My very close friend back home in Iowa has a two year old grandson who may have gotten Lyme Disease from tick bites. She lives out in the country, heavily wooded area and ticks are prevalent throughout the grounds. Her dogs get them sometimes but they've been given some sort of medication that prevents them from getting sick.
A few weeks back, they had taken three ticks off of her grandson after he was playing outside. Because he has platinum blonde hair, they're pretty visible on his scalp but nevertheless they still check him thoroughly. One did get looked over or it got on him after one of the dogs laid by him inside the house. They allow her grandson to go outside and play because it's expansive where she lives and there's plenty of room for him to run and play. The tick that was left on his head apparently festered and it got a pus sack around it and my friend's son had to remove the tick with a pair of tweezers because the tick was so blood filled that it would not release. It was apparently still embedded and sucking on his little head.
The doctor has told them that they need to watch him very closely for Lyme Disease but has given them very little information about it. I told her that I would compile some information for them and then print it off to send because she doesn't have any access via computer. These bites are not the first ones that he's had but they are the worst and now they're extremely worried because he's only two years old.
I need solid concrete information for them to read and learn from because information that isn't will only panic them.
Can anyone please help?
I found this in part to a response that Rainsummer gave to the poster about what they were experiencing...a neuropathy problem...
The website gave a lot of signs/symptoms to watch for and what shocked me was that some things can happen weeks, months, even years from the actual tick bite and infection. WOW!!!
Here's that link and then they listed other links as well.
The Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation has good information.
Check the various links to see what's available.
Click on "The Lyme Rash" for many pictures.
Diagnostic Hints and Treatment Guidelines for Lyme and Other Tick Borne Illnesses
Joseph J Burrascano, Jr., M.D.
Updated September, 2005
The above is in PDF form. If you'd like that article in html form, so that you can edit and adjust the typeface, etc., see this:
Dr. Burrascano's article is some of the best info you'll find.
Many people use that one to give their doctor for reference.
page 17, ANTIBIOTIC CHOICES AND DOSES
Children: 50 mg/kg/day divided into q8h doses.
Translation: 50 milligrams per kilogram of child's weight, per day, divided into every eight hour doses.
page 19, TREATMENT CATEGORIES
TICK BITES - Embedded Deer Tick
3) Young Children: Oral therapy for 28 days.
EARLY LOCALIZED - rash
3) Children: oral therapy for 6+ weeks.
A Lyme support group that is very helpful to newbies with questions is the flash discussion group at LymeNet.org.
You can post your query on the medical questions forum.
Make your title very descriptive, so that people with experience with pediatric lyme will read it and answer.
From what I've seen, children who are bitten by ticks and/or have symptoms, find better medical treatment if it is the PARENTS who search for information.
If it is a relative or a friend, they are much less likely to understand the gravity of the situation.
Whomever has responsibility for the child will have to do a lot of reading to find out about tick borne infections.
The physician who saw the child obviously does not realize that the child must be given prophylactic (preventative) antibiotics immediately.
Once he develops the rash, (and not everyone does) or gets other symptoms, the bacteria has disseminated within his body.
The parents must understand WHY it this so important, so that they will continue to seek a physician who will treat their child, and not just accept the faulty answer they were given.
NaniKai's post contained nothing that suggested an actual transmission of the Lyme organism into the little boy. A bacterial infection would have nothing to do with Lyme transmission. Are you advocating use of antibiotics in all tick exposures/bites?
Thank you for all of these links. Whatever information I'm able to get ahold of my friend has assured me that she will read each and every article. She wants to know what the eventual prognosis for him would be and what to watch for specifically. This little boy is perfectly healthy otherwise. He lives in the city and apparently can't go outside to play much so when he's at my friend's house, it's virtually the only time that he can run and play freely. They just never realized how bad the ticks were that year.
Thank you so much for all of this tremendous help!!!
My question to Carol prompted me to do a little research. So now my head's roaring again. I found the dabate interesting. They actually have studied the effectiveness of treating people (adults) prophylactically with one dose of doxycycline after observed tick bites. It was shown that this did reduce the chances of developing Lyme disease, but the effect could only be measured in areas of HIGH Lyme incidence. Iowa has a mixed risk of "none to medium" in a map based on reported Lyme cases:
In the study giving antibiotics immediately after a tick bite DID NOT prevent all people from subsequently developing Lyme disease.
Doxycycline cannot be given to children. So the recommendation is to use amoxicillin, augmentin, cefuroxime (or in the case of allery Biaxin, Zithromax or erythromycin which are all slightly less effective)
If your friend's child was given one of these (short course=3days or more?) then he was likely given sufficient prophylaxis as far as the information I found available (given that adults were treated with ONE dose only of a med that is normally given twice a day)
There are many websites that discuss prevention of tick bites. Your friends should employ these to prevent the worry.
I agree with Carol that the boys parents need to educate themselves on the issue.
No, we're worried that he might have contracted it and that the symptoms of it will show up later on when damage is already done to his nervous system. We want to know what signs and symptoms to watch for because the doctor who attended him at the time of the tick bite and infection on his head did not state anything. I promised that I would find all that I could and then print off information to send to her via snail mail because she has no computer access.
Beings this is a very close friend of 39 years, I want to do all that I can to help her find the answers for her grandson. When the doctor treated him, he did a short course of antibiotics but after the infrection cleared up, he was not given any more. What we're concerned about is that he plays outside and he has gotten tick bites since the initial bite and infection. Is there anything that they can do to guard against him getting bites other than having him play outside in long sleeves and pants with a hat too? In Iowa heat in the summer time, this could be putting him in harm's way because of the humidity. What seems hot in California is much worse in Iowa. I can't imagine keeping him inside when it's so warm outside...he has to be allowed to play.
I totally agree with you and they're trying to but I'm just trying to help them since their access is at best limited.
If I've troubled anyone with this post of questions, my apologies.
I'll just go with the information that I've been given and be ever so humble and thankful to have received it.
Carol NaniKai's post contained nothing that suggested an actual transmission of the Lyme organism into the little boy. A bacterial infection would have nothing to do with Lyme transmission. Are you advocating use of antibiotics in all tick exposures/bites? "
Hey Quixotic1, did you know that Lyme is caused by a bacterial infection? What do you mean a bacterial infection has nothing to do with Lyme transmission? Lyme is caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia burgdoferi. Treatment is antibiotics.
Recent guidelines do suggest prophylactic use of antibiotics for tick bites in edemic areas.
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