just found a fully engorged tick on DD Update and a ? post #41 - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 43 Old 06-06-2008, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're sending it in to be tested to see if it is actually carrying anything. Trying not to worry, as I know that chances are slim.

Any words of advice or bdtd?

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#2 of 43 Old 06-06-2008, 10:22 PM
 
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Hi-

You didn't say where you live, we live in NY where Lyme disease is much more common than in other places. I noticed by your name it says you live among the redwoods, are you on the west coast? I ask because although Lyme disease has spread over the entire country there are some places where you are just much less likely to get it and the pacific coast definitely qualifies.

My MIL has been diagnosed with Lyme disease twice and just a couple of weeks ago my Husband found a tick on himself so I've been doing some research recently. The single most comforting piece of information I've found is that a tick has to be feeding on you for at least 24 hours to transmit enough of the Lyme disease to cause illness. Some of the sources I found said, 24-36 or 24-48 hours. The point is that it takes a long time and if you have reason to believe that the tick was there for shorter than that period of time there is very little to worry about.

Other than that you just need to keep an eye on the area and see if any kind of a rash develops. It could take several weeks, and some people don't develop the rash but do start to develop symptoms of undefined illness. A lot of the problems associated with Lyme disease seem to be a result of the disease going unrecognized for a long time before treatment. That can happen if someone gets a tick and never realizes it, the tick takes it's fill and detaches on its own and then weeks later the person gets sick and figures its just a cold. That can lead to the chronic condition that seems to cause many other problems. If you are aware of the tick and are watching for symptoms than should anything arise you will be informed and able to nip it in the bud.

Lyme disease is one of those things that has a lot of controversy around it and the lack of clear cut information makes it seem scarier, to me anyway. But there is every reason to think that appropriate and prompt treatment can lead to full recovery.

I'm trying to say, it'll be ok. Probably she won't have lyme disease. Even if she did, you can handle it.

I know you'll worry anyway, I know I would. But I'm going to say it again anyway. Don't worry about it, it'll be ok.

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#3 of 43 Old 06-06-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Miss Chris View Post
Hi-

You didn't say where you live, we live in NY where Lyme disease is much more common than in other places. I noticed by your name it says you live among the redwoods, are you on the west coast? I ask because although Lyme disease has spread over the entire country there are some places where you are just much less likely to get it and the pacific coast definitely qualifies.

My MIL has been diagnosed with Lyme disease twice and just a couple of weeks ago my Husband found a tick on himself so I've been doing some research recently. The single most comforting piece of information I've found is that a tick has to be feeding on you for at least 24 hours to transmit enough of the Lyme disease to cause illness. Some of the sources I found said, 24-36 or 24-48 hours. The point is that it takes a long time and if you have reason to believe that the tick was there for shorter than that period of time there is very little to worry about.

Other than that you just need to keep an eye on the area and see if any kind of a rash develops. It could take several weeks, and some people don't develop the rash but do start to develop symptoms of undefined illness. A lot of the problems associated with Lyme disease seem to be a result of the disease going unrecognized for a long time before treatment. That can happen if someone gets a tick and never realizes it, the tick takes it's fill and detaches on its own and then weeks later the person gets sick and figures its just a cold. That can lead to the chronic condition that seems to cause many other problems. If you are aware of the tick and are watching for symptoms than should anything arise you will be informed and able to nip it in the bud.

Lyme disease is one of those things that has a lot of controversy around it and the lack of clear cut information makes it seem scarier, to me anyway. But there is every reason to think that appropriate and prompt treatment can lead to full recovery.

I'm trying to say, it'll be ok. Probably she won't have lyme disease. Even if she did, you can handle it.

I know you'll worry anyway, I know I would. But I'm going to say it again anyway. Don't worry about it, it'll be ok.
I'm not trying to be snarky, but this is all just bad information.

It is common on the west coast - particularly the pacific NW. The ticks are different & the co-infections are different, but it's there & it's a big problem. Yes, it's worse on the east coast - I live in 1 mile over the line from Chester County, PA - one of the most endemic areas in the country.

The transmission time is also dead wrong - the CDC claims this, but they also claim that only 3 weeks of abx is needed for *all* cases of Lyme with the same standard dose no matter what the size of the patient. Newer research shows that Lyme & co-infections can be passed in as little as two hours.

Symptoms can be as minor as floaters in your vision or mild fatigue or even tingling in the arms or legs - it would be especially hard to tell with a non verbal youngster.

Saving the tick & having it tested is the best thing you can do. Yea it's expensive, but IMO, it's worth the peace of mind & a heck of a lot less expensive than years & years of alternative treatments for relief of chronic disease.

Out of curiosity, which lab did you send it to? Was it alive? If I remember correctly, it needs to be alive, right?

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#4 of 43 Old 06-07-2008, 08:57 AM
 
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Slightly OT, but just wanted to add this to the transmission/diagnosis info out there...
We just found out that Dh and our 2 boys, 3 and 1, have the spirochetes that cause Lyme disease (we go to a ND). I don't have them. We've never found ticks on the boys but dh used to get them alot when he was a teen. Our ND told us (and I've confirmed this through research) that the spirochetes are in the same family as syphilis and can be transmitted sexually as well...so I apparently fought it off but not in time to prevent my guys getting it in utero...OR they "contracted" it at conception. I dunno, but it's all very bizarre.
From what I'm reading, diagnostic tests are not very accurate since the spirochetes often hide out in glands and muscle and more of us likely have it than no.
I know if the tick comes back neg., then all is fine. If not, you may want to seek out someone who REALLY knows there stuff when it comes to Lyme D. to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Best of luck!

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#5 of 43 Old 06-07-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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We just found out that Dh and our 2 boys, 3 and 1, have the spirochetes that cause Lyme disease (we go to a ND)
How did he test them? Just curious. Also, is he treating them?

If it were me, I would run to the dr. & demand abx. The best chance for success is eearly, appropriate treatment. I hate abx but this is one time i wouldn't chance it. Tick testing takes a while.

My DD is on 1000mg amoxicillan for at least a month. She had a partially engorged tick on her & got a rash a few days later.

At the moment I am thinking I might have lyme from a tick that was only on a few hours. It's been a month & I just started to have vague symptoms. I'm thinking of insusting on abx. If your dr. insists on testing, have him use Igenex. Other labs aren't as accurate.

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#6 of 43 Old 06-07-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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She used a VEGA Test...

http://longevityhealthcenter.com/hol...vices.php#vega

Yea, they're being treated (teasal root ext. and loads of homeopathics as indicated by the VEGA thingy), no antibiotics though. We go back in 3 months for follow-up.
They treat Lyme by helping the body kill the spirochete and then getting the die-off out of the tissue...which is apparently the tricky part...

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#7 of 43 Old 06-07-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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did they have symptoms?

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#8 of 43 Old 06-07-2008, 02:04 PM
 
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Just some vague stuff...dh has frequent neck pain and is tired alot but assumed it was managing a restuarant, having 2 kids and being 31.
Both boys had been sick more than we usually are over the winter and would have these random symptomless fevers every few weeks. And the biggie, and the reason I took them to the ND, was that ds1 had gotten "lazy"...for the past six months he increasingly wanted to stay inside because the sun was "too bright" or he was just too tired to play...and sometimes soft music would "hurt his ears". It just didn't feel right to me anymore.

I know it sounds crazy to some, but it seems to fit. They all seem to be responding to the homeopathics because they have more symptoms every 3 days or so and then are significantly better, then they have symptoms, then they're better, and so on...I hope they fully kick this with this treatment...

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#9 of 43 Old 06-07-2008, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Miss Chris View Post
Hi-

You didn't say where you live, we live in NY where Lyme disease is much more common than in other places. I noticed by your name it says you live among the redwoods, are you on the west coast?
We are on the coast of central California (Santa Cruz area.)

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Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
Out of curiosity, which lab did you send it to? Was it alive? If I remember correctly, it needs to be alive, right?
We sent it to the neighboring county's public health lab, which is where our county recommends they get sent. Yes, it was alive.

I don't know anything about the testing; I wonder if there might have been a better place to have sent it?

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#10 of 43 Old 06-07-2008, 05:42 PM
 
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Just as an fyi, almost every tick fact sheet I've encountered tells ya to kill the tick (and then they bring up testing as an opton after saying that, but don't say the tick has to be alive for that).

I don't have our tick to send out (it wasn't a deer tick, so I flushed), just wanted to mention since I've been researching.... I bet some labs need them alive-- others, well if they are alive then the lab can take care of it, so I guess the best bet would be to keep the tick alive and make sure she doesn't escape.

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#11 of 43 Old 06-07-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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Hmmm, just found this on the CDC page:

Quote:
Testing Ticks

Patients who have removed a tick often wonder if they should have it tested. In general, the identification and testing of individual ticks is not useful for deciding if a person should get antibiotics following a tick bite. Nevertheless, some state or local health departments offer tick identification and testing as a community service or for research purposes.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme..._diagnosis.htm
Why?
(I underlined the sentence above)
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#12 of 43 Old 06-07-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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Acupuncturemama-
I just wanted to clarify, I never meant to suggest that there was no such thing as lyme disease on the west coast, only that it is less common there than on the east coast. I used to live in Washington state and the information I just looked up said that there are between 8 and 15 cases a year in that state. You seemed to be asking for reassurance and I thought that might be helpful. I went by what I considered to be the most reliable information I could gather. This is a topic on which informed and intelligent people could be expected to differ, making your concern understandable and treatment baffling. I hope you get reassuring news from your testing and all this turns out to be strictly academic.

Good luck

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#13 of 43 Old 06-08-2008, 08:54 AM
 
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n general, the identification and testing of individual ticks is not useful for deciding if a person should get antibiotics following a tick bite.
I think there might be a couple of reasons - if it's positive you don't know if it tranassmitted. Also, if the tick is engorged some places will do prophylactic abx regardless rather than waiting for test results. Early treatment is key. Also, are the tests 100%?

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#14 of 43 Old 06-08-2008, 12:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jessjgh1 View Post
Hmmm, just found this on the CDC page:
Testing Ticks

Quote:
Patients who have removed a tick often wonder if they should have it tested. In general, the identification and testing of individual ticks is not useful for deciding if a person should get antibiotics following a tick bite. Nevertheless, some state or local health departments offer tick identification and testing as a community service or for research purposes.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme..._diagnosis.htm
Why?
(I underlined the sentence above)
Jessica
I've pulled one tick off of Dd2, I keot it alove, stuck it in a small jar with a couple of damp leaves & poked a whole in the top. It needs to be kept damp to stay alive - and yes, it needs to be alive for testing, or the spirochetes will die.

It's a lot cheaper (in the long run) to just have the tick tested. Human testing is so innacurate, I'd absolutely test a tick. If it doesn't have any bacteria, I'd breathe a sigh of relief - if it did, then I'd probably test my child, watch for symptoms & possibly treat with abx for a month.

The CDC is overly casual about this, IMO.

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#15 of 43 Old 06-08-2008, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So is the tick testing accurate?

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#16 of 43 Old 06-08-2008, 07:46 PM
 
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I never send ticks for testing. It's pointless. If it carries Lyme, it still does not tell if it was transmitted.

If you see your doctor within 72 hours of the tick bite, you can take a one time dose of 200 mg prophylactic doxycycline. This prevents transmission of Lyme. Otherwise, really your only choice is to wait and see if she develops a rash or symptoms.
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#17 of 43 Old 06-08-2008, 07:53 PM
 
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So is the tick testing accurate?
The testing of a tick for Lyme should be accurate. Probably the health department sends it to one of the major tick testing labs. There are a dozen + different diseases the tick can carry, so a negative Lyme test on the tick does not mean everything is OK.

If your child gets a bulls-eye rash, of course you need antibiotics ASAP.

The most important thing is frequent tick checks and immediate removal of any attached ticks.
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#18 of 43 Old 06-09-2008, 10:35 AM
 
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Lyme disease does exist in Santa Cruz County (check out www.lymenet.org -forums).

One big plus for Californians though is that if a tick bites the blue fence lizard the lyme disease is neutralized. Cool, eh? I don't know about the other tick borne diseases though. I only saw those lizards in the dry hills, so I'm not sure if that is a factor in the redwoods.

The prevalence is a lot lower than the East Coast though. Here's what the SC health dept says: http://www.santacruzhealth.org/phealth/cd/3lyme.htm

Out here, in the East, if I found a fully engorged deer tick, I would do the antibiotics. I'd probably do it in CA too, but I'm freaked out by the diseases now.
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#19 of 43 Old 06-09-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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dp had a tick a few weeks ago. they can detect lyme disease after 5 days, and thats what i recommended to him...however, he was freaked out and went to the dr. and go the abx. right away. it was only 2 doses, not 3 months like i have seen suggested elsewhere. if it were one of my children, i would have him/her tested before the abx,, but thats just me and its a parental decision.

dp's dr. didnt even tell him about the test (human or tick)...just dished out the abx.
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#20 of 43 Old 06-09-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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Heck, y'all, down here in my neck of the woods in NC we pull 'em off all summer long. They're like mosquitos. It would be ridiculous to either test each tick or go on antibiotics after each tick. I just keep an eye on the kids and if any fever develops we'll go to the dr. I will tell you how I learned to keep them little buggers. At dd1's school they tape them to an index card with the victim's name and the date. I file them in our file cabinet. Our dr said you could tape them to your calendar, but I'd rather not look at them all the time. We try do nightly tick checks as part of our night-time routine like teeth brushing. Other than that I just hope for the best. It's either that or keep the kids inside all the time and I don't think that's healthy either. I've lost track of how many we've had so far this year, but I personally have probably had 5 or 6. The kids at least the same if not more. Not sure about DH. Dog has had several, too, including one fully engorged one that dropped off and then I stepped on it unawares. Bleah!

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#21 of 43 Old 06-09-2008, 11:03 AM
 
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Heck, y'all, down here in my neck of the woods in NC we pull 'em off all summer long. They're like mosquitos. It would be ridiculous to either test each tick or go on antibiotics after each tick. I just keep an eye on the kids and if any fever develops we'll go to the dr. I will tell you how I learned to keep them little buggers. At dd1's school they tape them to an index card with the victim's name and the date. I file them in our file cabinet. Our dr said you could tape them to your calendar, but I'd rather not look at them all the time. We try do nightly tick checks as part of our night-time routine like teeth brushing. Other than that I just hope for the best. It's either that or keep the kids inside all the time and I don't think that's healthy either. I've lost track of how many we've had so far this year, but I personally have probably had 5 or 6. The kids at least the same if not more. Not sure about DH. Dog has had several, too, including one fully engorged one that dropped off and then I stepped on it unawares. Bleah!
thats how we used to be when we were little kids too..i grew up in NC and there were ticks all over the place..no one ever freaked out about this so much but it was a nightly "chore" (to check).
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#22 of 43 Old 06-09-2008, 11:26 AM
 
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There are places on the East coast (esp. CT, RI and MA coasts) where the prevalence of Lyme Disease is thought to be 100% (basically every tick they check has it), so it is a different beast than a 5% prevalence, or 0% like when we were little.

An engorged tick has been feeding a while, has had time to spit out his guts, and the kid is at risk in high prevalence areas. My son had a tick attach that was on for less than 6 hrs so we didn't do anything but watch him.
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#23 of 43 Old 06-09-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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dp had a tick a few weeks ago. they can detect lyme disease after 5 days, and thats what i recommended to him...however, he was freaked out and went to the dr. and go the abx. right away. it was only 2 doses, not 3 months like i have seen suggested elsewhere. if it were one of my children, i would have him/her tested before the abx,, but thats just me and its a parental decision.

dp's dr. didnt even tell him about the test (human or tick)...just dished out the abx.
Why bother testing if the tests are notoriously unreliable? Lyme should be diagnosed clinically.

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Heck, y'all, down here in my neck of the woods in NC we pull 'em off all summer long. They're like mosquitos. It would be ridiculous to either test each tick or go on antibiotics after each tick. I just keep an eye on the kids and if any fever develops we'll go to the dr. I will tell you how I learned to keep them little buggers. At dd1's school they tape them to an index card with the victim's name and the date. I file them in our file cabinet. Our dr said you could tape them to your calendar, but I'd rather not look at them all the time. We try do nightly tick checks as part of our night-time routine like teeth brushing. Other than that I just hope for the best. It's either that or keep the kids inside all the time and I don't think that's healthy either. I've lost track of how many we've had so far this year, but I personally have probably had 5 or 6. The kids at least the same if not more. Not sure about DH. Dog has had several, too, including one fully engorged one that dropped off and then I stepped on it unawares. Bleah!
Depends on where you live. If didn't live in an endemic area, I wouldn't be so freaked out either.

Are you talking wood (dog) ticks or deer ticks?

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There are places on the East coast (esp. CT, RI and MA coasts) where the prevalence of Lyme Disease is thought to be 100% (basically every tick they check has it), so it is a different beast than a 5% prevalence, or 0% like when we were little.
Add Chester County, PA to that list. It's enough to make me want to relocate.

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#24 of 43 Old 06-09-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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I'm talking dog ticks, lonestar ticks, deer ticks, probably more I don't know the name of. We have Lyme down here, too, although the drs won't always recognize it and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I don't hear about a tremendous amount of cases of either, but I know of two cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the last week and know of several cases of Lyme over the past several years, but not all of those were from local ticks. At least two were, though. It's not that I'm not worried. I actually find it fairly terrifying, but I don't know what else to do except nightly tick checks and hope for the best. I mean I could keep the kids indoors or insist that they only play in "safe" areas or slather them in DEET, but I worry about the long term implications of all those strategies, too. We all do our best...

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#25 of 43 Old 06-09-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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Why bother testing if the tests are notoriously unreliable? Lyme should be diagnosed clinically.
he went in and was automatically put on abx. there was no "clinical" conclusion..just "ok, you have a tick bite, here is some abx". from what i have researched, most ppl have symptoms.
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I agree with Beanma not to avoid the outdoors. We tried being somewhat careful last summer and found LOTS of ticks. This summer we are out all the time and haven't found a one - although I know lots of other people who have.

Nightly tick checks are vital.

Lots of people with chronic Lyme never had any symptoms until years into the disease, basically when the damage was done. The "bulls-eye" pattern shows up in a reported 40-60% of cases. An early course of ABX (3 weeks) is pretty good at knocking it out entirely.
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#27 of 43 Old 06-10-2008, 11:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by almama View Post
Lots of people with chronic Lyme never had any symptoms until years into the disease, basically when the damage was done. The "bulls-eye" pattern shows up in a reported 40-60% of cases. An early course of ABX (3 weeks) is pretty good at knocking it out entirely.
so did you have your kids take abx each time you found one on them? i keep hearing about the 3 weeks of abx but my dp was only given 2 pills. he took both the same day.
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#28 of 43 Old 06-10-2008, 11:24 AM
 
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so did you have your kids take abx each time you found one on them? i keep hearing about the 3 weeks of abx but my dp was only given 2 pills. he took both the same day.
There's lots of controversy in the Lyme community about what treatment is appropriate at diff. stages of the disease. There are even dr. who do not believe chronic lyme exists.

I would take at least 4 weeks abx once the rash develops & at least 3 weeks prophylactically upon finding a tick.

I truly believe that the cdc guidelines are way behind the 8 ball on this one & ppl are either being undertreated or missed altogether b/c of it. But that is just my opinion.

Mom to DMI & Silly Apple
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#29 of 43 Old 06-10-2008, 11:25 AM
 
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I've never found an engorged tick, just crawling ones and one attached that I know was there for less than six hours. We're pretty rigorous about the nightly checks.

There is a huge rift between mainstream medicine and the lyme doctors on how to treat lyme disease. The latter say that it is a 3 week course, and the former believe a single day's dose will do. After my reading, I'm with the lyme docs. I have to wonder what good a single dose of ABX does. From what I know about disease resistance, the stronger bugs survive after the initial jolt of ABX and that is why you usually take a 10-14 day course for an illness. Lyme "hides" which is why it is 3 weeks vs. 14 days.

FWIW, I have no opinion on the chronic lyme treatment controversy (long term ABX treatment), just the initial exposure treatment.
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#30 of 43 Old 06-10-2008, 11:32 AM
 
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i just ask b/c there is so many things in this post that are confusing (as i found in my research).

i agree 100% w/ treatment after a rash appears...however, if no rash appears (which someone quoted as only 60-70% of cases), then i just dont see how one could go about treatment w/o the test.

i think i have decided a prudent course of action for me and my kids is to be tested (human and tick) and if positive then consider treatment.

i just dont believe in treatment "just in case". i work too hard to build my children's immune system to have it destroyed by a "just in case" and thats what dp's dr's treatment was. a day after a bite. the tick was NOT there for 6-12 hours either.
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