I am coming out of hibernation for this post because I believe it is very important to share the following information.
Some physicians (ER, GPs) think that a ONE-TIME dose of antibiotics after a tick bite will prevent the disease. This is FALSE, and do not allow a physician to tell you so. It may kill off the Lyme bacteria (borrelia) in the “spirochete” form, but not the “cyst form” which can also get passed onto you by the tick. The “cyst form” takes longer to kill.
According to ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society), the following is appropriate treatment:
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- For a tick bite with no Lyme symptoms – 3 weeks of antibiotics (doxycycline for people over the age of 8, amoxicillin for children under 8)
- For a tick bite with symptoms, such as a rash – 6 weeks of antibiotics (doxycycline for people over the age of 8, amoxicillin for children under 8)
Look it up in the ILADS treatment document in the link above and take the document to your physician. To help you advocate for yourself, I urge you to watch this brief video below (on Facebook) which will help you arm yourself with all of the information you need to talk to your doctor. Click this link:
Also, be very careful HOW you remove an embedded tick. Many physicians (ER, GPs) don’t know how to properly remove it without squeezing its stomach, which will cause its stomach contents to enter your body! Here is a video to show you a method you can use to ensure that this does not happen. It is called the Straw and Knot Method, developed by a Canadian doctor, Ernie Murakami. Advance to 2:06 in the video. Basically, you position a straw over the embedded tick. Tie a thread onto a straw like you were starting to tie a shoelace. Slide the knotted thread down the straw, over the tick’s body, as close to your skin as you can get. Slowly tighten the knot around the tick’s head. This way, you are not squeezing the stomach. Use gentle tension to pull the tick out. You can also use fine-tipped tweezers to pull a tick out, but be careful to grasp ONLY the head and not the body/stomach of the tick.