Friday, August 15, 2008

Ali Baba and the 40 TICKS

On Wednesday night, after an uneventful bath, I noticed some small specks of dirt on Zander’s back. Assuming we just missed washing that area, I tried to wipe the spots away with a towel, but they did not budge. Odd. So, I gently tried to pick one off with my nail. Again, that did not work. Hmmm. Looked like some kind of rash. I noticed more of them and then called for Brad to take a look.

Brad went to get his reading glasses because the spots were so tiny they were hard to see. He soon asked me to grab some tweezers. I brought them over while he was examining Zander under our brightest light and noticed a lot more little spots – all over Z’s body.

That’s how we came to start removing somewhere between forty and fifty deer ticks from our little boy. We found them on his scalp, in his outer ear, on his eyelid, armpits, penis, legs…you get the point.

Brad certainly gets a medal for gently and thoroughly removing them all. Zander gets a medal for being so patient while we combed his body for the little "black spots." (We did not reveal at the time that they were ticks.) And I get a medal for not running out of the room screaming and heading straight for a scalding, hot shower. Okay, so maybe I don’t deserve a medal for that, but remember this post about how ticks and me just don’t get along?

So, there you have it. The good news is there’s not much to genuinely worry about. Even though deer ticks do transfer lyme disease, the ones that we found on Zander were most certainly at the larvae stage, which are unlikely to be carriers. Plus, now we know just as much (if not more than) our pediatrician's office about deer ticks! Whoo hoo.

The ones we found on Zander were the third from left and the fourth from left in this photo:

And this lovely photo shows the difference betwen dog ticks (A, B, and C) and deer ticks (D, E, F, G, and H). Again, the ones we found on Zander were mostly of the D and E variety.

Admit it, you want to shower now, right?


kristi said...

I itch all over.

kristi said...

ok, in hindsight, that comment sounded kinda crude and I work too fast to edit. sorry!

kristi said...

Okay. Not kidding. I woke up this morning from the most horrific dream about TICKS. I was running up and down a hallway trying to squash them but they were everywhere...

JCB said...

So sorry Kristi. Trust me, I can relate. I still look at every speck of dirt to see if it has legs!