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Tick removal

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TIck Key ROCKS on humans and dogs. I always go with some alcohol wipe and Neosporin after removal just for precaution.

Funy that my hound can get a Lymes DIsease inoculation, but there is none for humans!
 
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The incidence of Lyme disease has spread ever closer to areas I frequent, sometimes with family dogs. I now keep a tick key as a key fob.
Nothing funny about that pun.
 
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I don't know about you but I keep forgetting to spray myself before heading outdoors. Even on canoe trips my bug spray often is neglected in a pocket, until the flying insects remind me to arm myself. Years ago we jumped on the Skin So Soft bandwagon thinking we were onto something, but all it ever achieved was scenting-slicking our family with moisturizer. I do remember when we were young parents we tried the citrus method of squirting our skin with orange and lemon peel. The results were so so, but we all sure smelled nice. Here's an article that offers an alternative to DEET. Notice that DEET scores a 100% efficacy rating. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...citizen-scientist-acadia-university-1.4658386
 
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A few years ago, I toured Scotland with my wife, son and his 3 teen kids. The evening after a day of walking through the Colloden battle ground fields, I was taking my shower in our hotel room and noticed what felt like a BB under the skin in my underarm. I immediately guessed what it must be and told my wife. So on the bed I go, arm stretched up above my head as the whole family inspected the questionable site. We had no real tools, other than a rusty tweezer set found in the bottom of my kit bag. As my wife dug around, the granddaughter goes "eeeewwwww" and turned away, One grandson said he had just gotten his Boy Scout First Aid merit badge and he could help. The other grandson, always thinking, said "hey Grandma, what is your ipad password?" as he offered to find a Youtube video on what to do. So after digging around without much success in carefuily extracting the foreign body from deep under my skin while doing minimal damage for nearly 90 minutes, most of it finally came out. We saved what looked like a possible leg and later at home under a kid's microscope, confirmed that it was indeed a multi-barbed leg.

Luckily, after I got home a lyme test proved negative.
 
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I have scars from infected tick bites as well as several treatments, 21 days of pills, for ticks. I've been using Permethrin spray for a while now with success but anytime I'm out in the field/rivers I do a head to toe tick check. I've had two friends get really messed up from ticks and just don't need that at my age! Of all the bugs out there I do detest them the most.

dougd
 
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I lived in Gaylord Michigan till 75. Us kids played in the woods all the time. Never knew what a tick was until we moved down here to Tennessee. I hate them. Wife and I have done lots of day hiking here in the Smokey Mtns, and have paddled several local rivers and lakes. Seldom ever get one on us. Maybe we just don't climb thru the brush and weeds like we did when we were kids.
 
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The number of ticks seems to go up every year, and what an annoying pain it is to pull them off some times. It’s extremely common to see them or pull them off while I’m working. Sometimes, while we’re taking a break or lunch on the trail we can actually see them crawling. Last spring while clearing the trails on a small island, the crew of kid helpers reported 60 plus ticks four days. I think my coworker and I only had like 7.

I check my dog every day/evening for ticks. They’re harder to see on her and remove because of her color and all the hair. Or especially between her pads! Last summer, she had one attach and it broke off while my wife was trying to remove it, we only had a cheap pair of tweezers and a safety pin on us. Juno (our pup) sat like a champ while we poked and plucked her. I felt pretty bad but it had to be done.

I keep a few tick keys in first aid, or work pants. However, the tick tornado has been more successful and easier to use, in my opinion

I also strongly recommend Sawyer permethrin spray. I’ll spray my work clothing/pack. Dog collar/orange buff. My boots, tent, or anything else that needs it. For what it’s worth, the toxicity level is low
 
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Several years ago I woke up one morning to find a tick attached to my belly. It wouldn't release when pulled with fingers or tweezers. The thought of putting on my pants with a tick inside was unappealing.

I put a brand new blade in the Xacto knife and slathered rubbing alcohol all over the blade, the tick, and myself. Zip-zip, and off the critter came. More rubbing alcohol, some antibiotic ointment, and a band aid, and I was good to go.

Later the doc told me not to worry unless the tick had been attached for more than 36 hours.

More recently I was tested for Lyme disease antibodies to diagnose the cause of joint pain. The test was inconclusive.
 
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Interesting, I thought twisting was among the worst things you can do.
If you can’t contain the head, yes, twisting is bad. If you twist and the head breaks off, there’s risk of a dirty infection. Not necessarily tick borne infection, let me emphasize that. I think twisting with tweezers or fingers has a higher potential of separating the body and mouth.

This isn’t my field of expertise, I’ve just encounter many and trial and error has led me to the tick tornado
 
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I hesitate to add my comment here, for fear that i will be reprimanded as absolutely wrong and foolhardy. But here goes. Damn the torpedos, or something like that.

Kathleen and I moved to this rural property in Saskatchewan in 2008. We also brought four sled dogs with us from Inuvik. We have 8 km (5 miles) of trails through the bush, mostly grass-covered trails. We walked or ran them three times a day. Tick season is June, July and August. Before we discovered an internal tick repellant medicine, we would often pull off 5-10 ticks per day per dog. Just reach in with my thumb and forefinger, grab the head, and yank it out. Never once had a head remain embedded. And this was true even when the tick had been there long enough to have become completely engorged with blood, hiding there in the dog’s fur.

When I have been out clearing trails with my chainsaw, it is not uncommon for me to find 10 or more ticks crawling around my neck, some partially embedded. I just reach in with my thumb and forefinger, grab the head, and yank that sucker out. Not once have I ever left the head, or any other pieces behind.

At first I tried using tweezers, but they are not nearly as sensitive, flexible and dexterous as my thumb and forefinger. I worry not at all about getting ticks, or how to remove them. I do enjoy crushing them between two small, flat stones, particularly when they are engorged with blood. SPLAT. Take that, tick. Not so tough now, are you?
 
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I have scars from tick bites that got infected and have been treated 3 times for 21 days a shot. I take it pretty serious as they are all over the place at my abode and have had two friends who got a bit messed up from the infection that comes along with it. I've gotten pretty good at pulling them off with my fingers as most around here are the larger deer size but many years ago while visiting Cape Cod with my dawg in tow we got back to VT and at the store while in my truck I saw an engorged tick on her and pulled it off. She didn't like that but I kept searching and found a few more pulling them off while she moaned about it. Then I found another and kept pulling and pulling and now my poor girl was almost crying as I tugged and tugged until I finally looked and it was a nipple up high I hadn't seen before under her fur. She got a nice hunk of steak for dinner that night!
 
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I came down with Lyme on a trip several years ago. It was pretty brutal. Luckily I got on Doxycycline quick and had no lasting effects. I never saw a tick on me or rash. If left untreated or misdiagnosed, it can be life changing for sure- heart dysthymia, neurological issues… no thanks.

Bob
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Both times I got tick disease (erlichiosis) as reported in my post above, I never detected the tick on my body.
 
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There were many times last summer when one of us found a tick on us, it was so tiny! Like the head of a needle small. So easy to miss
 
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I'm with @PaddlingPitt , just grab the little suckers with your thumb and forefinger and pull them off. I've pulled hundreds and hundreds of embedded ticks from me and my dogs over the years and it's the only method I've ever used because I've never seen a reason to try a different one. Never had a head break off. You can always tell because there will be a little chunk of flesh in the mouth.

Actually there is another method that's equally easy and effective: Just scrape them off with a fingernail. I often use this on the dogs for small ticks that are not yet engorged because I'm less likely to pull hair at the same time.

Alan
 
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