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Palliser Primary Care Network

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The Ins and Outs of Tick Bites


What Are Ticks?

Ticks are small spider like animals that bite into the skin to feed on the blood of that person or animal. (Reference 1)

What Ticks Cause Lyme Disease?

The ticks that cause Lyme disease are black legged deer ticks. They carry the bacteria borrelia burgdorferi that can cause Lyme disease. The risk of encountering this type of tick in Alberta is very low and most tick bites do not cause serious health problems. (1)

How To Remove A Tick On The Skin

Use tweezers to gently grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.

Pull the tick straight away from the skin.

Then clean the area with soap and water. (References 1 and 2)

Submit A Tick Program

Only submit black legged ticks

If you remove a black legged tick put it in a clean empty container with a lid.

Add a small piece of cotton dipped in water to prevent the tick from drying out. (1)

Call the AHS Environmental Health Office in your area to make an appointment to bring the tick in for submission.

Brooks Health Centre - 403 501 3258

Medicine Hat River Heights Professional Centre - 403 502 8205

Tick Prevention

Walk on trails or paths that are clear of tall grass.

Wear light colored clothes and cover exposed skin areas.

Use bug spray containing DEET.

Check yourself and pets after walking in grassy wooded areas. (1 and 2)

Seeking Medical Attention

Seek medical attention if you develop a bullseye type rash or develop flu like symptoms within weeks of removing a tick. (fever, tired, joint and muscle pain)

Treatment with antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme Disease usually results in a full recovery. (2)

Prevention is the key, so take the proper precautions to protect yourself!!

Article Submitted by Patty Frandsen, Registered Nurse at Primacy Medical Clinic


1. Lyme Disease And Tick Surveillance,

2. Understanding Tick Bites and Lyme Disease, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention