Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tick Season + Lyme Disease

Ella's rose is starting to bloom.
Buff Beauty
Tick season never really ends in Sydney, even in the middle of winter dogs still get paralysis ticks.  But from now to the end of January the threat is at its worst.

We use advantix on Sebs, once a fortnight.  It is wretchedly expensive, but I don't even want to contemplate the alternative.

That said, we lost Ella nine days after I had put Advantix on her.  So chemical warfare, whilst effective, is not an 100% guarantee.

I don't use a tick collar - it has nasty chemicals that do unpleasant things to children, girls especially (it messes about with their oestrogen according to my naturopath).

So, other precautions I take are;

  •  Keeping Sebs clipped short, so that ticks are easy to see.
  • A daily tick check - they are commonly found on the head and neck area, including under the collar, around the lips, and in the ears (Ella's tick was on the back of her hind leg though)
  • Keeping the backyard free of long, grassy, weedy, damp patches - ticks love this environment
  • Letting the chooks roam - they have beady eyes and love a tick (almost as much as freshly planted lettuce seedlings)
If you do find a tick the best way to remove it is to drip on some Advantix (or similar), and then pulling it off 15 minutes later - that way the tick doesn't put anymore poison into the dog.

On the subject of ticks, those in Australia might have noticed a plethora of Lyme disease pamphlets infesting chemists of late.  Lyme disease does not exist in Australia (link here to Sydney Uni research on it).  The tick that carries the Lyme disease bacteria does not exist in Australia, and the most common Aussie tick that bites humans has been tested as unable to carry the bacteria.

The only case of Lyme Disease at Westmead Hospital was a person who had just returned from an area of Northern Europe which was suffering a Lyme Disease carrying tick plague (and I'm getting this from the Sydney Uni medical school Department of Entomology website - the link above)

However, due to publicity, the testing for Lyme Disease has dramatically increased.  Hmm. I wonder who makes a profit from that testing? And I wonder where all that publicity is coming from? Surely if the disease is non-existent in Australia then pharmacists - who are the most trusted profession in the country - would see no reason to be part of a campaign to 'raise awareness'?? And in fact would be wary about promoting something that could put a shade of grey over their pristine reputations.

Which brings me to how this subject came to my attention... you see I was having a long chat with a pharmacist (yes the qualified one with the Uni degree that works out the back) when picking up some medicine for Hubs very late one night. The guy saw me glance at the Lyme Disease pamphlet and told me, in detail, how the whole thing was bullshit.  So why the pamphlets?  If the pharmacists know they are blatantly misleading, they why does every chemist I walk in to have Lyme Disease pamphlets right next to the cash register??


1 people love me:

Madmother said...

Yeah, try living in a rural area with a kid on the spectrum allergic to ticks.

Not good.