Tick Protection – Many people visiting the countryside completely overlook the sheep tick. This horrendous little blood sucker can not only burrow into your skin and be very difficult to remove. If mistreated, a tick can inject the contents of its belly into you with potentially lethal consequences. Lyme disease, carried by only a few ticks (no way of telling which ones), can debilitate its host if not treated soon enough for the rest of that persons life. Heavy doses of anti-biotics, organ failure, limited use of body parts, sides of your face being uncontrollable, lethargic and a weak emune system, even the lightest cold can turn into the flu, pneumonia and worse. Ticks are not to be dismissed!
To try to avoid ticks, stay out of areas of high grass/bracken/ferns that have allot of deer roaming. Despite the name, sheep ticks have become a problem due to two main reasons. Ticks are nothing new to the country versed person, but Lyme Disease is on the up. One reason being that sheep farming is allot less popular, and the sheep are not in these areas to “mop up” the ticks which the farmer will treat the sheep for regularly by dipping, thus controlling the population of them. The other reason is that deer are wild and are able to access vast areas of landscape, therefore spreading the tick country-wide. Check yourself and children even after sitting in the grass. You may think we are over-reacting and trying to cause concern, but the humble tick is a serious problem that seems to be almost completely avoided by mass media and the govt.
If you find a tick crawling on you, don’t panic, simply flick it off, swatting it will not kill it. They have a tremendous grip so make sure you have disposed of it and it is not just clinging on to your hand, and dispose of it away from others. If you find a tick already burrowed into your skin, it probably hasn’t done anything to you apart from started to feed. You will most commonly find them in softer, warmer areas of your body like under arms or between your legs, regardless of the clothing you have on they will seek out these areas. There are many ways to safely remove ticks, and the best way is to twist them gently and make sure they come out in one go.
We suggest using a ‘Tick Twist Remover’ which removes the tick as a whole followed by an antiseptic wipe. If you just take a pair of tweezers to the tick, this could stress and tear it. The best way to know if the tick bite has infected you with Lyme disease is after about a week there will be a growing red circle around the bite area.
This is not always the case and the area may not even seem sore or itchy but headaches, tiredness and a fever are other symptoms.
Go to your doctor immediately if you believe you have potentially become infected with Lyme Disease, and seek a second opinion if you are not satisfied. Not reacting soon enough can be fatal, catching it early can be as easy as a course of antibiotics. We are aware of a scenario when a patient was told on many occasions that he had not contracted Lyme disease, but after months of tiredness and bad health, he sought a second opinion and discovered he had it all along.
Lint rollers are excellent for removing ticks from your clothing and pets, and using insect repellent or some essential oils can prevent ticks from biting. Research this yourself. The very best way to keep on top of them though is to thoroughly check you and your family over after being outdoors in the countryside.
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This article is purely for your information and contains solely our observations. For official medical advice, please contact your GP or health professional.