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You suddenly notice a tick embedded in you

Dr. Kayla Collins at the Central Nova Animal Hospital holds up a small jar containing a number of ticks removed from animals over the past number of years. The hospital is only seeing one or two cases of ticks per week as most pet owners have their pets on tick-prevention medication. She does caution that even on a warm day in the winter when temperatures reach four to five degrees, ticks can become active and again be found on your pet.
Ticks – File


Editor’s note: The following is the second of two parts, information on ticks from Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Lisa McNiven. The first instalment appeared in Saturday’s paper.

I am going to go through a hypothetical scenario to help you deal with a questioned infection.

“Betty” was an avid gardener and she took great pride in her work. She spent many hours perfecting her garden. After reaching her daily goals she would relax on her deck and marvel at what she had created. Later, she and her husband would go for a walk down to their private beach. She had all the energy one could ever ask for.

She had heard about Lyme and decided to become more informed as to what to do if she saw a tick embedded in her skin. She did not want to chance losing her health! She purchased some insect repellent with geraniol and Neem oil in it as this discourages all insects to climb on. Also, garlic flower essence both internally and externally. She found out what herbs she needed from her naturopath to take to help prevent an infection from a bite of an infected insect.

Then, the inevitable happened, she was relaxing on her deck when she looked down on her arm and saw a tick imbedded in her forearm. She didn’t react hastily as she wanted to remove the tick ever so carefully as to pull the tick by the mouth (not the body!) with a pair of tweezers. She did not put anything on the tick as she wanted to send it to a lab for testing. She grasped the tick near its mouth closest to the skin and placed it in a baggie (double bag), even though it was still alive. She set it aside and disinfected the site with rubbing alcohol, as she had no Echinacea or hydrogen peroxide. Put a plantain-soaked Band-Aid on the area and left it for 24 hours. She took homeopathic remedy Ledum 30 CH 3 pellets three times daily for three days. (She would have done the same had it been her dog, Jake!) She knew to go to emergency/ MD as well as ND for preventative care. She went online to or to find out about getting the tick tested.

She was able to see her MD promptly and was given a 30-day antibiotic protocol as she read that a 21- or 14-day regime was not strong enough. She took probiotics during this time and a couple of months after. She waited at least two weeks after the bite to send for a blood test to confirm (sometimes false negative due to several reasons but a very effective test) at Igenex labs. She learned a lot about herbal formulas and immune strengthening from her naturopathic doctor.

A month or two later “Betty” had a positive marker on the tick for Lyme and a negative result for the Western Blot. She practised all the precautionary measures. She was lucky she did not experience the numerous signs and symptoms of Lyme and its co-infections such as headaches, shooting pains, chest pain, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, numbness, facial paralysis, unexplained fevers, unexplained weight loss, vision problems, palpitations, mood swings, confusion, difficulty with concentration and finding words, disorientation, vertigo, drenching sweats, anemia and much more.

Go to for more information and do tick checks daily if you are out in grassy areas and the woods. Check your partners, children and pets. The long-term effects of these diseases can be prevented with daily checks! There are several protocols available from an ND if you think you have been harbouring this bacteria for a long time. Live blood analysis has been very informative when viewing the bacteria through the microscope. Book in to have your blood assessed! Begin your journey back to health and become proactive about your condition.

Still some spots left for the Women’s Wellness Workshop and much more on May 5 at the Braeside Inn, check out

Dr. Lisa McNiven, BSc., RN, ND is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at Naturopathic Services, 277A Foord St., Stellarton

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