In 2015, I came home to the Island, as I do every summer, upon drying myself after my first swim I noticed a reddish area behind my knee. I used a hand mirror to have a better look and found a red ring with a small dark hard spot in the centre.
I’d been bitten by a tick.
At the walk-in clinic the doctor said, “That’s a tick bite. But we don’t have ticks on the Island.” (???) I explained that I had cleaned a rocky, overgrown area behind my Nova Scotia house before I left and that the deer were constantly arriving to eat my plants.
“Well,” he said, “It may be too late for the medicine, but you’d better take it anyway.”
I did. I’m fine.
This summer, my cat, who doesn’t go outside in Nova Scotia, but who does here (too small a cabin to keep him inside) had an odd little rubbery thing stuck on his skin at the back of his neck. When my neighbour dropped in I showed this bump to him and said that I didn’t want to pick it off in case it hurt the cat.
My neighbour said, “It’s good you didn’t. That’s a tick.”
“Oh no,” I said. “Ticks are tiny black things.”
Well so they are,” he said. “Until they’ve gorged themselves on the blood of an animal.”
We used my tick key to pull off the engorged flea but the head was still stuck. A trip to the vet and all’s well and the cat has been given the long-lasting treatment, but no treatment for humans.
So fellow Islanders and visitors – take heed! Read once more Gary Trevor’s letter (the Guardian July 21st) about what Lyme disease, brought by ticks, has done to his once healthy life and keep out of long grass and rough areas unless wearing long pants tucked into heavy socks and once inside the house check all over yourself for ticks.
Dorothy E. Jackson,