Botched Tick Removal

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Botched Tick Removal

Postby TerraMer » Mon 29 May, 2017 10:07 am

"What to do if you are unable to remove the tick completely?

Many times the tick’s mouth-parts or head remains embedded in the host’s skin. This does not always increase one’s risk of infections, but one must treat it in the same way, as one would a splinter.

Do not dig around in the skin to remove the remainder of the tick, as this can increase the risk of skin infections.It is best to let nature take its course as the human body (or even that of your pet) will expel the tick out naturally by itself.Watch out for signs of fever, muscular aches and pains, loss of concentration, and general malaise or fatigue after you have removed the tick. If these signs occur, visit the doctor immediately."

How many times have you been sitting in your tent at the end of the day and unsuccessfully tried removing a tick, leaving its head in your skin, especially the popular tick zones like back of the neck/nape and groin. I lost count years ago but have always wondered if there would be an adverse reaction.

Most sources advise to seek medical assistance but if you're days away from a Dr or bush nurse it is reassuring to know an embedded tick head isn't necessarily a problem.

When I stuff up a tick removal I always cover it generously with sage or tea tree oil to prevent infection. They have never become infected yet.

BTW, "tick season" in moderate climate zones is all year.

What are your experiences with botched tick removal while bushwalking?
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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby Tortoise » Mon 29 May, 2017 6:04 pm

Hey TerraMer,

I confess up front that have no direct answer to your question. :( However, it's hopefully this is still relevant.

Once I got home from a very short off-track walk in a suburban reserve, and discovered a tick firmly embedded. A family member tried unsuccessfully to remove it with tweezers. A GP used several methods unsuccessfully, and got it all out in the end with a punch biopsy. After that, I bought 2 tick removers from the vet, for different sized ticks. They twist the tick around, which apparently works far more often than prising or trying to pull. Together, they weigh 3 grams, and don't take up much room. No more ticks to test them out on yet, but I'm hopeful. :)
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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby durks » Mon 29 May, 2017 9:23 pm

Tortoise wrote: ... I bought 2 tick removers from the vet, for different sized ticks...


Those things (e.g. http://www.ticktwister.co.uk/product/ti ... or-humans/) are more-or-less 'standard issue' here in Scotland.

I confirm that they work much better than, say, tweezers.
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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby ofuros » Tue 30 May, 2017 8:13 am

For the med to large ticks I pluck or twist...for the tiny ticks that the tweezers
or a tick remover can't grab, I freeze.
Wartner, scholl & wart off have small freezy-dried bottles & applicators you can use.
Last for ages.

As for the OP's question about left over remnants, not that I've that many, a dab of betadine from a small bottle does the job.
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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 31 May, 2017 6:01 pm

I can tell you tho that even a tiny portion of embedded tick will itch like crazy for decades, even after the surgical removal of the offending part. Strangely it is not all the time but around the time when the damned animal first attached itself to me 40 years ago or so. It's stopped now or maybe i have so many other aches and pains and twinges and itches I no longer notice
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby clarence » Sat 20 Oct, 2018 8:57 am

I used to work for PWS many years ago, and getting ticks was a big OHS issue. We contacted a few well qualified medics/academics.

The advice we were given (and which worked) was to spray the tick with a DEET containing repellent spray. This anesthetises the tick. After a few minutes of soaking in the DEET is relatively easy to remove as the tick isn't fighting the efforts at removing it.

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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby Hiking Noob » Sat 20 Oct, 2018 2:03 pm

I recently ended up at the hospital at GP Access as I got a tick bite to the lip, it came out clean and I put tee tree oil on it as I usually would. A few hours after removal it started to swell the side of my face and I had a bit of a discoloured ring around the bite so I went to see a doctor, I'd had four days in hospital from a facial bite previously so I'm a bit paranoid these days. I would have had at least 100 ticks in my life and only the two that have bit me on the face have been an issue.

The doctor said if you have one that doesn't bite you on the face a spray with Aerostart or Start Ya *&%$#! will quickly freeze them and greatly reduce the chance of them envenomating when they are disturbed/removed. Yet to try it but I think a can of liquid air would be a better choice, it is more expensive and more difficult to find. I have a lot of Landcare to do so I will get to try his preferred method pretty soon.


I have oddly never had an issue with one that didn't come out cleanly, I just put Betadine on them and they have all been fine.
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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby Huntsman247 » Sat 20 Oct, 2018 4:20 pm

I was bit about 2 years ago and ended up bed ridden and on antibiotics for close to 3 months. In the course of my research trying to figure out how to get better i came across this publication presented by the Australian Association of Bush Regenerators. It's the most comprehensive info on ticks I've seen and there is no agenda apart from keeping their members safe. Very informative about the best methods to remove ticks. Of which essential oils, surprisingly for many, is not a safe method for removal.
Hope the attached file link works. http://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/5bcac72cec567/Australian_Association_of_Bush_Regenerators_Tick_Guide_2013.pdf
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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby Gadgetgeek » Sat 20 Oct, 2018 4:34 pm

I've got a copy of that document in our office, its a good set of info, I hope they revamp it soon with the new info.
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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby peregrinator » Sun 21 Oct, 2018 12:59 pm

That doc mentions a thing called a Zapa Tick. It's also mentioned in another thread here on ticks. Has anyone tried one of these? There's bugger all info online.

https://www.lymediseasemerchandise.com.au/zapatick-removal
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Re: Botched Tick Removal

Postby Trundlers » Sun 21 Oct, 2018 1:27 pm

We always carry a "ticked off" tick spoon for tick removal. It scoops the tick off rather than squeezing it with tweezers and making a mess of tick parts/guts at the latch point. We have lots of ticks (kangaroo ticks with interesting reddish legs) here where we live so have tested the device numerous times. We always find the site a tick has been attached to will itch for several weeks afterwards (even with a clean removal). Some antiseptic or Manuka honey on the bite site always helps.
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