Avatar universal

Lyme from other ticks?

My question is whether there are any studies or verifiable info that a tick other than a black legged tick can transmit the Lyme bacteria, and if not, what else would cause the rash?

I removed what appears to be an engorged dog/wood tick a week ago in northern Minnesota while traveling. I took photos and kept the tick. After appearing to be healing okay, yesterday, a rash appeared around the bite, grew fairly quickly to a couple inches around, whitish around the bite nodule area, and a rough red ring settled in. I went in to a clinic yesterday and was told since it wasn't a deer tick, and was on under 24 hours, it wouldn't be Lyme, but she prescribed doxycycline for 14 days to be on the safe side, since infection of some kind was apparent. The rash grew more through today, swelled quite a bit, but now at three doses in, it's calming a bit. It's a solid red circle, fairly flat, about 1.5-2" diameter, no longer white in middle, with a crisp edge, surrounded by lighter pink for another inch or so outside.

Does another tick reaction elicit such a rash? I can't find anything other than anecdotal stories mentioning other ticks, but not the rash. I am wondering if I should request another week for the Rx. On a side note, that antibiotic is sure pricey. I will gladly pay if it's advised, though. I just wish I knew what to do with the tick, since it is too big to be a deer tick, it doesn't fit surveillance criteria, I don't think they'll test it.
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5792451 tn?1390934690
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5792451 tn?1390934690
If you're positive it wasn't a deer tick then I would guess it's STARI.
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Avatar universal
But STARI is from the lone star tick, which is not in northern MN, and it really does look like a wood tick. I can find no disease that leaves such a rash for the wood tick. Of course, I know people who are insistent that the Lyme bacteria has spread to other hosts besides the deer tick, hence my anxiety.

Before I finish the Rx, I would love to know if a longer stint on the Rx would be worth continuing it.
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Avatar universal
Without providing any valid proof (which I will find I'm sure) perhaps you're reading the CDC, NIH or state vector agencies PR pieces,

And please don't tell me you left the tick with the doctor!!!!!!  A person CAN have the tick tested by a county lab but, again, CDC rules them. Igenex will, but it costs.

You are right to be anxious! Please try to get more doxy.

I have to take a friend to a doctor's appt but will come back later.

Hint! The CDC draws neat little lines that delineate where certain ticks are found. And the CDC believes that ticks won't cross state borders---- completely ignoring the fact that bird have ticks and birds DO fly across state lines.

Check in Iowa and Wisconsin and see what tick diseases and ticks are there.  But as I said---- gov't sponsored surveillance programs aren't always the best.

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1763947 tn?1334055319
Hi, a long time ago I did research on that question for someone else, I never got a rash, although I now have chronic Lyme. I remember it saying that nothing but a tick infected with Lyme will make the rash. Perhaps others have more recent research results.

I would feel safer with an extra week or 2 of the Doxy just to be safe because when you get to my stage, it's pretty ugly.
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Avatar universal
"The rash of (STARI) is nearly identical to that of Lyme disease, with a red, expanding "bulls eye" lesion that develops around the site of a lone star tick bite. Unlike Lyme disease, STARI has not been linked to any arthritic or neurologic symptoms."

Oops, lost my link! Sorry.

Anytime I read or hear a declarative statement like "the wood tick is not in Minn" I always cringe. (That's not a slur on you, stillbearound, but on the web sites a person  reads----).

Since you said you were near the Canadian border when you were bitten you might want to try http://canlyme.com/

It's an excellent site and might be able to tell you what ticks are across the border from where you were-----even though ticks 'don't cross state borders' and they certainly don't cross national borders. LOL

For a picture of a bird with engorged ticks on it go to:

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Avatar universal
I am sorry if I misunderstood (I should have gone to bed so much earlier last night than when I posted!). It's not that I don't believe a lone star tick might be in MN (although, you are right, I was going by what I read about which ticks are where, which I now see is in fact being found in WI, and probably MN, if that's the case), but that it really looks like a wood tick to everyone who has seen it (we also have those in IA, so it was familiar).

Perhaps if I upload pictures I can get some more educated help from you guys. :-) It did not appear to have the star dot on it. Maybe it was an adult male?

If it is STARI, I assume pushing for 21 days instead of the 14 prescribed would still be wise. You guys are a great help! Thanks!
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Avatar universal
I did not give the tick to anyone, don't worry! :-) However, it did get dried up in my baggy during travel.
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Avatar universal
Here are two little photo collages I threw together. Hope the links work! First is the tick, attached and removed, and the scab a couple days later. Second is the rash over two days. The rash did actually extend out beyond the darker circle, and it swelled outward quite a bit, too.


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Avatar universal
Tick survival: They're tough critters and I've heard laboratorians say that even if it's dry/squished etc it still may be tested. I'd put it in a empty pill bottle with moist cotton ball, seal it really good and keep in refrigerator in case you ever need it.

(A person never knows when they need a dried  up tick LOL)

I'd push for 21 days no matter what. Since you started early on that may be enough. Maybe.

I used to have a tick encyclopedia (on line) with great pictures and that computer crashed. I'll see if I can find it again.

Some pics
Pic of Female lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum).

Pic of wood tick ((Dermacentor andersoni)
Pic of American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis)
It's strange that an .edu site in IA doesn't have a wood tick listed


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Avatar universal
Research I've done indicates the dog tick's immune system quickly kills the Lyme spirochete.  But, who can really say what else it might carry, and who can say that this particular dog tick had a fully functioning immune system?  Besides that, I think there's a lot of things out there that man hasn't really discovered yet.  An example of that is the recently found link between camels and a supposedly new corona virus that's emerging in the middle east.  I'd be willing to bet the virus has been in camels for eons, but some other factor, perhaps lower immunity in the people, has allowed it to become a killer.
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Avatar universal
Nutrinut Bob said:
"Research I've done indicates the dog tick's immune system quickly kills the Lyme spirochete. "

That's interesting and if I've read it before I'd forgotten it.

Since I like source information and links I went looking:


However, it does transmit RMSF---- which has just recently started to be tested for by many LLMDs. It transmits tuleremia also, but that doesn't seem to be what the OP here has---- just my guess.

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Avatar universal
Earlier I had wondered why the IA (.edu) site hadn't listed the wood tick.

I found out that the dog tick and the wood tick are the same, just different names by different people/locales. It confused me, as you can see.
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Avatar universal
Great photos! Wish everyone had the foresight (or capability) to do that------ but I know I wouldn't have.

It doesn't appear that the tick was engorged. So you took it off immediately? (Which doesn't mean much, since we now know that transmission time can be within a few minute or less, regardless of the the CDC tell us.)

It looks to be a Dermacentor variabilis (wood tick or dog tick)


As far as pics of the rash----- it's pretty clear that you had a bulls-eye rash. What wasn't so clear or known  is does a bulls eye appear from other tick borne diseases?

I think your pictures have made tick disease medical history! Too bad a researcher wasn't there to verify it! But I'd sure give it your doctor AND post the 'proof' in other forums, plus that clinic!!!!

Good job. But sorry that you had cause to do it.

Oh, and get your hands on as much doxy as you can. Maybe after showing the clinic doc those pics you might get them worried enough.
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Avatar universal
I personally wouldn't get too fixated on which tick bit me.  Nymphs of different species are sometimes difficult to tell apart.  Given my experience with horrific Lyme symptoms, I would tell a doc I didn't know what kind of tick it was or how long it had been attached.  Willy Burgdorfer, the scientist who found the Borrelia spirochetes in ticks, says that about 10% of ticks have active Borrelia infection and it's in their saliva. He believes these ticks can transmit Lyme Disease upon initial bite.  Unfortunately, the CDC still only follows a flawed study that concluded that it takes 24-36 hours to transmit Lyme.

Testing a tick is unreliable. I don't think I'd ever do it as it isn't definitive for anything. They can test false negative and I've heard stories of doctors refusing to prescribe antibiotics when the tick tested negative.  

An erythema migrams is ALWAYS definitive for Borrelia and calls for Doxycycline.

(Note: Multiple labs have proven the Lone Star tick can transmit Lyme to humans. Multiple doctors and researchers have also declared that STARI is Borrelia and we should call it such.  Despite scientific evidence that STARI=Borrelia, the CDC says they're still studying it. Admitting this would require them to admit that their dogma of only Ixodes ticks and no Lyme in the South is wrong so who knows how long their "study" will require.)

Based on your rash, I'd do whatever it takes to get another 2 weeks of Doxy.  Only 2 weeks worth has an unacceptable failure rate, and believe me, you do not want to get late stage Lyme!  I've seen estimates that the official 3 weeks worth has a 10-25% failure rate.  The fact that your rash started clearing up a couple days into Doxy is further confirmation.

I took just a week's worth of Augmentin when I first got sick (didn't know what I had), and I perked right up.  I thought the meds took care of whatever infection I had since I seemed to fully recover.  But that was the beginning of nearly 5 years of relapsing/remitting symptoms, primarily "attacks" once or twice a year of what felt like mono for days or weeks.  

The relapsing/remitting course has been observed more often in people who took insufficient antibiotics in the beginning.  Also, insufficient abx interferes with antibody production, so there's a good chance you'll test false negative in the future if you get full blown Lyme.  Given the CDC's fixation with "positive" tests, it's very hard to get diagnosed without them.

If you have to find another doc to give you the additional 2 weeks, then do it.  The cost is a fraction of what it takes to treat late stage Lyme.
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Avatar universal
Sorry, I have been off-line a few days! Thank you, guys! I am glad I photographed it, too. I mean, some people might think why did you not take it off immediately, but frankly, I couldn't really access it solo, so I had to wait about a half hour longer until I had someone to remove it. And I found the rash development fascinating, despite being bothered that I caught something.

I did show my medical provider the photos I had up to that point. :-) Very helpful to have these handy phones to capture such things.

More below...
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Avatar universal
I have no idea how long it was on, truly. It could have been up to 22 hours, but I take it there would be more engorgement? I just know it was on long enough to leave that weird red mark.

I have been on the doxy for over a week and there is still a medium pink center and light pink half-dollar size circle around it. Based on that and general malaise and fatigue making me less productive, and some tender neck glands, I asked for another week of doxy, which was prescribed a couple days ago, totaling 21 days. The rash and symptoms were sufficient for her. She upped that just over the phone and said if I still have symptoms then to come back.

But now you guys mention 4 weeks, and an old friend who's been fighting Lyme suggested 4 yesterday as well. I am not sure if she'll object to that, she was open to the 21 days having originally been torn between her documentation saying 14 days, and her prior studies having suggested 21. :-)

Interestingly, I contacted the nearby university entomology dept and they will accept ticks for Lyme testing and identity confirmation, but for liability reasons cannot disclose Lyme test result, just general details about the tick, so I did not send the tick to them (although I would love to be a contributor to research). I guess they are more focused on mosquitoes than ticks, here, though. I will contact MN next, but their website says they go by those CDC guidelines. I also have a line on a doctor doing Lyme treatment, but heard the testing is like $200. Will share what I find out.

Thanks again!
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Avatar universal
"I guess they are more focused on mosquitoes than ticks,"

Most vector agencies are now more focused on mosquitoes (WNV) now because they think a vaccine might be developed and thusly $$$$ Ka Ching.

Follow the money. I received that information from a close friend who was the head guy at the vector agency in a certain state. Almost overnight the funding went from Lyme to WNV.

Play that rash as long as you can! Photoshop it? LOL
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