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Tick bite - Lyme Disease; advice needed

(11 Posts)
Selks Sun 26-Jun-11 15:35:28

Any nurses or doctors or people knowledgeable on this subject on here who wouldn't mind me running something by them?

I returned from a (fabulous) holiday on the isle of Mull yesterday. I've had a bite on my ankle for the last week which has refused to heal and has been itchy and sore. Looking on the internet now it looks very much like a tick bite, although I did not see a tick attached at any point (but it would have been hidden by my jeans all day in any case). But it doesn't look at all like a regular mozzie or horsefly's been like a blood blister surrounded by a 1.5 cm wide red area, infected-ish looking.

I'm going to ring the doctors tomorrow to get someone to take a look at it because it looks a bit infected (sorry, tmi) but I'm a bit scared in case it is a tick bite as the Highlands including Mull has frequent incedences of Lyme Disease which is passed on by bites by Lyme infected ticks.

Can anyone tell me, do GPs take seriously the possibility of Lymes, and is there anything that can be done as a preventative? I.e a course of anti-biotics as a preventative before any possible symptoms develop?

I'm kind of dreading seeing the doc as I find them generally pretty dismissive and reluctant to diagnose, and I've heard that many doctors are not clued up at all re Lyme Disease, but it is a rapidly increasing problem in the UK.

I could really do without getting ill.

Thanks in advance

Riveninside Sun 26-Jun-11 15:45:36

I think if you mention it and its a 'bullseye' rex aeound the bite most GPs will listen.

whydobirdssuddenlyappear Sun 26-Jun-11 15:51:12

My mum just had a bullseye rash from a tick bite, and her doctor gave her antibiotics to be on the safe side. I think GPs take it seriously, but most will take a blood test to confirm diagnosis before giving the antibiotics.

strawberryjelly Sun 26-Jun-11 15:58:12

had a friend who had this and yes, you need ABs and quickly.

don't hesitate seeing GP and if they can't help go to A&E.

Selks Sun 26-Jun-11 16:00:36

It's not a 'bullseye' rash, and they only happen in apparently 50% of Lymes cases so are not diagnostic.

Thanks for the posts so far.

Honneybunny Sun 26-Jun-11 17:12:13

Hi, My ds2 caught lyme's disease from a tickbite in Norway. Unfortunately he did not get the bulls eye rash, which indeed does not appear in all cases and can also appear at other places on the body than where you had the tick bite.

First symptom was that half his face was paralysed. We took him to A&E and despite me mentioning the ticks, and the fact that two members of our family who were on holiday in the same area and got lyme's after tick bite there in the previous year, the hospital still did not consider lyme as their top diagnosis. This is because in UK Lyme's is not a very common disease. Initially they only wanted to treat ds with antiviral drugs and steroids as they suspected a viral (herpes) infection. It was only because I insisted that they put him on antibiotics as well. He was tested for lyme's and it was positive. This test is not very good though, apparently has both high false positive and false negative results, and can miss cases of Lyme esp in the early stages.

Fortunately for ds the paralysis is almost completely gone, he just has some left that you can see when he is really tired and only if you know him well.
My advice would be to mention your worries WRT tick bite to your GP and if you feel necessary to A&E. Standard treatment would be a course of strong antibiotics for lyme's, which may be what you would get prescribed for an infected insect bite as well I guess. In the meantime I would make sure to be alert in case you develop other symptoms. Ds2's facial paralysis was approx 2-3 wks after the holiday. He also had sore legs, and tummy.

Selks Sun 26-Jun-11 17:20:20

Thank you Honneybunny for sharing your experiences. I hope your DS has made a full recovery - how horrible for him.

Honneybunny Sun 26-Jun-11 22:14:14

thanks Selks
yes he is fine now. but it was awful to see him like that and not know whether his facial paralysis would be permanent. fortunately he's a trooper at taking medicine, as he was on steroids, antivirals and antibiotics for about two weeks, as whilst waiting for the diagnosis they wanted to treat all the possibles.
hope you are fine too. it's good you're getting your bite checked out.

Selks Mon 27-Jun-11 18:50:26

Well I went to the doctors today, and she has started me on a major course of anti-biotics as she reckoned that there was a good chance that it is Lyme Disease.
The good news is that I haven't had any symptoms yet and there is a good chance that the anti-biotics will nip it in the bud - the bad news is that the anti-biotics are not guaranteed to work so I will have to keep an eye out for symptoms.
But the GP was great, she took it seriously and I'm glad that I did too. Lyme Disease is pretty scary.

IDontDoIroning Mon 27-Jun-11 19:05:49

You did the right thing. Even if they were a mosquito bite they can get nasty when infected. There are also some other really nasty biting flies around I think one is called the blandford fly. So you can't be too careful
A few years ago I had 3 bites on my lower leg after doing gardening in cut off trousers. They didn't look like mozzie or horsefly bites and werent sore or itchy. After a few days I started feeling really unwell like i was going down with flu, and after about 2 or 3 weeks I noticed the bulls eye rash around the biggest bite.
I admit I am a house/ er/ casualty fan and knew it could be lymes.
I went to gp, she was sceptical of my self diagnosis as we dont live in a recognised area prone to ticks. However she gave me a weeks course of the required antibiotic and sent me for the blood test.
The blood test was inconclusive but within 2 days I felt so much better. I am 100% convinced it was lymes.

Selks Mon 27-Jun-11 21:25:03

I've had that bullseye rash thing from horsefly and mosquito bites before, but I am allergic to those bites and react badly unless on anti-histamines.

Glad to have the anti-biotics this time - the rash is getting nasty and is driving me crazy with itchiness and soreness. Feel quite rough but I'm telling myself that I will not be too ill for work tomorrow...

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