little bugger's jaws. There were several loud clicks as the forceps kept slipping off and closing with considerable force; I don't know if he had one foot up on the table like a dentist doing a particularly difficult extraction, but that was what it reminded me of. Anyway, it all came out and my wife just had to keep my "lower back area" under surveillance for a few weeks to make sure I didn't get the famous light-red rash.

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This is all making very interesting reading. Some of it reassuring. Some of it not so.

 

I am not so bothered by the ticks. We check ourselves over now when we get home

and swiftly remove any 'hitchhikers'.

 

My wife however has just found out about the Lymes Disease aspect and is

now threatening to boycott (along with the kids) the whole game/sport.

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This is all making very interesting reading. Some of it reassuring. Some of it not so.

 

I am not so bothered by the ticks. We check ourselves over now when we get home

and swiftly remove any 'hitchhikers'.

 

My wife however has just found out about the Lymes Disease aspect and is

now threatening to boycott (along with the kids) the whole game/sport.

 

Lyme When we go out as a family we inspect for ticks on return. We promptly remove them using these you then keep an eye on the spot it came from for a few days looking for red rashes that do not go away.

 

Much better advice available throught the link above to NHS direct a vaccination is available.

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I lived in Virginia USA for 3 months and ticks were a huge problem. They seemed to love my English blood, that and working in the woods meant I got lots. The worst was 9 in one day.

Apart from grabbing you as you pass through long grass, I was walking under a tree carrying a book and one dropped out of the tree onto the book! Also sat in shorts watching tv in the evening you could sometimes see one running very quickly up your leg!

The method we had for geting them off was dab cotton wool balls in surgical alcohol and dab the tick. This made them stand up at which point you could slide a knife under them from their rear press them very lightly onto the blade and smartly lift them away. I never left a head behind that way.

If you check yourself regularly, i.e. very soon after possible contact, they are easier to get off as they haven't bedded in. Leave them 24 hours and they pull themselves down flush to the skin surface and they are MUCH harder to get out.

We had two tick related diseases to worry about, Lymes disease and Rocky Mountain Fever. The later can cause fatalities if not treated.

There are also several types of tick, sheep, deer, etc. So it's worth checking once you have been in any area where there are animals, agricultural or wild. Incidentally, they are not an insect, they are related to spiders and have 8 legs.

Towards the wnd of my stay it was starting to get hot, 100F and to keep cool I was wearing moccasins with a leather fringe and a breech cloth. Once I dressed native I never got another tick. Pity you'd get such strange looks dressed that way holding a yellow box walking along a footpath etc.

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My wife however has just found out about the Lymes Disease aspect and is

now threatening to boycott (along with the kids) the whole game/sport.

 

You might want to try to find a way to suggest to her that any (old) disease whose existence you only discover as an adult, is unlikely to be a major contemporary threat.

 

There is no reason for anyone to get Lyme disease unless they ignore a tick bite and the subsequent rash. Its development is a bit like rabies - you get plenty of warning. At one point I knew someone who wouldn't leave the UK to go on holiday, for the sole reason that "they have rabies in France". Oh yes, he was a cigarette smoker too. :(

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DO NOT try to burn the tick off, apply petroleum jelly, nail polish or any other chemical. Any of these methods can cause discomfort to the tick, resulting in regurgitation, or saliva release.

I knew ihad read somewhere not to cover them in petroleum jelly

 

M :o

 

interesting. i work in a and e and last one we removed we covered the thing in yellow paraffin and slapped an occlusive dressing over it and left it to fall off before seding the pt home with advice...and that was on the advice of docs. so i guess you live you learn, i know i certainly do. will have to look into recent research on that one with the summer coming up so ta to this thread for making me check up on stuff too.

 

may even invest in a tick removier myself - my qu now though, do they remove it whole becuase my understanding was that if yuo leave the head part in by yanking on it you make big trouble for yourselves infectionwise?

 

daytribe im guessing with all these very good and concise answers you dont need me to ask about now?

Edited by freespirit1402
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DO NOT try to burn the tick off, apply petroleum jelly, nail polish or any other chemical. Any of these methods can cause discomfort to the tick, resulting in regurgitation, or saliva release.

I knew ihad read somewhere not to cover them in petroleum jelly

 

M :ph34r:

i work in a and e and last one we removed we covered the thing in yellow paraffin and slapped an occlusive dressing over it and left it to fall off before seding the pt home with advice...and that was on the advice of docs.

 

It's surprising that so many of the urban doctors in the UK are so ignorant about ticks. There appears to be something of a gap in their education about the subject and about their training in how to deal with a tick infestation. Vets, even urban ones, are much more likely to know what to do and what not to do. Older GPS, the baby boomers who were trained in the 1960s and 70s, may never have had any experience of a diagnosed case of Lyme disease and may not be familiar with the ways of making an early disagnosis before the characteristic roundels present.

 

I guess that the BMA wil only do something about it when some GP somewhere gets sued by the newly emergent litigation culture in the UK when s/he causes a patient to become infected with one or more of the several nasty diseases which can be transmitted to people from ticks by inappopriate action or inaction.

 

do they remove it whole because my understanding was that if you leave the head part in by yanking on it you make big trouble for yourselves infectionwise?

 

A removal tool, used properly will bring the tick out intact. If you haven't got one, you can easily improvise though. Use fine pointed tweazers or a pair of pieces of thread. In the field you can improvise with bits of thread scavenged from your clothing. Make loops, on opposite sides, around the ticks 'neck'. Draw very slowly and steadily outwards and upwards. Be ready for quite a hard pull, but do not jerk. The tick, if it's been there for a few hours, will have exuded a cement substance to glue itself into position, so do be patient and expect the skin to distend by up to a centimetre or so until the tick is finally popped out, head and all.

 

As mentioned in one or two of the above posts, keep the tick or ticks (all of them if you have found more than one) in a small jar or on a bit of sticky tape and write the date on the container. Some of the diseases can take many days or even a few weeks to incubate and early diagnosis can be assisted by an expert identification of the actual species of tick as different species carry different diseases.

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There is no reason for anyone to get Lyme disease unless they ignore a tick bite and the subsequent rash. Its development is a bit like rabies - you get plenty of warning.

 

While I agree that the potential risk of contracting Lyme disease isn't something which should prevent anyone from going out and enjoying the countryside, I think I should contradict the idea that you get plenty of warning of Lyme disease.

 

In most cases it takes quite a long time for people unfamiliar with it to present to their doctor. Then there are many doctors in the UK who do not rapidly consider Lyme as a diagnosis if they do not see the characteristic roundel rash.

 

In a little under half of full-blown Lyme cases, there has been no such rash. The symptoms can mimic so many other diseases, like MS, that diagnosis can take a long time. Even the laboratory tests for the infective agent in people who turn out to be infected are known to have very high (>30%-40%) false negative rate.

 

That having been said, Lyme disease is extremely easy to avoid and should not put anyone off going geocaching in the type of environment where ticks naturally occur.

 

1: Reduce the chances of being bitten by avoiding wearing shorts or short-sleeved shirts.

 

2: Check yourself after a good country walk to see if you've got any tick attachments. Remove the ticks safely in the ways I've mentioned above.

 

So long as you remove the tick properly on the first day of attachment, you have got almost no chance of being infected by any nasties and are probably at much greater risk from the loonies on the road home than you are from wee beasties such as ticks and midges.

Edited by The Forester
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While I agree that the potential risk of contracting Lyme disease isn't something which should prevent anyone from going out and enjoying the countryside, I think I should contradict the idea that you get plenty of warning of Lyme disease.

Only thing I would want to add to Forester's excellent series of posts is, don't be missled by the lack of Deer or the proximity of your bit of nature to urban areas. The first cases of Lyme Disease were identified in suburban Connecticut in 1977, and they were from backyard tick bites. If we build our homes in green spaces then wildlife will come and enjoy it. After all half of Britains foxes are urban and wthere are Muntjac Deer in the small inner city riverside park at the top our road.

 

Thought I'd just leave a pic of a tick extraction tool that's cheap and works - just ask Yoda. Have a look here if you can't find them locally, they are a lot less fiddly than the ones with springs and little legs (extractor not tool)!

 

tick.jpg

Edited by Jango & Boba Fett
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I have been reading this with post with interest because as someone else who regularly walks on Dartmoor, I have removed countless ticks from myself and the dogs over the years. I have never received any more than a red scar where I have removed them but I am aware of Lyme disease so always keep an eye on it for a few days.

 

This morning there was an article on the front page of one of the dog papers I get which reports the death of a dog which had been bitten by a "foreign" tick. The dog had never left the UK and as it lived in Ashford, Kent it is feared the tick may have arrived on a lorry from abroad. It was regularly walked on a footpath near the Channel Tunnel Terminal! The tick is called rhipicephalus tick, or brown dog tick, which had until now been confined to the Mediterranean areas of Europe.

 

The disease it transmits, Babesia, can also be be transmitted to humans. It affects the red blood cells leaving humans with malaria type symptoms including nausea, fatigue, diarrhoea and anorexia.

 

Dogs immune system responds by destroying the red blood cells containing the disease to the extent they die from anaemia.

 

Hopefully this was an isolated incident but if this tick does get established it is another set of symptoms to look out for.

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:blink: I expect most of your owners had already thought of this but we thought we had better warn you all! Our Caching owner, caught up in the enthusiasm of her new hobby, mind, we are not complaining cos we get loads more long walks in different places, had fogotton one or two important little things to look out for!

One of us picked up a few nasty little ticks whilst out caching the other night, don't you just hate those little things! Make you feel all uncomfortable! Anyway, with the help of nail varnish remover and tweezers they were all safely removed. Twinkle then did some research cos it's a long time since we had them and she doesn't like using Frontline on us as routine as it can't really be that good for us. It appears that not only are tick on the increase but the occurence of related Lymes disease which they can also carry is also increasing. So please be watchful and either take precaustions or get the critters off quickly! For your Caching owners, they also need to be careful as they can pick up a tick on bare legs and they are more suseptible to Lymes than we are. So....When they put on the shorts and they plan to go in long grass or woods, look embarrassed and make them wear long pants! But I bet your owners have already thought of all that!!!

 

And I always thought that it was the Leeches that the Chindits burnt off with their fags!! Just shows one is always learning! :huh::huh:;)

 

As this issue has come up again I thought I'd drag this thread back up as it deals extremely well with the issue of ticks and Lyme's Disease, as well as the risks involved in some of the traditional meathods of tick removal.

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Out of interest, is Lyme disease curable?

 

I've put your question to a friend who is a doctor in general practice in lowland Scotland.

 

She trained at Edinburgh in the 1970s, long before Lyme disease was generally known about. In those days rambling and hillwalking weren't nearly as widespread as they are today and ticks were also much much less common than today, so she'd never been trained in what to do (or what not to do) in cases of tick attachment.

 

Her first encounter was a couple of years ago when a patient presented with a double tick attachment. She was unsure what the best way of removal is, so she phoned her brother who's a vet in urban small animal practice. She subsequently read up the medical literature on Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. She wondered if perhaps a patient of hers, whose MS-like illness was proving very difficult to diagnose, might perhaps be suffering from Lyme disease. One of several problems with the disease is that the tests at that time were prone to a high level of false negatives. She read further and decided to go ahead and proceed with a course of treatment (antibiotics) on the presumption that this was a case of Lyme.

 

Now, to answer your question: she says that doctors prefer to answer such a question by saying that the disease is treatable. In the case I've just mentioned it had been several months since the suspected tick attachment, which the patient had wrongly presumed to have been a sexually transmitted infestation of the groin area. My friend prescribed a lengthy course of antibiotics, which did seem to ameliorate the symptoms substantially but did not clear up the problem entirely. If the course of treatment had begun promptly, then it would almost certainly have been 100% successful. She also told me of a case last year in which the patient died despite having been treated. I think she said it was the first known fatality in the UK (or perhaps it was Scotland she said) from a confirmed case of Lyme disease. If the disease is very advanced when treatment begins, the treatment can clear up the primary infection but the secondary effects may become incurable.

 

In summary: Rapid removal of a tick attachment is not essential, so long as it's done in the first 12 hours or so. It's more important that the removal is done correctly than that it is done particularly quickly.

Remember to keep all removed ticks so that they can be examined in the event of any medical conditions occurring in the next month or two.

Lyme disease does not necessarily cause the well known and characteristic concentric ring marks on the site of the infection, though in many cases it does.

Antibiotics kill off the bacterial infection well enough, but if the course is not commenced suitably quickly, secondary effects of the infection may become difficult to treat and may not be completely curable.

 

Don't worry though. Removal of ticks is very easy and quite safe if done properly. Although ticks and the diseases they transmit are probably being very seriously under-reported, the problems associated with them are very low on the list of risks we all face when leading active lives in the countryside.

 

Cache on!

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Having picked up two ticks the last two times I've been caching, the latest at the Somerset Quantocks Bash, I've now bought a "tick twister" for easy removal. The tick my son got a few weeks ago wasn't spotted for about 12 hours and was firmly embedded in his arm and took quite a bit of getting out. I made a point of thoroughly checking when I got home and discovered my new attachment.

You may see me now with my trousers tucked firmly in my socks!!!

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Out of interest, is Lyme disease curable?

 

Interesting reply from the forester what he ommited was that there is a vaccination available for Lymes dissease.

To qoute from the NHS Direct website on Lymes dissease

 

People at high risk of getting Lyme disease (eg forestry and conservation workers in tick infested areas) can be vaccinated. The vaccination lasts for about 2 years and is 70 percent effective.

 

Removed my first tick of the year last week yuck

 

What no one mentions is that when you muse an Otom as the ticks mouth gets levered out of your skin (ughh) it hurts like a sharp pin going into your skin.

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We got another six ticks yesterday between the two of us .

Did a cache in a woodland near Salisbury race course ...then hour later sat in a car park and removed two that had attached themselves to Big Taf 's hand .

Then did another cache across grassland park.

Discovered two ticks each on us this morning .

All six were removed successfuly with ordindary tweezers and didn't hurt at all .

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Out of interest, is Lyme disease curable?

 

Interesting reply from the forester what he ommited was that there is a vaccination available for Lymes dissease.

To qoute from the NHS Direct website on Lymes dissease

 

People at high risk of getting Lyme disease (eg forestry and conservation workers in tick infested areas) can be vaccinated. The vaccination lasts for about 2 years and is 70 percent effective.

 

Removed my first tick of the year last week yuck

 

What no one mentions is that when you muse an Otom as the ticks mouth gets levered out of your skin (ughh) it hurts like a sharp pin going into your skin.

 

Yup - that's what it says - presumably means LymeRix but the manufacturer (GSK) pulled it a couple of years ago citing unprofitability and lack of demand...

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This may have been answered already in this and previous threads but I'll ask anyway:

 

How big is a tick when it attaches itself?

How big do they get when they're pumped full of blood?

Do they drop off themselves when they're full up? & how long does this take?

Do they cause itching or anything to indicate their prescence, or do you only know that they're there by looking for them?

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This may have been answered already in this and previous threads but I'll ask anyway:

 

How big is a tick when it attaches itself?

How big do they get when they're pumped full of blood?

Do they drop off themselves when they're full up? & how long does this take?

Do they cause itching or anything to indicate their presence, or do you only know that they're there by looking for them?

 

Good questions, all of them.

 

The newly attached tick is about the size of a grain of rice, but a more flat shape.

 

They enlarge to several times their original size, depending which of the many species you happen to have obtained.

 

Yes, they do drop off quite naturally when fully engorged, but part of the detachment process involves disgorging a solvent to soften the attachment glue and this process is usually when they also disgorge the nasty bacteria which they carry. You really don't want to leave a tick attached to you for that long.

 

Duration of attachment depends upon factors such as which species (of tick, not geocacher!); external temperature; and location (on host's anatomy) of the attachment; but it is typically of the order of two to four days and can be as long as a week.

 

Unlike midges or mozzies, they do not irritate when or just after they bite into you. Rather like the entirely unrelated and quite different leeches, they're designed to make the attachment process completely painless and quite unobtrusive. You may perhaps feel a slight tickle as a tick crawls over your skin looking for a place to attach, but actual attachments are usually discovered well after the bite has occurred.

 

Their presence is usually discovered visually or tactilely. To find one soon after a walk in tick-country, you really need to self-examine or have a very cosy friend. You are searching for a slight bump on your skin, smaller than a grape-pip. Ticks will crawl quite a long way over you to find a spot to attach, so there really isn't anywhere not to look when checking to make sure that you've found them all or that you haven't got any.

 

If you find one, even a day or two after you might first have been able to find it, don't panic. Just do the detachment process and keep the detached tick on a bit of sticky tape or in a wee jar. It's no big deal.

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<snip> lots of usefull & interesting stuff.

 

Thanks, I bought a tick tool last time this topic came up as we were off for a week in the New Forest & this is now in my caching bag. The reason behind my questions was that we've always been outdoor types & but we've never noticed any tics so I was wondering if we might have had em & missed em, but from your responses I think probably not.

 

Ta,

 

Martyn

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The ones we both get are often only about the size as a full stop on a computor keyboard if we spot them before they have fed ,but if we don't discover them til they have fed they can be nearly as big as a sesame seed .

do itch at site of tic attachment if it has started to get a big tummy ,just wish they itched immediately .

 

We have found that if the head breaks off when pulled out ithe head does not come out by itself if left and needs "digging " out .

We each dig out our own if we can reach it ..if not have to endure the other doing it ...ouch! ouch!

 

BUT we don't get many break off since we followed The Foresters advice we read about a year or so ago on this Forum about not squeezing the thing too tightly when pulling it off.

 

Many thanks for that advice Forester .

Edited by t.a.folk
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I got a bite on my forearm last week while doing the Culbin Sands cache on the edge of Culbin Forest. I only noticed it the following morning and only realised what it was because of the great article Forester did for the mag - thanks again!

I managed to det it out by a combination of teasing with the blade of a swiss army knife and squeezing the skin either side ot the attachment to try to push it up from below - like squeezing a spot i guess. I put some antiseptic cream on it straight after removal and its pretty much completely healed up.

thanks and best wishes

Gary

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