Almost 2 years ago, my human Dad had been working around the pool and was cleaning up around the bushes. After taking a shower, he found a couple of ticks on his legs and one on his back. Mom knew that the ticks were latching on to all warm-bodied critters for a blood meal, so she checked me and Luci all over to make sure we did not have any freeloaders.
A few days later, Dad was not feeling well. He had a fever and was aching all over. He looked at his leg and had a huge bull’s eye welt on his thigh. He started breaking out in welts all over his body. Well, he must have missed some of those ticks as they are so very tiny. Dad went to visit his doctor and she said that all of his symptoms were pointing to Lyme disease. She took some blood to send to the lab and put him on antibiotics – just like Dr. Galvis would do for me. He was getting sicker and sicker over the next two days. The doctor called and said he had Babesiosis too! Yikes, two tick-borne diseases and both are serious if not treated. Now, the antibiotics needed to be changed to a stronger medication to battle these diseases. After about a week, he started to feel better and recovered over the next two weeks. Luckily, he has not had any further problems.
My human sister has chronic Lyme disease. She was diagnosed with Lyme when the disease first became known on Long Island. It took over a year and many medications until she felt better. She is now a veterinary technician and is exposed to ticks all the time. Unfortunately, she had another tick bite incident last year and this time she had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Antibiotics helped her too.
For this reason, it is so important to stay up-to-date on flea and tick preventatives to keep those critters away from us and our family. The Lyme disease vaccine also helps to ward off serious infections if we do get bitten by a tick.
The tiniest tick on the dime to the right is a deer tick. Please take a moment to review the Tick Encounter website that identifies ticks. Miller Place Animal Hospital has some free handy little cards to keep in your wallet that identify the ticks in our area. You are welcome to stop by and ask for one. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has a great website that lists all of the tick borne diseases: http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/.