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Tick season is here! Learn the signs of Lyme disease

  • Category: Blog, Primary Care
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  • Written By: King's Daughters Health
Tick season is here! Learn the signs of Lyme disease

The unseasonably warm weather has already seen an increase of ticks on our pets, which should remind us to look closely for Lyme disease. Early signs/symptoms (three to 30 days after tick bite) include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and Erythema migrans (EM) rash:

  • Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of three to 30 days (average is about seven days) and gradually over a period of days reaching up to 12 inches or more (30 cm) across
  • Warm to the touch "bull’s-eye" appearance on any area of the body
Later signs/symptoms (days to months after tick bite) include:
  • Severe headaches and neck stiffness, arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints
  • Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat (Lyme carditis)
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Problems with short-term memory

Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Antibiotics commonly used for oral treatment include doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime.