Having been bitten twice by deer ticks, I now take a very personal approach to my safety. In each instance medical attention was sought for the removal of two ticks, on two separate occasions, because they were so small and firmly embedded that it was difficult to know if the heads had actually been removed! I was then put on a ‘not-so-pleasant’ course of Tetracyclin (antibiotics). I am, now, very vigilant about making sure my clothing is adequate enough to keep these parasites away from my skin and strongly suggest wearing a hat and taking a shower, to be extra cautious.
Upstate New York, along with the rest of the Eastern Seaboard is plagued by deer ticks. Family members living in Ireland also complain about what seems to be an epidemic of deer ticks!
Lyme disease was identified, for the first time, in Old Lyme, Connecticut in 1975 and according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) there were more than 27,000 cases of Lyme Disease reported in the year 2007. The general consensus is that this disease often goes unreported as the symptoms can be varied and difficult to diagnose.
The dreaded deer tick has made those of us that enjoy the great outdoors much more vigilant in avoiding this persistent menace. They can be as small as a pinhead which makes them difficult to detect. Deer and mice are the most common hosts of these silent disease carrying parasites however, we must not overlook our domestic cats and dogs as they, unknowingly, can transport these ticks into the home which then transfer to humans.
According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation - “Lyme disease (LD) is an infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a type of bacterium called a spirochete (pronounced spy-ro-keet) that is carried by deer ticks. An infected tick can transmit the spirochete to the humans and animals it bites. Untreated, the bacterium travels through the bloodstream, establishes itself in various body tissues, and can cause a number of symptoms, some of which are severe.
Lyme Disease manifests itself as a multisystem inflammatory disease that affects the skin in its early, localized stage, and spreads to the joints, nervous system and to a lesser extent, other organ systems in its later, disseminated stages. If diagnosed and treated early with antibiotics, Lyme Disease is almost always readily cured. Generally, Lyme Disease in its later stages can also be treated effectively, but because the rate of disease progression and individual response to treatment varies from one patient to the next, some patients may have symptoms that linger for months or even years following treatment. In rare instances, Lyme Disease causes permanent damage”.
Knowing the inflammatory results of Lyme Disease, YS Nutrition offers a proactive course towards maintaining the Immune System by recommending their whole food mushroom supplements - specifically D-Traum (for humans). A proprietary ingredient has been created, making use of the Agaricus Blazei Mushroom - the results of which, is the production of high levels of natural Super Beta-Glucans. This premium supplement assists the body in building, boosting and balancing the Immune System and helps minimize the adverse effects of tick bites. Along with the human products, YS Nutrition offers Equine D for Horses and Copper’s Choice for Dogs needed for building the immune system along with reducing stress and improved recovery.
An Easy way to remove a tick
A school nurse discovered a safe, easy way to remove ticks. This is her solution to get them to automatically withdraw themselves. She states the following:
"I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great because it works in those places where it's sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers; between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc. Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20); the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I've used it (and that was frequently), and it's much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me."
Once again, the American Lyme Disease Foundation suggests:
If you DO find a tick attached to your skin, there is no need to panic. Not all ticks are infected, and studies of infected deer ticks have shown that they begin transmitting Lyme disease an average of 36 to 48 hours after attachment. Therefore, your chances of contracting LD are greatly reduced if you remove a tick within the first 48 hours. Remember, too, that nearly all of early diagnosed Lyme disease cases are easily treated and cured.
To remove a tick, follow these steps:
1. Using a pair of pointed precision* tweezers, grasp the tick by the head or mouthparts right where they enter the skin. DO NOT grasp the tick by the body.
2. Without jerking, pull firmly and steadily directly outward. DO NOT twist the tick out or apply petroleum jelly, a hot match, alcohol or any other irritant to the tick in an attempt to get it to back out.
3. Place the tick in a vial or jar of alcohol to kill it.
4. Clean the bite wound with disinfectant.
*Keep in mind that certain types of fine-pointed tweezers, especially those that are etched, or rasped, at the tips, may not be effective in removing nymphal deer ticks. Choose unrasped fine-pointed tweezers whose tips align tightly when pressed firmly together.
Then, monitor the site of the bite for the appearance of a rash beginning 3 to 30 days after the bite. At the same time, learn about the other early symptoms of Lyme disease and watch to see if they appear in about the same timeframe. If a rash or other early symptoms develop, see a physician immediately. Finally, prevention is not limited to personal precautions. Those who enjoy spending time in their yards can reduce the tick population around the home by:
- Keeping lawns mowed and edges trimmed
- Clearing brush, leaf litter and tall grass around houses and at the edges of gardens and open stone walls
- Stacking woodpiles neatly in a dry location and preferably off the ground
- Clearing all leaf litter (including the remains of perennials) out of the garden in the fall
- Having a licensed professional spray the residential environment (only the areas frequented by humans) with an insecticide in late May (to control nymphs) and optionally in September (to control adults).
Remember maintenance and prevention is the best defense for your horse your dog and you! Build, Balance and Boost Your Immune System with YS Nutrition!