After Tick Removal
After Tick Removal
You've removed a tick from yourself or a loved one. What's next?
Finding and removing an embedded tick can be an alarming experience. As we know, ticks can carry a variety of pathogens so it’s important to know what kind of tick
you’ve been bitten by. It is also imperative to seek medical help immediately if you’ve been bitten by a tick - the sooner you receive treatment for a tick borne disease, the better your chance of recovery.
In the initial weeks after the bite, it is important to be keenly aware of any changes in your health, including whether or not a bullseye rash appears at the bite site, or any other skin abnormalities, fevers, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, or flu-like symptoms emerge. These symptoms are typical of Lyme disease, but this illness can show up differently in people, so any noticeable changes in health should be noted and reported to your physician.
Not all tick-borne diseases show up as described above, so it is good to know what the symptoms of the major tick-borne illnesses are. You can find a detailed list of each illness and their associated symptoms here.
As unpleasant as it may be, it can be beneficial to keep the tick after removal. If you decide to do this you will need place the tick in a sealable container, like this one included in our AtlanTick Tick Kit. You can add alcohol to the container to submerge and kill the tick, while allowing it to remain intact. Once safely contained you can use the saved tick to identify the species, and the potential risks associated with it. We strongly urge you to be sure the the tick is dead before disposing of it.
If you’re having a hard time with the idea of waiting for symptoms to emerge, you can send the tick itself in for testing, to find out which pathogens it may be carrying. There are several labs across North America who charge relatively minimally for this type of service, though the illnesses they test for may be limited and, depending on which lab you choose, the time it takes to complete the testing can vary from days to several months.
If you choose to go this route, you might need to keep the tick alive, contained and intact. Requirements for submission can be different from lab to lab, some accepting live ticks, some taking ticks submerged in alcohol, and some requiring you deep freeze the sample before shipping. In each case it is helpful to label the container with the date and location the bite occurred.
Our mission at AtlanTick is to provide you with valuable information and tools to help you avoid tick bites and their associated diseases. If you’ve found yourself in the unfortunate position of acquiring a bite, the AtlanTick Tick Kit contains everything you’ll need to safely remove and store an embedded tick.