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Reminder: Check for Ticks

 
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Just a friendly reminder to always check for ticks after you go out!  If you're bitten you should probably tell a doctor and get a round of antibiotics.  

I got bit about a month ago, and stupidly did nothing but pulled the tick out.  I was progressively feeling worse until this past Saturday when, after having an incredibly high fever for 3 days and was pretty close to death, I decided to go to the hospital.

It turns out I had contracted ehrlichiosis from the bite.  I'm doing better now that I've been on medicine, but it was definitely scary, and hope others can avoid it if possible in the future!  Check for ticks! :)
 
pollinator
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Shaun Hill wrote:Just a friendly reminder to always check for ticks after you go out!  If you're bitten you should probably tell a doctor and get a round of antibiotics.  

I got bit about a month ago, and stupidly did nothing but pulled the tick out.  I was progressively feeling worse until this past Saturday when, after having an incredibly high fever for 3 days and was pretty close to death, I decided to go to the hospital.

It turns out I had contracted ehrlichiosis from the bite.  I'm doing better now that I've been on medicine, but it was definitely scary, and hope others can avoid it if possible in the future!  Check for ticks! :)



If people here went to the doctor when they had a tick bite, they may as well book a room :)  

I had lyme disease last year, and you're right about tick-borne infections, they are no joke.  I had it for nearly two weeks before it was diagnosed and I was pretty miserable.  Taking astragalus during tick season is a very good idea, as well as being diligent about tick bites.  My understanding is that if they are on you less than 24 hours, you're pretty safe, so, as you said, regular checking is a must.
 
Shaun Hill
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I started my hike around 8am, then found the tick bitten in just before 2pm the next day.  

From my research a lot of the bacteria's can be transferred more quickly than Lyme.  Generally speaking the 24-48 hour thing is stated for Lyme (since it's the most common tick borne disease), and most people just forget about the other diseases.

(edit for the times)
 
gardener
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I regularly mow my lawns near the house and around the garden beds to control the problem. Ticks thrive on long grass. It pains me to do it as I'd prefer longer grass but the threat of tick-borne diseases is too great (deer frequent our land.) I do use an electric mower so that's a plus, and as a result I have tons of grass clippings for mulching or composting.

We do have plenty of unmoved land for weeds and wildflowers to grow and serve as places for pollinators. We just make sure we have long pants on and fumigate ourselves with bug repellents.
 
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Trace, you have piqued my interest with this comment;

          “Taking astragalus during tick season is a very good idea, as well as being diligent about tick bites”

What is the benefit?
 
master pollinator
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I'll tick that check box right away!

(Actually, ticks don't seem to like me. Maybe it's my warped sense of humour. I'll go sit in the naughty chair now.)
 
pollinator
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I had ehrlichiosis a few years ago. The tick that gave me the disease was biting me for less than 5 minutes. I get a severe reaction to the tick's saliva and felt the bite as soon as it started, but finished my trek to the mailbox before removing it. The Lyme specialist doctor I work for said that ehrlichiosis can transfer immediately, like a mosquito bite causing malaria. If left untreated, ehrlichiosis can cause organs to shut down, leading to death. A friend had this happen and ended up in the hospital on life support. Fortunately, it responds well to doxycycline and doesn't appear to have a long-haul load of symptoms once it's been treated, unlike some of the other tick-borne diseases. In SE Minnesota we have see more ticks so far this year than all of last year, so I'm predicting a surge in tick diseases in 2021. Too bad there isn't a mask to protect us.
 
Trace Oswald
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Artie Scott wrote:Trace, you have piqued my interest with this comment;

          “Taking astragalus during tick season is a very good idea, as well as being diligent about tick bites”

What is the benefit?



Stephen Buhner's book about Lyme disease is the first place I read about astragalus, and it kind of steam rolled for me from there.  Bottom line is that it seems to be a potent immune system strengthening herb.  Here is a short excerpt from an interview with Buhner about it, but there is far more information on his website, in his book, and many places on the internet.

Buhner: "I would recommend the use of tick and insect repellants as a habit, the use of herbs to enhance immune functioning (simplest is astragalus, 1000 mg daily, 3000 mg during Lyme season), and the use of antibiotics at the first sign of a bull’s eye rash, then herbs if the antibiotics do not work. I don’t think the routine carrying of antibiotics is useful except for those who plan on being out of touch in the wilderness for a month or more at a time."

As I said, this just touches on it.  

From Mount Sinai .org

"Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. It was often combined with other herbs to strengthen the body against disease. Astragaus is called an adaptogen, meaning it helps protect the body against various stresses, including physical, mental, or emotional stress.

Astragalus may help protect the body from diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It contains antioxidants, which protect cells against damage. Astragalus is used to protect and support the immune system, preventing colds and upper respiratory infections, lowering blood pressure, treating diabetes, and protecting the liver.

Astragalus has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. People sometimes use it on the skin for wound care. In addition, studies have shown that astragalus has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system, suggesting that it may help prevent colds.

In the United States, researchers have looked at astragalus as a possible treatment for people whose immune systems have been weakened by chemotherapy or radiation. In these studies, astragalus supplements seem to help people recover faster and live longer. Research on using astragalus for people with AIDS has produced mixed results.

Recent research in China suggests that, because astragalus is an antioxidant, it may help people with severe forms of heart disease, relieving symptoms, lowering cholesterol levels, and improving heart function. At low-to-moderate doses, astragalus has few side effects. However, it does interact with a number of other herbs and prescription medications. Astragalus may also be a mild diuretic, meaning it helps rid the body of excess fluid."

 
pioneer
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My mother was so allergic to ticks you could find them on her by their tracks. Everywhere they touched turned bright red. If one actually bit her the area would rot away leaving a nasty wound. She got a double whammy because she was also diabetic. I think  dad checked her for ticks every chance he got we did have a large family...
Ticks here in Arkansas are no joke, especially seed ticks. Hundreds of the greedy, little buggers clump up and when anything brushes them they latch on and start looking for a place to bite. I used to scrape them off with a knife when I found them on me and then take a chlorine bath. These days I stay out of the woods during tick season and don't venture in until after the first freeze. Neighbors dogs drag ticks up to the yard so the wife engages with chemical warfare. She won't shoot the dogs but she will throw the first thing she can grab at them. These dogs are stupid, they think she's playing fetch...
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Pardon my silly attempt at humour earlier. Its clear that ticks are causing serious health problems for many. Stay well folks.
 
steward
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A friend told me that they use a lint roller every time they come in and it pulls all the ticks off their dark clothes that otherwise might be hard to see.
 
pollinator
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I had a tick a little over a month ago that (as best as I can tell) was embedded for a full 7 days. I did the emergency dose of doxy (1 day 2-pills) and then a few days later saw a doc and got the 21 day antibiotic since lyme is really prevalent here. Then after the full 21-day course I saw my doc and was giving an update where I indicated severe (new) joint pain. I told her I don't have arthritis. She fairly well ignored me and said that lyme and other tick-born diseases don't cause joint pain unless there is serious swelling. She told me I have arthritis and to take ibuprofen. I've read a bunch that begs to differ. I just got Buhner's book and and am hopeful, ordered astragalus tonight.
 
steward
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I obviously missed this one! Typically it happens on the Jubillee weekend when the Doctor's not available!
nancy-tickbite.jpg
tick-bite-ring-bruise
 
Denise Kersting
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Nancy Reading wrote:... when the Doctor's not available!

I hope you get into the doc or an ER soon Nancy! I am still (1 yr later) dealing with joint pain. Not horrible, but I still have to stay on a low dose of the basic herbs in Buhner's standard protocol or the pain comes back.
 
gardener
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This video has some great suggestions about how to reduce the odds of ticks getting on you in the first place. Great perspective overall. Hope everyone is staying safe, healthy and checking for ticks!

 
gardener
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This is a good thread.  Tick bites are no joke, but by me, ticks are so prevalent that going to the doctor for every single one would be impractical.  I have already pulled two off this season, including one that bit me right between the toes—that hurt, itched and messed with my walking for a couple of days!  I have no idea how I got it unless it came from our dog—I always wear socks outside.

I did come upon a partial preventative measure.  I learned long ago that ticks crawled along skin till they found a crease or crevice to bury.  Unfortunate.  To keep them from around the waist region, I will frequently wear some type of compression short if I know I will be in tall grass or the woods.  If a tick lands on me, they stop at the hemline which is far better than the alternative.

Just a suggestion,

Eric
 
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