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Friday, December 10, 2010

Pet of the Week - me!

Today I was adopted by an animal as its "host". I guess that made me "pet of the week" in its mind.

Unfortunately, I was not inclined to tolerate my guest once I realised what it was that was causing me to itch like hell.

I eventually checked in the mirror to see why my neck was sore, and realised I had a little "tenant". I took a photo of the insect "in situ".

I then rang my friend George, to ask if he would:
  1. take a clean photo for me; and then
  2. please carefully remove my guest.
By this time I had worked out that it was a Tick, but I didn't know if it was "just a scrub tick".

Well, several hours later, I have looked at the photos and it is apparent that my tick was in fact a Paralysis Tick - even if it is a very small one.

DJW EDIT: To clarify:
This is a real live Paralysis Tick, which had nearly paralysed
a puppy of my friends Steve and Celeste.

My Tick was smaller than this. That's because it had been discovered and removed within a few hours. It had not time to swell to its full bloated size, which is when they are usually causing paralysis of dogs.

Another shot of the Tick which nearly killed my friend's dog.
Comparing "my" tick with this one, I am confident that they are the same species.

Damned glad George was able to get it out totally (which took some concentrated effort). Now all I have to do is resist the temptation to scratch my neck. I have a considerable swelling, several inches long, by about an inch from top to bottom.

This is the first Tick I had found on myself in 5 years. The previous one was contracted in Sydney. I was out and about yesterday, on Tourist Road and also at Manning Lookout - both are potential tick sites. However, as it was a fresh attack, perhaps the Tick had stayed overnight in my car, then attached itself to me this morning, when I got back in the car.

The alternative (that it attached itself to me in Robertson), is puzzling, for it would be the first Paralysis Tick attack that I know of, from Robertson proper. I do know they occur in the district, but usually closer to the escarpment, or at lower levels - on the Sandstone plateaux below Robertson.

FURTHER EDIT
THIS IS SAID TO BE THE SAFEST WAY TO REMOVE TICKS.
THE TOOL " A TICK TWISTER" IS AVAILABLE IN AUSTRALIA.

Tick removal with O'TOM Tick Twister
Uploaded by H3D. - Watch hilarious animal videos

12 comments:

Flabmeister said...

Denis
In most cases pets do not get their blood sucked by their owners.

It is more like the Maasai who rate wealth according to the number of cattle. So perhaps you are "Treasure of the Week"?

Martin

Gouldiae said...

G'day Denis,
Glad you got it out before your hind legs started going weak! Nasty little suckers. We don't have too much of a problem with them here although east and north of Lakes Entrance they start, apparently.
Regards,
Gouldiae.

mick said...

Nasty little biter! ALL ticks have some poison in them and it just depends how sensitive the person or animal is to that poison. Take care!

Anthony said...

Ticks are nasty business. we see them on us often when banding in the forest near Moruya. I carry tick twisters (http://www.ticktwister.com/) which are available from vets. the key thing is to not squeeze them while you're removing them, so the tick twisters work a treat. the other thing to do after a weekend in the scrub is to have a significant other give you a FULL body inspection!

cheers
A

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Mick, Gouldiae, Anthony and Martin.
.
Anthony, my brother who lives in Narooma has told me about something which sounds like your Tick Twister. Thanks for that. I have sent a message asking where he bought his. I might order from Internet, if not readily available here. Many thanks.
.
Martin - you managed to take my "Joke" about me being "Pet of the week" to new heights (or to a new "Low" - in view of your cattle reference).
.
I am gaining a new respect for Ticks as I type this, in the morning, with a swelling the size of a finger across my neck. Strangely it is horizontal - must be something about the glands or blood fly in that area. Fortunately it has not gone up into my head.
.
Anthony's point about a "significant other" is good advice. Fortunately I was able to persuade my good friend to assist me. So painful, not much risk of me not noticing if I had one in a difficult to see spot.
My next option would have been visit the Doctor.
.
Gouldiae. In days gone by, the boundary for many "tropical" creatures (incl birds and plants) was Mallacoota. Seems like it might have moved somewhat south, with Climate Change effects. Interesting.
Thanks everybody.
Denis

wildwings said...

Hi Denis, Now this is a creature with which I am familiar. We find it is much easier to remove a dead tick so we always daub them with ti-tree oil first. The oil smothers them and it is also an antiseptic, they tend to back out a bit and are easier to remove. When I've been on my own I just smother them and worry about getting the body out later. And once its dead it doesn't matter if you don't get it all out. Try lavender oil for the itching .... you'll smell gorgeous!
Cheers
Barbara

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Barbara
I am a great believer in Tea Tree Oil.
Lavender Oil is a novelty though.
Cheers
Denis

Mark Young said...

You're fortunate Denis, I don't tolerate ticks very well at all. A tick this size would've had me in bed for 2 days!

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mark
I have heard from friends that e Northern Beaches area is "tick central".
The first two shots (only) are of my tick.
The last two were of one taken from a puppy of a friend. It nearly died.
However, it is serious enough. I am now on antibiotics for a reaction which has developed.
My neck now has a lump on it, the size of a finger, laid across my neck, horizontally. I assume the angle of the swelling is to do with flow of lymph or other substances involved in the reaction.
Glad I was advised to seek medical attention, though.
My first Tick Bite here in Robertson, though I had one on the back of my neck, from Sydney, years ago. I didn't know what it was at first, till eventually I scratched something off, and realised it had legs on it. Then I sought assistance to remove it properly.
At least this one I could see in the mirror.
Cheers
Denis

@steve_happ said...

Hi Dennis,
that is really gross. ha ha. Excellent description of the tick and the effects. I had a mate up north who used to collect ticks to sell to vets for anti-venin [sic].

Great post, mate.

cheers,
steve

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Steve
Glad you can see the funny side of it, as I can - but only just.
The itch has spread. I am still scratching my left chest muscle and throat. All hot to the touch.
.
Now on antihistamines, and antibiotics.
Been out all day, now in need of a sleep.
Denis

Anonymous said...

Hi Denis,
We had our dog at death's door twice in the last 12 months after tick attacks. Two of our neighbours have also had rushed and expensive trips to the vet. This is the first time in the 25 years that we have been here that they have been an issue. As you know we are on the higher 'rainforesty' side of the road.
jill