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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Is touching a tick risky?

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Author Topic: Is touching a tick risky?
aileenhome
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My 2 golden retrievers just came in from a walk in our neighborhood with my son. They were on a leash, mostly walking on the road or front yards with short grass. There is one section with a water retention basin where the grass is a bit longer.

I just took at least 4 ticks off each dog. They are freshly there just crawling on the dogs front legs or head where dogs had put their faces down into the grass. I snatched them off with my bare hands because I wanted to get them before they disappeared into the fur. I didn't want to risk waiting till Frontline killed them in case they fell off in the house. I immediately washed my hands with soap and water after each one.

Do you think there is any risk to just touching the tick? Would there be any disease on the exterior of the tick? I am now freaking out with every itch I feel. Making a call tomorrow to get the dogs shaved down and turned into labradors! Forget swine flu - this is much worse!

Posts: 133 | From Far Hills, NJ 07931 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lymetoo
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It's not a good idea .. but you washed your hands, etc .. that's all you can do. Maybe you could do the alcohol gel too.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Tincup
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"Do you think there is any risk to just touching the tick?"

A tick crawling across your skin can do a number one or a number two on you (please pass the Charmin).... and it can be absorbed through the skin. That can cause you to get Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

I do not have information on any other diseases that can be passed this way. Doesn't mean there are none... just that I don't know of any.

[Big Grin]

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Melanie Reber
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Always be very careful when touching any tick or wild animal...many diseases are transmitted transdermally, by inhalation, through respiratory secretions, or direct blood contact... some examples:

Human Granulocytic Anaplasmosis (HGA) is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is contracted with the bite of infected ticks (Amblyomma americanum, Ixodes pacificus, Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes spinipalpis and Ixodes Dermacentor variabilis). It has also been documented to transmit congenitally, through blood transfusion and through direct contact with blood or respiratory secretions.

Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (HGE) is caused by the bacterium Ehrlichia ewingii. It is typically contracted with the bite of infected ticks (Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes Dermacentor variabilis and Rhipicephalus sanguineus), however, it has also been transmitted through contact with blood of fresh venison.

The Fatality rate is 2-5%.

Babesia is caused by several species of protozoan parasites. It is known to transfer through blood transfusion and ingestion, organ transplant and by congenital means. Transmission also occurs with the bite of infected ticks (Boophilus annulatus, Boophilus decoloratus, Boophilus microplus, Ixodes pacificus, Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes Dermacentor nitens and Rhipicephalus sanguineus).

The Fatality rate is 5-10%

Bartonella is caused by several species of bacteria. It is known to be transmitted by vectors such as fleas, biting flies, body louse, mosquitoes and ticks (Argasidae Carios kelleyi, Ixodes pacificus, Ixodes ricinus, Ixodes scapularis and Rhipicephalus sanguineus).

Bartonella has also been associated with the saliva of dogs and cats, normally passed on through scratches, bites or everyday grooming. Congenital transmission is also documented.

Some species of Bartonella have a Fatality rate of 10-90%.

Brucellosis is caused by several species of the bacterium Brucella. It is contracted through ingestion of contaminated milk products, direct blood contact with an infected animal and inhalation of the organism. Brucellosis is the most commonly reported laboratory-associated bacterial infection. Transmission has been documented by sexual contact, tissue transplant, congenital means and through breast-feeding. It is also contracted through flies and with the bite of an infected tick (Ixodes ricinus) .

Brucellosis is classified as a class B bioterrorism agent.

The Fatality rate is less than 5%.

Colorado Tick Fever is caused by the Colorado tick fever virus, a member of the Coltivirus genera. Some cases have been associated with exposures to the virus in laboratory settings and transfusion associated cases have been reported. Typically, it is contracted with the bite of infected ticks (Argasidae Otobius megnini, Ixodes Dermacentor andersoni, Ixodes Dermacentor occidentalis, Ixodes Dermacentor variabilis and Rhipicephalus sanguineus)

Colorado Tick Fever is classified as a Biosafety Level 2 arbovirus. Although prompt recovery is the expected outcome, rare fatalities are reported.

Mycoplasma infections are caused by several specific and unique species of cell-wall deficient bacteria. Mycoplasmas are transmitted through respiratory secretions, congenital means and the bite of infected ticks (Ixodes pacificus, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris and Argasidae Ornithodoros parkeri).

Q fever is caused by the rickettsia Coxiella burnetii. Because infected animals shed this organism in urine, feces, birth products, and milk; transmission occurs by inhalation of dust, ingestion of infected milk and the bite of infected ticks (Amblyomma americanum, Argasidae Otobius megnini, Ixodes Dermacentor andersoni, Ixodes Dermacentor occidentalis, Ixodes Dermacentor variabilis and Rhipicephalus sanguineus). Infection can also be transmitted congenitally.

Coxiella burnetii could be developed for use in biological warfare and is considered a potential terrorist threat.

The Fatality rate may approach 65% for chronic cases.

Relapsing fever is caused by several species of the bacterium Borrelia. Most commonly, it is contracted with the bite of infected ticks (Amblyomma americanum, Argasidae Ornithodoros hermsi, Argasidae Ornithodoros parkeri, Argasidae Ornithodoros talaje and Argasidae Ornithodoros turicata). Infection can also be transmitted through the blood of rodents, the bite of infected lice or take place by contamination of a wound in the skin. It is also known to be transmitted congenitally.

The Fatality rate may approach 10% in untreated patients.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. Typically, it is contracted with the bite of infected ticks (Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma cajennense, Amblyomma maculatum, Argasidae Ornithodoros parkeri, Argasidae Otobius megnini, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes pacificus, Ixodes Dermacentor andersoni, Ixodes Dermacentor occidentalis, Ixodes Dermacentor variabilis and Rhipicephalus sanguineus), but has also been acquired through blood transfusion and contamination of the skin with tick blood or feces.

The fatality rate is 20% or more and up to 30% in untreated patients.

Tularemia is caused by the organism Francisella tularensis. It is a highly infectious, invasive and potentially dangerous pathogen. So much so that the CDC has it listed as a possible bio-weapon.

Tularemia has many modes of transmission. Typically, contraction occurs with the bite of an infected vector such as the deerfly, the horsefly, the mosquito, the flea or the tick (Amblyomma americanum, Amblyomma maculatum, Argasidae Otobius megnini, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris, Ixodes pacificus, Ixodes Dermacentor andersoni, Ixodes Dermacentor occidentalis and Ixodes Dermacentor variabilis). In addition, it is transmitted through contaminated water, food and soil.

Handling infected animals and ingesting infected game puts many at risk. Organisms can be transmitted directly through a bite from pets and wild animals, such as raccoons, snakes, and coyotes, which have bitten a sick or dead rabbit and thus have the bacteria in their mouths. Tularemia has also been acquired through inhalation of airborne particulates.

Tularemia is classified as a Category A disease/agent. The fatality rate is 5-15% in untreated patients, and when spread by aerosol, the rate increases to 30-60%.

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Tincup
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She is just so darn smart.

TANKS Melanie!!!

[Big Grin]

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www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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Melanie Reber
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anytime, my dear...

BTW, it is a good idea to keep a box of disposable gloves next to the door for quick tick checks on 2 and 4 legged loved ones. [Smile]

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bettyg
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mel, outstanding info!!
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Geneal
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Okay. I'm doomed.

With 7 dogs and often ticks I am guilty as well

With the "bare handed" approach. [Eek!]

I am careful to not have any open cuts on my fingers.

I also wash my hands with soap and water and then use an alcohol cleaner.

I'm doomed!

Hugs,

Geneal

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aileenhome
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Thanks for all the info. I hate to say it about any living thing but ticks are just disgusting creatures. My dogs do sleep in the bedroom although they do not get on the bed. After all my checking and brushing both dogs last night, I later saw a tick crawling on the bedroom floor next to where one of them was lying! Dogs are sadly now banished to the kitchen till next winter.

I was so lucky to see it crawling - you cannot imagine how often I checked myself even during the night. This is very stressful.

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Tincup
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In my opinion....

Having a pet in the bedroom is like sleeping in a grassy field.

You are exposed to everywhere they go.... without having left your home.

MANY times I've had people tell me they've found dead ticks IN their bed.

So do be careful!

Love your pets but love yourself and your family too.

[Big Grin]

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www.TreatTheBite.com
www.DrJonesKids.org
www.MarylandLyme.org
www.LymeDoc.org

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jlc
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I believe by my having my dog and cat around is where I got lymes to begin with. I am certain that they crawled off them during the night and found me.

Why they never find my dh is beyond me, but I am thankful. Same with my kids. However I don't get why my cat or dog haven't got lymes (they don't have the shot, well maybe my dog does can't remember).

And apparently according to our medical world I had been bite three times. That is at least how my tests came back those three separate times when I was really sick. So how much truth there is to that (which probably isn't much).

How could a person possibly be bite by an infected tick that much and no one else in the family or neighborhood has been infected.

Bad luck?

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Melanie Reber
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Both of my animals became sick with TBDs. Sadly, my beautiful Borzoi died. My cat is now on his second round of ABX.

He was always an indoor/ outdoor kitty, until I found a nymph on MY bed where he had been laying one day... AND he was wearing Rx tick control at the time. Needless to say, he is an indoor only cat now, and has adjusted just fine.

Please, we all love our animals, but we need to protect them as well as ourselves.

And... just because you are not noticing symptoms in your pets... does NOT mean that they are not already infected. Become educated in what symptoms to look out for in your pets.

Sometimes, they do not present the same as ours.

Remember, they can not tell you when or what hurts, you must be vigilant if you have EVER found a tick on either your cat or dog.

Do not wait until it is too late.

The Borris files: Canine and Feline LD Information:
http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=040295

Posts: 7052 | From Colorado | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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