Ticks & Lyme Disease

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by maninblack, Jul 20, 2007.

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  1. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    The TA and cadets do not get the same exposure to bugs and things as do the regular soldiers so you may not be up to speed on ticks and their potential implications.

    It is important that you check yourself for ticks after a day in the field or week of exercise as Lyme Disease

    Identifying Ticks
    For those not in the know ticks are a small, spider like creatures that bites through the skin and hang on tight for between a few hours and a few days as they feed on your blood. They are generally either very small, ie the size of a small seed, through to the size of a pea when they have been feeding for a few days.

    Removing Ticks.
    DO NOT
    Cover them in grease.
    Squash them
    Pull them off with your finger nails
    Pull them off with a leatherman
    Spray them with poison

    Remove them with tweezers or a tick remover, holding them as close to the skin as possible and pulling straight out.

    Ticks to not have corkscrew mouths and do not come out better with a clockwise or anti clockwise twist. This risks snapping their head off on the bite and will lead to an infected bite or an ulcer.

    Watch the area of the bite for up to 30 days, should you have a red rash that spreads out from the bite area then consult a doctor.

    Should you, in the next 30 days or so after a field exercise, suffer joint pain, poor temperature regulation, headaches, rashes, sore throat etc then advise your doctor that you may have been exposed to Lyme Disease.

    Lyme Disease is treatable and in most cases a minor problem but the results of not treating it can be very serious.

    Lyme Disease is not carried by all ticks but it is quite rare to be infected, perhaps 2-3,000 cases per year occur in the UK but it is not pleasant and can be contracted on many of the military training areas.

    For more information start off at.

  2. Good call. I tend to get 3 or 4 a year (and my Springer gets 3-4 a week). You can get some tick tweezers that make life a bit easier and a good swab of the area with some surgical spirit and then some germolene keeps things clean.

    On exercise this is more of a challenge, but on the long prairie grass or SPTA etc a good reason to weat trouser twists as opposed to using the drawstring on the combat pyjamas.
  3. Agree with all said, except the twisting out of ticks. i find that they come out much easy witha couple of turns - either way!
  4. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    I think you will find that is spark plugs that twist out.

    The advice from both the US and UK medical fraternity is a straight pull not a twist but the most important thing is to grab then around the head not the body.
  5. But then you risk decapitating the tick, which causes complications for you.

    Clearly, someone with your experience, Outstanding, is able to twist, but for all first-timers, don't twist! :D
  6. Had one on my ball sack of all places and used the twisting action to try and remove it, bad idea! Had to go to A+E to see if they could remove the head for me, another bad move! I've never been TRIAGEed so quickly in all my life. I had every nurse and doctor in the place having a good look at my bollox and eventually a surgeon popped in to see what he could do.

    End result was a course of antibiotics and a few sniggers and strange looks on my departure.

    Incidently, I got the "twist and pull" advice from the NHS24 helpline, fcukin' useless tossers!
  7. One thing I want to add to this discussion is how critical proper identification of Lyme disease is. A good friend was misdiagnosed with it and started treatment which almost proved fatal... she actually has lupus.

    The classic bullseye rash associated with Lyme is the best early warning indicator... failing that there are a few other conditions that display the exact same symptoms.

    Ticks are, unfortunately, are a big problem here in Connecticut... Lyme disease actually takes it's name from a town here in this state. Even the youngest kids are tought that any ventures into the woods are followed by a "tick check" and many local doctors perscribe antibiotics to patients who have been fed on regardless of whether or not a rash is present simply as a matter of prevention.
  8. I was always taught never to pull a tick out because the mandible is like a pincer and comes in from each side. So if you pull it out, one of the jaws will stay in place.

    The method I was taught was to apply the tip of a cigarette to it's arrse, that encourages the tick to release it's grip.
  9. Not when it's attached to your scrote mate, believe me...
  10. Whilst in Scotland on exercise one of the guys had a tick crawl onto his ring piece. His buddy tried the cigarette method, but got himself into a bit of a hole. Once the screaming subsided the female MO got a strop on, but sorted him out.
  11. Another tip, is push the tick forward before you pull it out. This encourages the tick to straighten, so there is much less chance of leaving any of it inside you.
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Buy from me the O Tom tick remover for less than £4 including instructions. I have a collection of ticks from my dogs and they are the best item on the market. Do not I repeat DO NOT ever pull them out! Use the O Tom and the things come straight out with all the nasty bits attached!

    Ugly's business
    E mail us your details or phone and we can send them out. Lymes disease is notto be messed with but simple precautions and daily checks are vital. Most professional stalkers I know seem to be infected with it and its no fun!
  13. Is it true ticks breath out of their arrses? If so would applying vaseline ( or KY depending on which way inclined you are) be good as they would start to suffocate. As a result they would remove themselves from your skin to try and breath and you can just flick them off or kill them to get one less tick in the world.
  14. In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and in some other Eastern European countries ticks carry encephalitis, this, if it is not treated very quickly, leads to brain infection followed by paralasis and possibly death. There is a vacination against it. If anyone is ever in this part of the world and contemplates a walk in the country or the forest make sure you have had the jab first.
    Dogs and cats are do not develop this disease from carrying the ticks, if the ticks move from the animals to humans the disease follows.
  15. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    Tests carried out in the USA where tick infections are more common and therefore more researched have indicated that burning them or applying grease to suffocate them causes distress to the tick which can result in the tick vomiting its stomach contects into the wound thereby increasing the chance of passing on an infection or at least causing an infected ulcerated bite.