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Old 05-09-2011, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi wise mamas,

 

Went hiking for mother's day....Bathed my two year-old that evening and checked body for ticks (we were hiking through some brush for a while)...Didn't see any...

 

Now, tonight, while I was making dinner, he pulled on his ear and told me his ear hurts. I folded the top down and discovered a tick. I was able to pull it out quite easily with tweezers, head and all. It kicked and protested when I put some olive oil on it. It didn't look enlarged to me at all, so I am thinking it wasn't attached that long. 

 

However, if he was to get bitten when we got to the hiking trail (around 8am on Mothers Day), It has been more than 24 hours.

 

Do I need to take him to the ped? Should I bring the tick? Do I need to just watch for symptoms of Lyme? What to do?

 

Thanks for any help!


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Old 05-09-2011, 10:09 PM
 
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I am fairly sure the ped can test for Lyme disease, so I vote ped.


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Old 05-09-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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To be on the safe side I would go in.


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Old 05-09-2011, 11:16 PM
 
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REALLY? I've found 3 ticks on my kiddo so far this year. Ticks are just a reality of living in the sticks, or at least I've always thought. really? Go to the Ped? ooh, now I'm scared.


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Old 05-09-2011, 11:27 PM
 
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Ya, I wouldn't go to the ped... I would flush the tick down the toilet and move on. I grew up living around woods, and ticks were just a reality. Unless the bite became inflamed or something, I wouldn't do anything.


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Old 05-10-2011, 05:23 AM
 
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If you live in an area with Lyme (see map here)  I would definitely consider a call to the pediatrician.  I believe they can test the tick (and it may be your local ag extension that can test it rather than a ped).  You may also be able to find someone who can positively identify whether or not it was a deer tick.  Blood tests on a person aren't necessarily accurate right away.  Personally, I would assume that any illness or rash that follows this is Lyme and would run the risk of an unnecessary course of abx because chronic Lyme in a kid would be tragic.

 

This is a good website if you have questions about symptoms.

 

(And for those of you without Lyme ticks in your woods, you are lucky!  I wish we could be so cavalier about ticks.  If it was just the yuck factor I wouldn't bat an eye at them.)


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Old 05-10-2011, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, the tick came from upstate NY, which would render it likely to be a carrier of Lyme. Unfortunately, my friend who was over last night flushed the tick, so I no longer have it. greensad.gif

I suppose I will watch for signs of infection and be ready to take him in for abx...

I don't think I'm comfortable with "just in case" abx.

 

 

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Originally Posted by 1blueheron View Post

If you live in an area with Lyme (see map here)  I would definitely consider a call to the pediatrician.  I believe they can test the tick (and it may be your local ag extension that can test it rather than a ped).  You may also be able to find someone who can positively identify whether or not it was a deer tick.  Blood tests on a person aren't necessarily accurate right away.  Personally, I would assume that any illness or rash that follows this is Lyme and would run the risk of an unnecessary course of abx because chronic Lyme in a kid would be tragic.

 

This is a good website if you have questions about symptoms.

 

(And for those of you without Lyme ticks in your woods, you are lucky!  I wish we could be so cavalier about ticks.  If it was just the yuck factor I wouldn't bat an eye at them.)



 


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Old 05-10-2011, 05:43 AM
 
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Yeah we def have lyme in MA I don't mess with ticks


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Old 05-10-2011, 05:44 AM
 
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Ya, I personally wouldn't do abx just because of the bite, but I'd push for them at the slightest sign of rash/fever/whatever.  But then practically every house in our neighborhood has at least one family member that has had Lyme, and at this time of year i find at least one tick a day on DD (yesterday one was crawling on her face, ugh).  We do a complete clothes change and bath after every trip outside during spring and fall.  It's a pain but we literally have ticks crawling up our screen doors this time of year.

 

Good luck and I hope your LO stays well.


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Old 05-10-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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Wait a second. The first thing to determine is - was it a deer tick or a dog tick? A dog tick is the more common type. It is larger and does not carry Lyme's disease. A deer tick, which can carry Lyme's, is very tiny - no larger than the head of a pin. If it was a deer tick, keep an eye out for a rash at the bite site. While not everybody gets the classic bull's eye rash, it's pretty unlikely that he'd get Lyme's with no rash at all. Good luck!


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Old 05-10-2011, 07:51 AM
 
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Ticks are a fact of life for me too.  We live in the woods and I regularly pull ticks off my dog, myself and my kids.  of course best case is that they don't bite, but if they do we remove them and dab with tea tree oil on the spot.  If you caught it before it was engorged and managed to pull it out without bursting it you likely have nothing to worry about and there isn't much a ped would do anyway.  watch for a rash, any rash anywhere.  My ped disregarded the rash ds2 had because it didn't fit the "typical" lyme rash, it didn't last more than 12 hours etc.  Turns out it was lyme after all.  But, that tick had been on for hours and was engorged and wasn't properly removed. My vet told me Lyme (and other diseases) is transmitted when the tick finishes feeding and "burps" a little, which forces some fluid back into the host.  That is also why if you squeeze too hard it can force the tick to "burp" and transmit disease before it finishes feeding.


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Old 05-10-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Metis View Post

Wait a second. The first thing to determine is - was it a deer tick or a dog tick? A dog tick is the more common type. It is larger and does not carry Lyme's disease. A deer tick, which can carry Lyme's, is very tiny - no larger than the head of a pin. If it was a deer tick, keep an eye out for a rash at the bite site. While not everybody gets the classic bull's eye rash, it's pretty unlikely that he'd get Lyme's with no rash at all. Good luck!


Agreed re distinction between deer ticks and others, however I don't think you can rely on absence of a rash.  DH got it w/o a rash.  Uncommon but not unusual.  

 


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Old 05-10-2011, 08:04 AM
 
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Don't hurry to the doctor!  There is nothing they can do.  My clinic won't test immediately after a bite because it won't show up.  Watch for symptoms, especially a rash anywhere on the body and fever.  And know that the test is not always accurate, so if you think your lo has it and the test is negative, you can still push for the antibiotics.  I am pretty much against the use of pharmaceutical drugs unless it is absolutely necessary, but I would not hesitate to start antibiotics for myself or my children if I suspected Lyme.  It can be really awful, and it's best to treat it right away.

 

We have a lot of Lyme in the area where I live.  We found 2 ticks biting dd yesterday, after a long weekend outside.  I check myself and my kids daily, but sometimes they get missed.  I do as Elil's mom said and immediately put tea tree oil on the bite when I remove the tick.

 

I'm not sure if you do regular visits to tick-y areas, but if you have a dog, putting a systemic flea and tick killer on them can really help with the ticks getting on the people in the house.  I know, it's poison and probably not very good for the dog, and I would not put it on myself or my children, but with half of my family suffering from Lyme and its complications, our dogs have to have it if they want to live in our home.

 

When you go out, it really helps to tuck your pants into your socks because the ticks will crawl up the inside of your clothing.  Also, tuck in your shirt and wear a hat.  When you get home, strip down, put the clothes rigth into the washer and wash them, check your shoes and your bodies for ticks.  Check again in a couple hours -- they are sneaky.

 

Hope that helps.  Don't worry, just be vigilant and think positively!  Your lo probably didn't get Lyme from that tick.

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Old 05-10-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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I have lyme disease and my hubby just got a tick this weekend. I saved the tick for testing ( a better test than testing the person ) and called my Lyme Doc on Monday. He said it takes 2 weeks to test the tick and the results aren't always right. He prescribed 3 weeks of minocycline (antibiotic) without question.

This isn't something to mess around with. You know there is lyme in your area, the ticks also carry co-infections which can be equally debilitating. I would go to a lyme friendly doc, if your ped blows you off find a more lyme friendly doc and don't mess around. A short course of antibiotics could be the difference between a life of problems or not.

California Lyme Disease Association is a really good resource for info and feel free to PM me if you want more info. Not to freak you out or overwhelm you, but I wouldn't mess around & I have personal reason to feel strongly about this.

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Old 05-10-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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Do you know what kind of tick it was? Not every kind of tick carries lyme disease. There are labs that do tests on the tick for certain diseases (in case you haven't flushed them), but that's also pretty pricey. It still won't tell you if your child has lyme disease though.


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Old 05-10-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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Sure, but did he not have a rash, or not *notice* a rash? Since she knows the exact site of the bite, it's pretty likely she'll see a rash. (Of course, better not to take any chances.)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1blueheron View Post

Agreed re distinction between deer ticks and others, however I don't think you can rely on absence of a rash.  DH got it w/o a rash.  Uncommon but not unusual.  

 


Again though, don't even begin to worry if it wasn't a small tick like this,


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Old 05-10-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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I've probably pulled ten off of DD and 50 off myself so far. I like to use Burts Bees bug spray, but sometimes I forget, or just dont want to be oily. Ticks are just a part of life out here. I check both of us multiple times a day. Deer ticks carry lyme, and they are pretty easy to identify. I either crush them in half with my fingernails or flush them. If we are outside, I crush them in half because I want it to die, but Im not walking all the way to the toilet for it to happen.

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Old 05-10-2011, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm......people definitely have different approaches to ticks....

 

The point about dog vs. deer tick is a good one, but when I google both, neither one looks exactly like what I pulled off. The closest, unfortunately, has been the male black-footed deer tick. It looked like this guy almost exactly, even the size. It was bigger than a pinhead for sure, and was all black (which is why it is confusing for me. the pictures have the deer tick with a brown butt and the dog tick all patterned). 

 

It was on the cartilage of his ear, on the back side......Would I notice a rash on his ear? It is a little red and I still see the  mark where it dug in. But no "bulls eye" as of yet. Not sure I would see a bullseye in that spot.....All the more confusing...

 

My biggest reassurance is that it wasn't engorged and it came out rather easily. Also, he was saying that it hurt, so I think it stayed on his jacket from our hike and bit him yesterday evening. I think what "hurt" him was the actual bite. When I took it off, before my friend flushed it, it was very active and rather thin, so I don't think it had much of a chance to suck....I didn't have any tea tree oil handy (friend's house), so I dabbed it with some Neosporin.....

 

Still, scary stuff.

 

If anyone has any more insight, it is always appreciated. Thanks to all who replied!

I think I will wait and see. I don't want to give him the abx if I don't have to, and I don't think the Lyme would show up in his blood for almost a month, so no point taking him in now. 


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Old 05-10-2011, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, it says that it is the size of a poppy seed, but this was a bit bigger. Is it just me or is the tick in the link I provided above bigger than what they say a deer tick should be? Also, all of the ticks I see are kind of brown. This one was certainly black....

So confusing...


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Old 05-10-2011, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Aaaand, also I am confused about the engorgement thing. Why did it attach to the cartalage of his ear? Is that why it wasn't engorged? Maybe it was attached for 24 hours but just couldn't get any blood out of his ear? How long does it take for a tick to become engorged?


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Old 05-10-2011, 05:59 PM
 
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From what I understand, it takes ticks about two days to become engorged. I think its likely that the tick had a hard time latching on, so it moved all over trying to find a good spot.

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Old 05-10-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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There are lots of kinds of ticks, and they all look different at different phases.  What you describe sounds like what I call a bear tick.  I don't know if they carry Lyme or not.  I wish I could help you more with the identification, but looking at some websites I don't even see one that looks like what you describe, except maybe the male deer tick -- but do they even bite?  I have seen tiny, all dark brown ticks, but they don't show up on the websites I saw.

 

I'm sure they can get blood out of the ear...dd's bled when my brother removed it from her ear.

 

The rash, apparently, can appear on any part of the body...if it does appear, and may not appear at the site of the bite.

 

I also haven't heard of small children getting Lyme.  Everyone I know who's had it is an adult.  Not sure if that's just my experience or if it is less common for children to get infected?

 

When my sister got sick, she had a high fever for 8 days before her diagnosis.  My step dad just had it, and he had a fever and on the 4th day when he kept feeling worse he went in; I don't think he even had the rash.  My brother had the rash, but I don't think he ever got a fever -- he had been feeling tired and run down, though.

 

Best of luck.

 

 

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think bear ticks ARE deer ticks. It's just another name for the black-footed guys. But, after looking at them more closely, I know for a fact that it wasn't a nymph (which would have been more translucent and the size of a poppy seed). It must have been a male deer tick, which would make it all-black and the size of a sesame seed, and both of those fit to a tee. This also would explain it latching onto his cartilage. The males latch on not to feed but to find a female. They also don't spread disease....

 

Maybe I am just trying to make myself feel better, but this is all adding up.

 

Thanks brilliant mamas for your info!
 

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There are lots of kinds of ticks, and they all look different at different phases.  What you describe sounds like what I call a bear tick.  I don't know if they carry Lyme or not.  I wish I could help you more with the identification, but looking at some websites I don't even see one that looks like what you describe, except maybe the male deer tick -- but do they even bite?  


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Old 05-10-2011, 07:10 PM
 
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The rash can appear later. I personally never thought that the bite itself hurt (and I've had quite my share of ticks, without ever having lyme disease). It might be harder to diagnose on little children. This seems to be an intense season around here.


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Old 05-10-2011, 09:15 PM
 
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My now 5 yo had Lyme when she was 3. I found a deer tick in her armpit and about 5 days later she developed a high fever, was lethargic, etc. DH had just had a virus so I thought she had caught what he had, but I took her to the doctor anyways. We did the lyme test at 10 days after we removed the tick and it was positive. She never developed the bull's eye rash, but she had Lyme.

Take him in.


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Old 05-10-2011, 11:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 1blueheron View Post

If you live in an area with Lyme (see map here)  I would definitely consider a call to the pediatrician.



So..... if, going by this map, I'm in an area that says "NONE", would you believe that? The idea of going to the Ped for a tick just seems so foreign. It's never even crossed my mind, maybe because we live in a NONE area and so it's never in the news or discussed in playgroups or what have you. This is a totally new idea to me. Again, 3 ticks on the kiddo so far this year and it's not even warm yet?


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Old 05-11-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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I don't know about how long it takes to become engorged but I would go with what you said about when your dc felt the pain, it was likely the bite that he felt.  It does hurt!  

I just wanted to respond about the rash.  My ds was bitten on his penis (poor child) but the rash was on his upper thigh, so be watchful for any rash, any where.  not just in the place where he was bitten, and do check under his hair as well.


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Old 05-11-2011, 05:10 AM
 
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So..... if, going by this map, I'm in an area that says "NONE", would you believe that? 



If I lived in an area marked "NONE" I would jump for joy and spend all day outdoors in heedless abandon.  :)

 

Lyme has gradually spread from Connecticut to other places, but chances are very good you're totally fine in the "none" zone and can forget about it unless you travel.

 

For the OP - one of the reasons I'd call my ped is because he's very tuned into Lyme symptoms and can offer input and advice about what to look for, and we could discuss a course of action.  If your dr is not as familiar with Lyme, it might not be as helpful, and it may just be up to you to keep a watchful eye.  I know people with chronic Lyme and it's beyond awful what it does to a person.  I have had dozens and dozens of bites and never gotten it (not all deer ticks carry Lyme and I usually get them off right away), but we are all super alert to the possibility here.  Best of luck and hope it doesn't deter you from enjoying the outdoors.


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Old 05-11-2011, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds awful and I'm glad your daughter is ok! Was the tick engorged when you removed it? How long was it on? Was it a female tick (with a brown butt) or a nymph (tiny)? The reason I have not yet taken him in is that it was definitely a male tick, which doesn't carry Lyme, or truly suck blood. They bite and attach, but don't transmit. I will definitely watch for signs of Lyme and take him in at the first sign, but I am starting to get the impression from the responses that it is not likely he was infected. If I take him in, the ped will put him on 3 weeks of abx, which is not ok with me pre-emptively....

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Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post

My now 5 yo had Lyme when she was 3. I found a deer tick in her armpit and about 5 days later she developed a high fever, was lethargic, etc. DH had just had a virus so I thought she had caught what he had, but I took her to the doctor anyways. We did the lyme test at 10 days after we removed the tick and it was positive. She never developed the bull's eye rash, but she had Lyme.

Take him in.



 


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Old 05-11-2011, 05:41 AM
 
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I know a 6 y/o girl who got Lyme and didn't get the abx (IDK what the circumstances are around that) anyways she has had it a few years now and it's affecting her heart and causing seizures on/off. IDK the whole story though on why she can't get tx or w/e but I know she is constantly in the hospital.

 

Hope your little guy is fine. IDK too much about ticks just that they are bad lol


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