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GPwSIs cut waiting time and achieve the same outcomes

Living and working in the UK hotbed of Lyme disease, which in reality isn't all that common, I was interested in Dr Philip Welsby's article in Answer Back (Clinical, July 23). We rarely use antibiotics for tick bites unless the tick is engorged, irrespective of the initial inflammatory reaction, believing that the risk of use or overuse of antibiotics carries the greater risk.

I've had a tick this week that wasn't removed by showering and towelling, as mentioned, but succumbed to my wife.

Hence regarding removal, by far the best method we've come across is the Otom tick twister (www.otom.com) which seems to get them out very easily with head intact and without apparent trauma.

When I last inquired, some time ago, they didn't have a UK licence to sell direct to GPs but they do sell to vets, and we purchased via our local vet, who sells them to pet owners.

Dr Bern Bedford

Brockenhurst

Hants

·As a GP in a practice that sees more than its fair share of tick-related problems, may I recommend a cheap but effective device that vets have used with success for many years?

The Otom comes in two sizes and removes ticks completely with the minimum of fuss. In particular, it does not squeeze the tick and therefore guards against regurgitation.

My Old English Sheepdog ­ a three-star Michelin restaurant to your average tick ­ will happily attest to the Otom's repeated effectiveness!

Dr Mike Langran

Aviemore

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