Tick bites arenít always easy to detect, as some may not cause any pain at all. Each of us reacts differently so it may just depend on the person or pet, the tick (parasite) and if they are carrying any type of infection. As they are such tiny parasites, they are difficult to see unless you purposely look for them. Those which manage to get under a petís fur are even more hidden, so if you think your pet has ticks, conduct a thorough search all over their body.
What to do about tick bites - Most will not require any form of medication or treatment, however as some of these parasites do carry infections and diseases in certain parts of the world, it is always best to know what to do if you, your family or pets are bitten. When travelling to foreign countries where such diseases are prevalent, your doctor will normally advise what precautions to take and if there are any vaccinations necessary to prevent you becoming really ill.
Tick bite diseases - As ticks can carry infections and diseases, you will want to remove them from the body carefully but quickly and any sore areas can then be cleaned and monitored. It is imperative that when removing the parasite that you get the whole thing and do not leave the head embedded in the skin. Visit our removal page for more information. Ticks can transmit a bacterial infection called Lyme disease (Borrelia Burgdorferi) which if not treated can cause serious complications. If the bites lead to a red rash which grows and expands from the initial mark then see a doctor immediately. If Lyme disease is not treated early it could lead to meningitis, facial palsy, heart problems and damage to joints (such as arthritis). Other dangers of being bitten are Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Colorado tick fever.
Tick bite symptoms that you should look out for are - aches in the joints, headaches, difficulty in breathing, rashes, severe swelling, weakness and fever. Always consult a doctor if you have any concerns over any of these symptoms and if you believe they are the result of being bitten.
A Tick Bite
What does a tick bite look like? The photo above shows an example. These parasites cannot fly or jump, so make their way on to a host by falling or crawling. As they attach themselves in trees, shrubs and to tall grass, it makes it easy for them to make their way on to humans and animals that come in to contact/brush past. They are normally found in the countryside, woods, forests and farms. Once this type of parasite gets onto the body of a host it will manoeuvre its way to a warm location such as under the hair, arm and potentially around the groin. It then clings on to the skin, embedding its head into the skin and starts feeding, by sucking blood. The bite can leave you or your pet with a red lump and in more severe cases they can cause itchiness, swelling, blistering and bruising.
How to prevent tick bites - You can look to avoid a tic bite through several methods. The first would be to avoid areas where you know they thrive or if this is not possible, dress appropriately (light colors) covering up bare skin and not allowing them the opportunity to get on to your body. You can purchase multiple repellents from the internet or from your local store. Deet is a good strong repellent used worldwide. Remember to regularly check your pets and family for parasites if you are camping, hunting or spending a lot of time outdoors in the countryside. If you are unlucky enough to have been bitten monitor the situation and any effect it may have on your health.