Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Health >
On the last day of our Hawaiian vacation a week before
Christmas, I saw a medium-sized tick moving on my 2.5yo
daughter's arm. The next day, she had a bull's eye rash, so I
took a picture of it and called her doctor. He prescribed
Amoxicillin for 10 days, but she fought taking it and would not
cooperate. This coincided with the biggest tantrums of her life,
very unlike her! I didn't notice a fever, but she's been sleeping
in a lot. After four days of downing some but not all of the
liquid, he had us discontinue, wait a day and then gave her 10
days in pills. Luckily I found a yogurt-type drink Yakult that
she would take, and we made a chart, encouraged her, and
successfully administered the stuff for 10 days. Her tantrums
continued and escalated and now are tapering off a bit (I hope),
and her sleeping in has continued. My concern for our daughter
is, is the 10-day course sufficient to prevent/stop the disease?
I've read that 14 even 21 days for a child is commonly
prescribed. (Apparently this is controversial). I read that 10
to 14 days can be sufficient, which makes me wish he had
prescribed 14 days just to be safe! I also feel like I gave the
doctor misinformation that the tick couldn't have been on her for
more than 12 hours, now that I know they can be incredibly small
like a mole. We were in a rustic home with screens only, and
I've read that the area we stayed in is 'the center of tickdom,'
per a resident's blog. On another front, my incredibly stubborn
''I don't need a doctor'' Dutch husband just had a huge week plus
long virus with nausea, the runs, the works, and I feel he should
get checked as well. He totally refuses, and though he was sick
for a week insists he had food poisoning (hello?) or that it was
the stomach flu. (Some encouragement for him would be nice!)
Finally, this has been an eye opener for me, as I had a tick bite
years back that got the ring briefly for a few days. (I had no
knowledge about lyme at the time). I don't remember the flu but
is it possible to not get the 'flu-like illness' fever/Bell's
palsy, etc. but still have longterm effects? Does anyone know
about this? (I do have a lot of the longterm symptoms, including
a newer sensitivity to light and alcohol, sleep difficulties,
increased motion sickness and oh yeah, anxiety). I've been
attributing these things to having a child and saying that my
body changed in random ways and is so much more sensitive now.
I'd like to hear from people's experiences for a reality check
here and if possible get an updated referral for my family. I'm
not sure how I would go about personally getting checked, as it
wouldn't likely be covered, and I'd like to avoid super-expensive
Maybe get a lab test to confirm the Lyme is gone? Untreated Lyme
disease is serious, tho antibiotics usually kill it (see
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/lymedisease.html). Don't fool
around. Make sure it's gone!
Lyme's disease is incredibly serious. I would call back your daughter's
and have him/her refer you to a specialist for it. I don't think ten days
treatment. And if not caught early, it can be terrible. I also think
your Dutch husband
and you should take antibiotics. You should also talk to a specialist.
This is not a
disease to take lightly, or be macho about. My sister-in-law and her two
sisters all got
the disease, none knew about it (no rashes etc) One got treatment early,
she had MS, and one is on lifetime antibiotics. I think because they
didn't know they
had it, it took a year on antibiotics for two that were less effected.
Talk to a specialist!
Hi Worried Mom,
First thing is not to worry too much since when lyme disease
is caught early and treated, kids recover well. That said, 10
days of amoxicillan does not sound like a long enough course of
antibiotics, so I would recommend following up with a doctor who
has more experience in treating lyme. The best Lyme doctor in
the area is Raphael Stricker in SF. Another good resouce for
info is East Bay L.E.A.P.S. (Lyme Education And Patient Support)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
6:30 - 8:00 PM
Alta-Bates Summit Medical Center
''CC'' Conference Room
2001 Dwight Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
I have amassed a huge amount of information about Lyme disease.
(two years ago, my then 1-year old was bit by a tick in Marin &
got lyme; my husband has been treated for it too)
Dear concerned mother,
You are rightfully concerned about the potential of Lyme disease
in your family. I have chronic Lyme disease and have researched
the subject for many years. Know that Lyme literate physicians
and health care practitioners have had success in treating
Lyme--but it does not get better on its own and can lead to very
debilitating symptoms, especially in children. A few pieces of
info to keep in mind: Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis.
Testing can be helpful, but there is no test that can actually
measure the spirochetes (Lyme bacteria) in the body. Most Lyme
disease tests are notoriously inaccurate; you need to The CD57
test can give you a general idea of how long Lyme has been in
your system, but the lymphocyte count will not be depleted if
you have just recently contracted Lyme (i.e. this test could be
useful for you but not your child right now). Having a bulls-eye
rash is actually the most accurate measure of the Lyme
spirochetes entering the bloodstream (and it is notable that
about 2/3 of people don't even get or notice a rash). Ten to
fourteen days of antibiotics is NOT sufficient for your child.
Unfortunately, many medical professionals are grossly uninformed
about Lyme disease. Your child (and you, and your husband) need
to see a Lyme literate physician as soon as possible. I see Wayne
Anderson (a naturopath and physician's assistant) at Gordon
Medical in Santa Rosa. Dr. Anderson specializes in treating Lyme
disease and is very well respected in the field. He is
extraordinarily knowledgeable and compassionate--I cannot
recommend him highly enough. I have successfully managed my Lyme
through working with him. If you would like to see someone closer
to the East Bay, ask Gordon Medical for a referral. There are
other Lyme literate physicians in the Bay area.
Fyi, there is also considerable controversy about how to treat
chronic Lyme disease. Antibiotics can be successful when
administered immediately, but you need to administer and adequate
course AND continue to be monitered by a Lyme literate physician
who can intervene if symptoms begin to occur, or reoccur. Some
people who suffer from chronic Lyme manage the infection through
the use of long-term antibiotics (long-term as in years). I have
been able to treat the Lyme and its coinfections naturally and
have had success, but I would never attempt this without the
guidance of someone who has treated many individuals with Lyme.
The Lyme spirochete is very intelligent and difficult to
completely eradicate from the system if not treated right away.
If I could only say one thing, I would implore you to treat this
now so you and your child don't have to deal with its outfall
later in time.
Best of luck to you and your family. I am not including my email
address here, but please contact the BPN moderators if you would
like to contact me directly. I would be happy to share more
information about my healing process, resources, etc.
been down that road and hope to spare you some suffering
I know it can be anxiety provoking to deal with tick bites -
especially on your little girl. To alleviate some of your
concern - it is not possible to contract Lyme disease from any
tick in Hawaii. There are no tick species in Hawaii that are
capable vectors of the Lyme disease bacteria. The tick that was
found on your child was most likely a brown dog tick
(Rhipicephalus sanguineus)- these ticks can be very abundant in
many regions of Hawaii and readily crawl on (and bite) people.
This tick does not transmit Lyme disease bacteria. If you saved
the tick or remember what it looks like, describe it to your
doctor. If it helps, see this fact sheet:
It it helps to alleviate any more concern, you were quick to
find the tick before it bit her (so it could not transmit any
tick-borne disease). Additionally, the rash you described is
most likely a slight allergic reaction - the diagostic bullseye
rash or ''Erythema migrans'' takes at least a few days to
develop. Many folks develop a localized rash after tick bite as
these arthropods are dirty and many people are slightly
allergic to their bites.
I hope this information helps to calm your mind - it is really
hard to find solid information on tick-borne diseases (the web
is full of misinformation on this topic).
Friend's a Lyme survivor expert.
She says: ''1st thing: bull's eye rash means she IS infected, no
guessing or test needed 2 prove it. Take a pic if there/comes
back. I think yr daughter had 1 bite. Usually rash doesn't
show up as fast as u report & u r right: tick size=poppy seed.
She needs aggressive treatment NOW & for longer term than what
the CDC/yr MD says. 21 days of antibiotics does NOT cure most
people. @ start of infection, chances of curing it r excellent,
but standard CDC/IDSA treatmnt not enough. Go 2 www.ilads.org
(by Lyme MD's). Dwnload Dr. Burrascano's Treatmnt Guidelines -
he's THE MAN. Wish known this info when my kid got bit. She was
misdiagnosed & thus chronically ill for 6 yrs. She was too sick
2 go 2 high schl. 16 mons. of daily IV antibiotics & a line
into her heart; she's doing much better. Will she ever b free
of Lyme? Don't know. Can refer u 2 Lyme MD's in Bay Area, bcuz
u want 2 continue antibiotics. This is a VERY SERIOUS
neurological infection & can impact her 4 the rest of her life
if not handled correctly NOW. For u, the rash alone says u were
infected & was untreated. Lyme presents differently in every
body, but yr symptoms r all on the Lyme menu: anxiety/panic
attcks, light sensitivity, motion sickness, etc - all
neurological symptoms. u also experience some ''brain fog'',
memory issues, headaches & even fibromyalgia/fatigue? Your
stubborn hubby may have been infected as usual 1st sign is
the ''flu.'' After the ''flu'' u r better but not well, & u nor yr
MD don't tie symptoms back 2 Lyme. Attend 2 yr kid 1st & u will
learn a lot to help u & perhaps yr hubby. There's so much u
MUST know (including the unreliability of blood tests) so that
u don't fall through the cracks & into misdiagnosis & under-
treatment like we did. Feel free 2 contact me, Bev Feldman
through my website www.lymesucks.org.''
What she says is gospel. She's lived the Lyme nightmare & knows
what 2 do.
Has anyone (pet owners esp) noticed greater tick activity this
season? Our cat, who normally hardly even gets fleas, has been
bringing home the ticks lately. I am wondering if the unusually
warm weather is contributing to the problem. We started him on
Advantage but that is apparently only flea preventive -- though
it seems to have stopped ticks from attaching to him. Now they
just hop off and could attach to us, ICK :(
I'd prefer a product less toxic than the old school flea/tick
powder if there is a reliable one out there. Any ideas or proven
tips for preventing ticks for riding in on the cat (aside from
keeping him locked in, which makes him sort of unhappy and quite
vocal in his unhappiness) would be greatly appreciated...
I have noticed a very active tick population in our area this
year. Even on a leashed walk around a park, our dog is coming
home with ticks crawling on her fur looking for a way in.
Frontline Plus is just like Advantage but flea and tick. It works
great and as long as we keep on schedule the ticks don't latch
on. How to keep her from bringing them home on her fur is another
You should try Frontline or Advantix (not Advantage). When we
got our dog in October, we noticed one or two ticks on her
every day. We, too, were using Advantage. Our vet recommended
Frontline and we're mostly pleased. I still saw ticks several
times a week for a while but, knock wood, I haven't seen even
one in a little over a month now. Good luck.
We used to live in Santa Cruz county near a state park and our
cats would get ticks. Advantage won't work against ticks but
Frontline will: http://www.arcatapet.com/item.cfm?cat=6826 .
It's exactly like advantage (once-a-month application) but works
on ticks too. Worked on our cats!
For the first time in my life I've encountered a live tick. Icky!
I removed the tick from my daughter on Monday. Now I'm watching
her for any symtoms of Lyme disease. Has anyone in the Berkeley
area developed Lyme disease recently? Or does any one know
statistics on Lyme disease for East Bay?
Before you worry about Lyme Diesease, be sure the tick you
removed could be of the species that transmits it. Deer ticks
transmit Lyme, and they are so tiny that one rarely even finds
the offending tick. Here are some size descriptions from a
quick Google search:
''The wood tick (dog tick) is the size of a watermelon seed and
can sometimes transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Colorado
The deer tick is between the size of a poppy seed (pin head) and
an apple seed, and can sometimes transmit Lyme disease.''
In other words, if the tick was large, you needn't worry. On
the other hand, if it was small, you should also know that the
medical literature says that Lyme Disease is grossly
underdiagnosed in California because of the widespread erroneous
belief among medical professionals that it is not endemic to the
Does anyone know a good Lyme Disease specialist in the Bay Area (I
live in Berkeley, but would be willing to go into the city)? I
know this disorder is difficult to treat in the later stages and
would like to see someone who has a lot of experience in treatment
Seeking the Best Care
Dr. Raphael Stricker in San Francisco treats Lyme. He does lots of tests and
takes his time with patients. He is straightforward and realistic about the
various issues, both medical and political, surrounding this debilitating disease.
He sees evidence of potentially effective treatment with extended courses of
oral antibiotics. Worth a try... Good luck.
Hi, I have a very dear friend who has been dealing with Lyme for
several years and has lots of information. She recommends you
vist www.lymenet.org if you haven't already. Here is her
rundown of the local doctors.
''Dr. Raphael Stricker in SF is the preeminent physician in the
Bay but new patients get put on a waiting list that will last
for next 6-12 months. Get your name on it anyway cuz he's the
best and meanwhile see someone else. 415-751-7997 or 415-399-
1035 (one of these numbers no longer works but don't know which)
Dr. Christine Greene in Palo Alto ...
I've heard a rumor there is somebody practicing in San Jose but
I don't know who or how good. There is definitely a practice in
Chico, and there is also a woman in Auburn that I don't know
My friend would be happy to talk to you. Email me if you want
to connect with her. Good luck!!!
My 21-month-old daughter was bit by a tick that tested positive for Lyme
Disease. We think the tick was in her for less than a day. I would
appreciate any advice on specialists or treatment for this disease. My
daughter has had a fever, complained a little about joint pain, but never
developed the "bulls-eye" rash that is commonly found with this. My
daughter is a fighter when it comes to taking medicine. Any suggestions
around that would be helpful too.
Regarding Lyme's disease: without hesitation, get your daughter
to her pediatrician and request that she be put on the 10-day
antibiotic treatment as-soon-as-possible. I am just completing the
treatment and also never developed the bull's eye rash, but
developed the flu-like symptoms. If Lyme's disease is not treated
in its early stages and the spyrochete passes into the brain, it
becomes untreatable and can lead to heart problems, arthritis,
seizures, and other problems throughout one's lifetime. Better to
treat it now, with or without rash, than have a lifelong malady. We
are Kaiser members and I saw my general practitioner, so I am
sorry I can't recommend a specialist. However, your daughter's
pediatrician should be able to recommend treatment or a
specialist. If the tick tested positive, I would think treatment is
definitely in order.
Having just returned home from a hike in the Marin Headlands only to find
a tick hitching a ride on our daughter, I called the Marin County Public
Health Office at 415 499-7805. They were very helpful in providing
information on lyme disease in general and the incidence of ticks in their
area. I would recommend calling the county health office in any particular
county for further information on the tick in that particular region or area.
Based on this recent experience, I just picked up "Lyme Disease: How to
avoid, detect and treat this dangerous tick-borne plague" by Ronald
Hoffman, MD, at Whole Foods. In the section When is Treatment
Recommended?, the author states, "If you have a clear diagnosis of Lyme
disease, based on a bite from a tick known to be infected, on the typical rash,
on a positive blood test, and on typical symptoms, antibiotic treatment
should begin without further delay." Additionally, for any one else in this
predicament, we sent our tick (in a little plastic baggie) to the Marin County
Public Health Lab, 920 Grand Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901, for analysis.
The cost was $18.00 and fortunately, the tick tested negative, but it was
money well spent for the reassurance.
Just reread your post -- the tick tested positive, but not the child (yet?). You
know the most important thing which is not to treat this lightly. You will
presumably watch your daughter and have her tested again in a couple of
weeks? Treatment for my family members who have had Lyme disease was
VERY strong antibiotics. Side effects are uncomfortable but better than
continuing to have the disease. We have an uncle who actually died from a
condition that was significantly and negatively impacted by Lyme Disease
left undiagnosed for too long (he lived in Florida, so doctor did think to test
for it...he had been visiting up north and was infected there). Please take
this seriously, and good luck.
I would definitely treat your daughter with the full dose of antibiotics, I
believe 21 days is normal for adults. I too had lymes years ago after being
bitten by a tick, with fevers, joint pain, the rash, the whole nine yards.
Don't underestimate the seriousness of this disease. I'm not a doctor but it
sounds to me like she has the disease whether or not you saw a rash because
she's got the symptoms. I don't like using antibiotics unless absolutely
necessary, but in this case I wouldn't hesistate or delay. You can email me
for more of my story, since I was successfully treated after almost 9 months
of being given inadequate doses of antibiotics. Lyme is gone now from my
body thank god. Good luck. Candace Byers was my angel during that time,
she's a P.A. (Physiciian's Assistant ) who worked with Dr. David Teegarten
at Berkeley Holistic Health Center. I don't know if she's stilla round. There
is an organization dedicated to Lyme Disease prevention and treatment,
you can find them online or elsewhere I'm sure with a little research. If
your pediatrician doesn't take it seriously, I'd find someone who does. I had
to go thru several docs myself until I was treated with the right and current
this page was last updated: Oct 20, 2009
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network