Yesterday, I could not help myself. The sun was shining and I am more than ready for the warm weather, so I opened my windows (cool out or not) to get the fresh air blowing through my house. I find this time of year I get impatient to be warm again. Shed the coat and socks for cute dresses and sandals. I want more than anything to get on my bike and ride or walk the trail with my dogs.
It is also this time of the year that ticks start emerging for their spring feast….of our and our pets’ blood. As we all know by now, there are the gross but less harmful wood ticks and the potentially life-altering deer ticks (blacklegged) that carry Lyme disease. Ticks live in the very places I want to be…strolling through the woods or even in my backyard gardening.
A few years ago, my son and I spent the day outside in our backyard only to notice during supper he had a tick feasting inside his ear. He didn’t even feel it! Luckily, it was just a wood tick that I was able to carefully remove completely and simply watched for any signs of infection to the area. Some people aren’t as lucky.
I wish the bite from a tick felt like a mosquito or a bee, then we would know it. Unfortunately, a tick can feed on us without our knowledge and the results can be potentially deadly. In about 80% of cases, the first sign of Lyme disease is the famous “bull’s eye” rash that starts 3 to 30 days after the bite. Other symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, stiff and sore muscles and joints. Sometimes, there are no symptoms. Reactions or not, Lyme disease can develop into a chronic disease that is difficult to treat.
Here at Pharmasave, we offer a tick test. This test offers you the peace of mind to know, within 10 minutes, if that tick you or your pet has is positive for Lyme disease within 10-20 minutes with an accuracy of 94%. The benefit of this is that you don’t have to sit in the Emergency Room for hours to have the tick sent off to public health and wait (sometimes weeks) for the results. You can purchase the kit and perform the test yourself (which I take whenever I go camping), or we can perform the test here at the pharmacy. If the test is positive, you are now armed with your test results and can seek medical attention immediately. The outcome of quick treatment is significantly improved compared to symptom progression.
With the tick kit, you are armed with the peace of mind to know you can get your results quickly and with 94% accuracy. Just be smart and wear those light coloured long sleeves, long pants and socks if you’re going to be enjoying nature. An insect repellent can be an extra added protection. So, get outside, enjoy the sunshine and move your body. Do your “tick check” for both yourself and your pets upon your return, and have a great spring!