General Question

JLeslie's avatar

If you contract Lymes disease is the joint pain most likely to be near the site of the bite or all over? And, can you get it without ever having a fever?

Asked by JLeslie (62558points) July 12th, 2009

Someone I know suspects a tick bite, but has had no fever, but does have inflammation where the bite is suspected, and the joint nearest to the bite is stiff and painful. She lives where there are a lot of deer ticks. She has been bitten before, but previously has removed the tick before it seemed to get to the blood supply.

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10 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

The bite was just over three weeks ago.

DarkScribe's avatar

It can be anywhere, with most is starts in the peripheral joints.

JLeslie's avatar

@DarkScribe I know you can take doxicycline when it is a new bite, do you know if you have to take it within a few days? Few Weeks? When is it too late?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Have your friend go to a doctor or clinic and get tested! There are many other symptoms and effects. The fact that she has “removed” ticks before may mean that she missed the tiniest. Joint pain is only one of the symptoms. I am not a doctor but have had several friend and relatives effected by tick bites.

marinelife's avatar

It will only get worse if untreated and the possible consequences of long-term Lyme disease are nothing to mess around with. To the doctor for certainty!

From the CDC:

Excerpt (please read the whole article). Emphasis mine:

“The first sign of infection is usually a circular rash called erythema migrans or EM. This rash occurs in approximately 70–80% of infected persons and begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3–30 days. A distinctive feature of the rash is that it gradually expands over a period of several days, reaching up to 12 inches (30 cm) across. The center of the rash may clear as it enlarges, resulting in a bull’s-eye appearance. It may be warm but is not usually painful. Some patients develop additional EM lesions in other areas of the body after several days. Patients also experience symptoms of fatigue, chills, fever, headache, and muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. In some cases, these may be the only symptoms of infection.”

DarkScribe's avatar

@JLeslie I know you can take doxicycline when it is a new bite, do you know if you have to take it within a few days? Few Weeks? When is it too late?

I have no real idea – sorry. My experience of it was when I got something else about fifteen years ago – Ross River Virus – they at first suspected Lyme disease as the symptoms were similar. I learned from that experience (it took them a week or so to change my diagnosis from Lyme to Ross River) what the symptoms were.
I had arthritic type pain in fingers, wrists and toes.

cak's avatar

@JLeslie – a good friend of mine had Lyme Disease, he didn’t catch it right away; however, within 2 weeks. He was treated with medications and had no lasting issues.

I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, contracted by a tick bite, as well, and had a lot of issues – I wasn’t showing typical signs of it; however, after a few rounds of medication and a brief hospital stay, I was fine.

Both of these can be controlled, as long as they are properly diagnosed. simple blood test, no biggie! The person that was bitten should see a doctor, or at least call a doctor to let them know what is going on. Lyme Disease, undiagnosed and unchecked can be very painful and lead to long term issues. It’s worth a vial of blood, to ease one’s mind.

JLeslie's avatar

I know only the basics about Lyme. Her problems with the joint made me nervous. I’m not sure if she went to the doctor yet. Everyone is telling her she would be much sicker with a fever and other symproms if she had Lymes disease.

cak's avatar

@JLeslie – no, not necessarily. Consider the fact that they are going by the “average” reactions, and not reading the research on other reactions to it – she just not be showing all the signs.

With RMSF, like I had, there is a typical rash and other symptoms. I was atypical. No rash, no immediate symptoms, but when I fell apart, I fell apart.

Both are tick-born diseases, and it is best to have that blood test!

marinelife's avatar

@JLeslie Show her that article—only 70–80% of people have the symptoms.

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