I pulled a tick off of my leg yesterday. Since then, a big red welt has developed with a large white cirlce and the wound is oozing. I called my doctor's office this afternoon and described the area. They told me they don't test for Lyme disease this soon. They said it takes many weeks before symptoms develop and they can't do anything until then. My daughter, who has had Lyme Disease was shocked at their response. Maybe someone can help me out with this since I don't know anything about Lyme Disease. Thanks so much.
I would guess that your Dr is not lyme literate. If I remember right, you can break out in the rash within a few days. You don't know for sure when the tick first bit, it may have been attached for a day or so??. A tick and a bullseye rash say lyme.... the CDC does not even require a blood test for a positive if a tick and bullseye rash are present. The rash can last a week to several weeks, I think if it is lyme it usually last at least a week.) The bite can also have a reaction from the bite itself (the oozing)
I would take photos of the rash. I was re-infected several months ago. I took pictures every few days with a ruler next to the bite. (a quarter will work) I would also contact a LLMD. You daughter who has had lyme can provide alot of info for you. (I hope she is cured). If you need a Dr's name, ask and someone will post one. You can get alot of info just reading these lyme posts. If you need advice, someone will help. We are not experts but we have alot of ideas we can pass along.
It sounds like you have caught it early. It is so much easier to treat and "cure" in the early stages. Please do seek prompt treatment with a LLMD. Within a few weeks the lyme can get out of the blood stream and into tissue. (disseminated and much harder to get to) And be aware that ticks carry more than just lyme disease. Most Dr's are not lyme literate and either don't listen or have outdated protocols. Good luck and keep us posted.
Last edited by Pearlscale; 08-11-2006 at 09:48 PM.
Hi NancyEllen. How did you remove the tick? Did you save it? If so, it can be tested for disease at IgeneX Lab in Palo Alto, CA.
As Marsha stated, a bullseye rash is a definite sign of Lyme. The rash alone merits treatment. Do get photos, it is important documentation. Place something near the rash, like a coin or ruler, before photographing to give it size definition. Then you have evidence of it if needed later.
From what I understand, an infection caught within two weeks of the bite should be treated with a minimum of six weeks of the proper dose antibiotic. The antibiotics kill the bacteria when they are reproducing, which is estimated at four weeks. Six weeks of treatment will cover one growth cycle. If symptoms are still present, further treatment is warranted. A longer infection needs longer treatment. Getting the proper treatment early in the infection may reduce the chance of long-term complications.
It is very important to see a knowledgeable doctor. Many doctors do not understand Lyme and treat with outdated protocols. Besides Lyme, ticks can transmit several co-infections including Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis (HME & HGE), Bartonella, and Mycoplasma. Many people who have Lyme are co-infected, and it may affect treatment choice and progress. It is important to be tested for these by a Lyme reputable lab such as IgeneX in Palo Alto, CA. Dr. Stephen Phillips is Wilton, CT comes very highly recommended. I highly recommend calling his office for advice.
Thank you both for responding. I removed the tick with tweezers like I normally do and flushed it down the toilet. I don't usually react to tick bites so I just flushed it. I took a picture of my leg the following day with a ruler next to it. It's wasn't as swollen so I am not sure how it will look, I haven't downloaded it yet. Everything seemed to be fine with the bite and my leg so I haven't been worried about it. However, after work today, my ankle was swollen and right now my leg feels numb and is tingling. I am on the other side of the state of Connecticut from Dr. Phillips office, plus in order for any medical insurance to kick in I have to get a referral from my regular doctor. Just wanted to keep you updated.
Please, please- do not wait!!! Get at least your family physician to start you on 6 weeks of antibiotics while you wait for a Lyme literate physician's appointment. The small risk of taking 6 weeks of un-needed antibiotics is far less than waiting. I called my physician within 3 days after removing a tick that had been on me at least 3 days- enlarged lymph nodes and oozing bite site- did not treat me- musculoskeletal pains started 3-4 weeks later- became progressively worse over the next month. Finally tested and started on treatment by clinic in NC- treated over 9 months. All could probably have been prevented by treating me immediately.
Thanks Ticker- I only wish I had done my research as soon as I found the tick (not a deer tick). About 3 weeks after the bite, I developed a strange anterior hip pain and started researching that- infectious is what my symptoms pointed to. Only when everything started to spiral downward, did I insist on being treated by my primary physician even when her tests (Quest) came back negative. Then I started my search for a LLMD and ended up with a cancellation in NC far earlier that any of the 3 LLMD's that I had made appointments with (NJ, PA and NC). Came back positive from Igenex, no co-infections. Even though the tick I found at the time was not a deer tick, I did send it to Igenex- came back negative- but from the timing of symptoms, etc, there must have been a deer tick at the same time that I didn't find. I did not have a rash anytime that I knew of. I am left with joint stiffness in one hand and more generalized stiffness than I ever had before, but think I am better off than many others I read about. Anyway, I'm an advocate of immediate treatment even if it's not a definitive diagnosis and I hope "Bit by a Tick" seeks treatment NOW.