ack! tick!

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ack! tick!

Postby mtlu » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:13 pm

We went for a walk in Golden Gate Park today which is a large, heavily wooded and grassy park. About an hour after we got home, I noticed a tick on Molly's head, close to her ear opening. BF was able to remove the whole tick, including the head, with a pair of tweezers while I distracted her with cheese and peanut butter. The tick is now in a small jar containing beer – the only alcohol that I could find on short notice. It is already engorged and I can't really tell what kind of tick it is.

My question is, are there tests for tick-borne diseases that I should have done on Molly the next time we go in for a vet check up? Is there a window of time within such tests should be administered?
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Re: ack! tick!

Postby I<3mypit » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:54 am

I found a tick on my Italian Greyhound Trinity once. I was concerned so I took her to the vet. They did do a test, something to do with lyme disease. She came back negative so we were very relieved.
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Re: ack! tick!

Postby Bethb2007 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:05 am

Just keep an eye on her(for the next 6-9 months). I beleive there are certain states where you can send the tick to DNR for lyme testing????
The test they do for lymes disease on dogs and people is a blood draw that is sent to a lab. They would have to do two or three at separate time intervals, so it may not be practical. What I am trying to say, that it takes a while to develop so the first two tests if done right away would not be accurate.
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Re: ack! tick!

Postby rgyoung777 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:23 pm

The western black-legged tick is the vector for Lyme disease West of the Rockies, and it is very small, even when engorged.

Quick and correct tick removal dramatically lowers the chances of transmission of tick-borne illness, so it's pretty unlikely that Molly will get any disease at all. Transmission rates are low to begin with, and lower still when the tick is removed within 24 hours.

For more info on black-legged ticks, take a look at this page: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/id-mi/tickinfo-eng.php. It's a Canadian public health site, and it has photos of black-legged ticks (in various life stages and stages of engorgement) that may be helpful in determining whether or not Molly's tick was a black-legged tick.

It's still a good idea to keep a close eye on her and have her tested for Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses in a few months, but I would say that it's unlikely that the tick was a black-legged tick, and also unlikely that the tick had time to transmit any infections to her in the extremely short time it was attached to her.
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Re: ack! tick!

Postby mtlu » Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:14 pm

Thanks everyone for the input.
rgyoung777 - that link was helpful. The tick looks a lot like the one in Figure 3, on top of the #11, in both size and color. I will definitely be keeping a close eye on Molly and asking for a test next time we bring Molly to the vet.
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Re: ack! tick!

Postby tiva » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:29 am

Ah, be glad you don't live in the midwest. We use frontline religiously and do tick checks every night during the 9 month tick season, and we still find plenty of ticks on the dogs, many embedded. We just pluck them out, kill the ticks, and we don't freak out. Most tick-borne diseases only get transmitted if the tick has been embedded for more than 24 hours, so a daily tick check means the chance of transmission is fairly small.
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Re: ack! tick!

Postby mtlu » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:02 am

Thanks tiva. I was wondering too about people who live in areas where ticks are far more prevalent.

I have been really careful about checking her over when we have traveled/camped/hiked in new (or rural) places so I was really surprised to see one from having been to the park. There is a decent amount of wildlife since the park is so big (coyotes are known to be present though it bordered by residential areas on three sides and the ocean on the fourth side).
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Re: ack! tick!

Postby heartbullies » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:54 am

Oh, ticks. Hate them. Frontline Plus user here, though this year due to my broken ankle we didn't go out as much. There are loads of them even in the city-- we both had ticks crawling on us at Joaquin Miller!

Frontline says since it kills ticks w/in 24 hours (without causing the disease-spreading regurgitation) that is the reason it so dramatically reduces tick-borne illness. Removing it manually and effectively would likely be the same, as Rachel pointed out.

Erlichiosis and Lyme disease are always my fears w/ticks. She may get a hard lump where the tick was-- B always does and it takes weeks to subside. :(

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Re: ack! tick!

Postby Boss*sMom » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:37 pm

We don't freak out over ticks, or have the tick or dog tested for any disease. Even with repellent on the dogs, in the area we live in ticks are a common thing... We do vaccinate for lyme disease though.
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