bob_G

Your personal physician's tick protocol

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Does your doctor have a protocol he wants you to follow when you've been bitten by a tick? 

Several friends of mine tell me their doctor puts them on an antibiotic regiment asap. Others want the tick brought in and examined for Lyme.

My doctor has a somewhat cavalier approach. Given all my tick exposures I insist on having bloodwork done annually. I always come up negative. But when we discuss the labs, I can tell tick borne diseases are not at the top of his list.

Don't get me wrong, great doctor, and I owe him a lot. But his attitude is, if you're asymptomatic don't worry about it.

 

 

 

 

 

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A few years ago I picked up a tick while golfing. I pulled it out a couple hours later when I got home. I called my (previous) doctor. He put me on antibiotics. I never had any issues so I didn't follow up with him after the prescription was done.

 

A couple of years later I picked up a tick at the 'Chu that I pulled out once I got home. I called my current doctor. He said it takes at least a couple of days for a tick to release bacterium for Lyme disease. He told me not to worry about it. He didn't give me a prescription. He told me I should call  if any symptoms appear.

 

It either case I didn't get Lyme or any other tick borne disease. Fortunately I found the ticks immediately and quickly pulled them out intact.

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Most doctors don't take Lyme's serious enough, and some don't even think Chronic Lyme is a thing.  It's crazy.  

Normal blood work does not test for Lyme, it has to be specially requested by your doctor, which is also crazy.  

 

"The blood test the CDC recommends to diagnose Lyme checks for an immune response to the bacteria, not for the Borrelia itself. That’s why the test can be negative if the disease is present for less than a month. It takes at least a couple of weeks to mount an immune response that would turn the test positive. It is easier to diagnose Lyme if you have the classic bull’s-eye rash that shows up a few days after the tick bite. In these cases, testing is not even necessary. But the rash only shows up in 80% of cases."

 

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Three of my buddies have been hunting out of the same camp for years together. Three of them pulled ticks off themselves after a kill in 2017. All three of them were prescribed the appropriate drugs - two of them began taking them immediately - the third waited to begin taking them until the tick test came back positive (by that time the bullseyes had begun). The first two are fine. The third developed a full blown case of Lymes with ugly results and suffers from the outcome to this day - mostly balance issues and fatigue.

Edited by speedwell

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I went to a lecture about Lyme's hosted by a medical expert in RI.  Apparently they did a study where they screened the population in a town and there were a lot of people testing positive who had naturally fought it off (once you're exposed, you always test positive).  She said that's why they don't do mass screenings.  I asked her if it would make sense to get tested and in the event you test negative, you can get screened annually to see if you were exposed that calendar year.  She scolded me and said she just explained that some people fight it off naturally.  I asked "wouldn't it  be beneficial for someone to know they were recently exposed (within twelve months) to at least be able to look out for potential symptoms?" ...next question.  Not sure if I was missing something in the logic, but my doc screens me annually at my request

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When it comes to tack bites and the eventuality of coming down with something as result of that bite the best thing one can do [like this the 10th year or so it has come up]    is to be your own advocate .

If your doctor refuses to treat you go to the emergency room at your local hospital and tell them you want to be treated for what ever you think may be the problem . In any case stress that that put you on medicine if in fact they draw blood to check out if in fact you have contacted something. Often if you wait and indeed you test out positive and you waited for the result you will be in a far worst situation. This is especially true down here over the bridge and you own pets that are allowed to walk among the growth near the ground. The long term affects are not pretty as I have posted many times on this subject over the years , It can affect your brains for one and all of your muscles 

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39 mins ago, Angler #1 said:

When it comes to tack bites and the eventuality of coming down with something as result of that bite the best thing one can do [like this the 10th year or so it has come up]    is to be your own advocate .

If your doctor refuses to treat you go to the emergency room at your local hospital and tell them you want to be treated for what ever you think may be the problem . In any case stress that that put you on medicine if in fact they draw blood to check out if in fact you have contacted something. Often if you wait and indeed you test out positive and you waited for the result you will be in a far worst situation. This is especially true down here over the bridge and you own pets that are allowed to walk among the growth near the ground. The long term affects are not pretty as I have posted many times on this subject over the years , It can affect your brains for one and all of your muscles 

We all know this Carl, and I wasn't looking for anecdotal personal observations. The question was, what does your medical professional suggest in case of a tick bite?:)

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I wonder if any of the major medical associations have put forth a standardized protocol for patients freshly bitten by ticks.  The AMA, or perhaps a Massachusetts Medical Association (there probably is one).

 

We have, alas, every reasonable expectation that new pests will continue to move NE as the climate warms. Lone star ticks are fairly recent arrivals, but there are probably more diseases coming. As Ground Zero for Lyme disease, Massachusetts might be ahead of most jurisdictions. 

 

Angler #1, are you quoting something you got from your physician? 

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1 hour ago, bob_G said:

..., what does your medical professional suggest in case of a tick bite?:)

Years back when I had my annual physical, my MGH physician noticed three bites on my calf.  He asked how I got them and I said I felt the bites when I sat at my picnic table at BSP...and since I did not notice any bull eye in subsequent days, I assumed they were not tick bites ( Lyme) and assumed it was most likely spider bites.

 

Well.....he informs me that bull eyes are not always present and other things are possible like babiosis, etc.  He drew no blood but said "I'm putting you on doxy immediately".  I think it was for 10 or 14 days...unsure.

 

So that was his approach......take no chances....do not test......take antibiotics immediately.

 

Incidentally, nothing became of the bite.   

 

.   

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Pretty much every reliable source I've ever read on the subject has strongly advised against antibiotic treatment for tick bites without the detectable presence of Lyme and it's symptoms. This is the crap that leads to antibiotic-resistant strains of otherwise perfectly treatable diseases.

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2 hours ago, bob_G said:

We all know this Carl, and I wasn't looking for anecdotal personal observations. The question was, what does your medical professional suggest in case of a tick bite?:)

:laugh:

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Unless it's a deeply buried deer tick, that you know has been on for 24 hours or more, and it develops a bullseye rash, they don't even want to here about it.

 

Between the wife and I we pull of maybe a dozen or so every year. One year was many more than that but we don't count.

 

Both of us have asked for the test in routine blood-work, always negative.

 

I don't think it's as bad around here as it is to the East.

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2 hours ago, BrianBM said:

I wonder if any of the major medical associations have put forth a standardized protocol for patients freshly bitten by ticks.  The AMA, or perhaps a Massachusetts Medical Association (there probably is one).

 

We have, alas, every reasonable expectation that new pests will continue to move NE as the climate warms. Lone star ticks are fairly recent arrivals, but there are probably more diseases coming. As Ground Zero for Lyme disease, Massachusetts might be ahead of most jurisdictions. 

 

Angler #1, are you quoting something you got from your physician? 

I posted my personal experiences from many tick bite trips over my life time. I have observed  many of my friends over these same years that were affected by a sick tick and in several cases they died as a result of a doctor not treating them when they should have . If you are not your own advocate in this matter you take the chance of a life time of adverse health issues and the only one to blame is your self , because you did not insist on being treated or tested. I have read many reports especially down here on the cape , that has a large tick population where the many of the doctors do not feel that would treat or take blood samples until they see a dot and circle. In many cases that may well be to late to stop the infection should there be one and I have had long and hard conversations with my own and he has agreed to do what ever I may feel is needed to give me peace of mind .

I remain my own advocate in this matter today . I have a procedure I follow that upon removing the tick I wash the bite area and then apply Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream .1 percent Three times a day . or Gentamicin Sulfate Ointment .1% depending upon how long it was attached before I saw it.  I can have the same affect from a spider bite initally, so seaing what ever it was that bite me is crucial . If the area blows up and the wound becomes red, its off to the doctor to get a blood test and a 10 day z pack  I am presently taking a supply of Doxycycline Hyclate that helps my body fight any bad tick bite, but need a higher dose to battle it. I have become my own doctor and advocate when it comes to Ticks and so far I have managed to keep it at bay from the adverse affects Lymes causes. 

To say that those who rely on there doctors to treat them are most time those who do not know how to speak up and fail to understand in some cases you need to be your own advocate , for in the end, it will be you that is paying the bill one way or another.

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5 hours ago, Angler #1 said:

The long term affects are not pretty as I have posted many times on this subject over the years , It can affect your brains for one and all of your muscles 

Are you suggesting humans have more than one brain?

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