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Me and Dylan got leeched


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#1 Zoe

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 06:00 AM

This happened a few weeks ago. In my almost 15 years of hiking in Japan this was a first. They were mountain leeches and very abundant. I didn't realize we'd been got until I put my bag down to give Dylan a water break. The ground was moving. UGH. Will spare you the details. But Dylan had a big one firmly attached to the top of his foot. Our destination was a campsite so I planned to look for some salt once we arrived. However, on the way it either got knocked off or disengaged itself. I was suprised at the amount of blood. Dylan was bleeding for quite a while but was fine. Since I got back someone told me mountain leeches are more bloodthirsty than water ones !??

We are going camping for a few days in August ( mountains again ), and DH reckons there may be leeches where we are headed. Although I am sure he would never think that if this hadn't have happened............

So, I would like to know if anyone has any tips for preventing them attaching to Dylan and tips for removal. I'm wearing wellies ! DH thinks soap works for both removal and prevention and that we should spray Dylans feet /legs with soapy water. No leech expert here, but does that sound like it would work ? When I went to Canada I did a lot of lake swimming and was told and have experience of using salt to remove them. No ideas about prevention. Any tips greatly appreciated. Thanks. ( I had several on each foot by the way - they'd got in my shoes. Sorry, couldn't resist. Hope you're not eating right now ).

#2 Guest_LJS1993_*

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:09 AM

This happened a few weeks ago. In my almost 15 years of hiking in Japan this was a first. They were mountain leeches and very abundant. I didn't realize we'd been got until I put my bag down to give Dylan a water break. The ground was moving. UGH. Will spare you the details. But Dylan had a big one firmly attached to the top of his foot. Our destination was a campsite so I planned to look for some salt once we arrived. However, on the way it either got knocked off or disengaged itself. I was suprised at the amount of blood. Dylan was bleeding for quite a while but was fine. Since I got back someone told me mountain leeches are more bloodthirsty than water ones !??

We are going camping for a few days in August ( mountains again ), and DH reckons there may be leeches where we are headed. Although I am sure he would never think that if this hadn't have happened............

So, I would like to know if anyone has any tips for preventing them attaching to Dylan and tips for removal. I'm wearing wellies ! DH thinks soap works for both removal and prevention and that we should spray Dylans feet /legs with soapy water. No leech expert here, but does that sound like it would work ? When I went to Canada I did a lot of lake swimming and was told and have experience of using salt to remove them. No ideas about prevention. Any tips greatly appreciated. Thanks. ( I had several on each foot by the way - they'd got in my shoes. Sorry, couldn't resist. Hope you're not eating right now ).


No tips from myself. However I must say that being a dry climate inhabitant I would freak out if I saw a leech attached to my body.

#3 RaisingRiver

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 10:31 AM

Get some kind of bootie for Dylan. Either order some from online - you can buy specific hiking ones, I know Jak (tualizzy's dog) has them. And Petsmart sells a type of bootie. But I bet you could make some makeshift ones. Maybe a canvas tote bag (or buy fabric) you can cut up and tape on part on the canvas, rest on the leg fur. Breathable and durable. Not sure what's available to you there.

Thread on other forums with photo of Jak in his booties:
http://bcrescue.org/...ghlight=booties

"The booties are "Bark 'n Boots, grip trex" by RuffWear.
They're built on anatomical mold like human shoes, have a mesh uppers & "high performance" soles...basically, what that means is they look cool and they managed to get us to spend $69 + taxes (canadian) for them because of that! Their website is www.ruffwear.com "

#4 red dog fan

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 12:31 PM

not much you can do to stop tham attaching
frequent inspections and salt - or flame from a lighter
dont pull them off as they may leave teeth behind that can become infected.

and the bite sites wil bleed because the leech also injects an anicoagulant

#5 Zoe

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 07:58 PM

Thanks for your replies.
Raising River - I didn't even think of booties, DUH ! Thanks for the link to the other Board. Jak looks great in his boots. We can get booties here - we can get pretty much everything that is available in the US/Canada. But dh is off to Petsmart again next week ( he travels to the US on business a lot ), so I'll get him to have a look. And I can and do order a lot of stuff online. I would be worried that the leeches would just wriggle over the boots, though. Those things were moving fast over my rucksack when I put it down. But as a first line of defense I think they may be the way to go. And I probably should get some anyway. Thank you.

Red dog fan - so that is why it was bleeding ! Thanks for the info. Dylan has cut himself before and it never bled that much.

#6 Jack & Co.

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:01 PM

YUCK! I can feel them crawling on me while reading this! Ewwwwwwww
To err is human, to forgive, canine.

#7 Guest_Freckles LaLa Mom_*

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:31 PM

No tips from myself. However I must say that being a dry climate inhabitant I would freak out if I saw a leech attached to my body.

I'd fold up and die....after I unglued myself that is. Lol. Always the rational one. Sorry no tips here just what I found online.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leech
it talks of leech socks...maybe on the dog? Velcro is a good thing...

http://www.kitsapcou...ity/leeches.htm

#8 Shadows Mom

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 08:59 PM

Dish soap works on the Canadian kind! Not sure about those mountain ones tho. I've heard vinegar and baking soda will also make them dislodge, but never tested it and plan on never having to (hurray for salt water!) I do know that styptic powder will help with the bleeding, tho you usually need more than normal, as the blood has been thinned.

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#9 IronHorse

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 09:48 PM

Hey whats so bad about Leeches?
You can make good money nowadays raising them for the medical profession.
Farming Medicinal Leeches

Leeches in modern medicine

A sure repellent that is easy to use and easy to carry when hiking, backpacking and camping when weight is always a concideration is some good old
Tiger Balm
Works on your dogs as well as you,nothing in it that is bad for the dog,although I would test some out to see how the dog reacts before rubbing to much on him/her
Leeches for some reason hate the stuff.

I've also seen some effective leecheproof socks that are lightweight
AntiLeechSocks
Its not reccomended that you use a flame to remove a leech as you could easily hurt yourself alot more then the leech bite.
Not good to scrape them off either as this might leave some of their mouth parts that can become infected.
actually just letting them finish gorging themself and dropping off of their own is the safest way,,doesn't take them very long and after all if ones already attacted itself to you the damage is done,it ain't going hurt you any worse to just let it finish taking your blood sample and dropping off in a few minutes. the bite is going bleed heavy because of the anticoagulant they have,,but stops pretty fast and looks worse then it really is.
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#10 WyoBC

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 01:02 AM

I have no advice since we don't have leeches. But that Freaks me out!!!! I feel all buggy just reading that. Yuck :rolleyes:

#11 rosefarm

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 06:33 AM

You know, it takes a lot to give me the heebie jeebies, and I've seen more then my fair share of leeches, but for some reason the fact that you deal with them while hiking gets to me. Leeches are just something that should be a risk when wading through streams, ponds and lakes.


On a protection note, didn't INU post of an alternate use for the condom that would work for this? :rolleyes:

And do they make body sized ones?

#12 Zoe

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 06:54 AM

Thanks to everyone else who has responded.

Rosefarm - I read INU's previous thread but I think the documentary she saw was about condoms made during WW 1 or 2. I don't think modern condoms would stand up to Dylan running up and down trails all day. Besides, he would look very foolish !!! And hopping up a mountain in a body sized condom would look even sillier. LOL !

Ironhorse - you are a veritable fount of wisdom and mine of information. Tiger balm sounds great.

Shadow's Mum - so people DO use soap. Thanks.

Freckles LaLa Mom - I followed the link you provided and found this which is very interesting. I hope it is ok to quote from Wikipedia: ( Actually, I don't know how to use the quote thingy :rolleyes: )

Leeches should not be removed by burning or applying harsh agents such as salt. This may damage the bite further and cause additional pain. Most importantly, damaging the leech may cause it to regurgitate stomach bacteria that may lead to infection of the wound.

An alternate removal procedure is to apply a heat rub. Leeches have an adverse reaction to the menthol contained in heat rubs and will detach quickly upon contact with the substance.

One suggested proven method of removal is to use a fingernail to break the seal between the sucker and your skin, then gently peel the leech off.

A quick way to release is to pour ginger ale or other carbonated soda on the leech. The leech should release and curl up allowing you to removed it easily.


And for people who think they would freak out - you wouldn't. Especially if there were some on your dog too. You'd just deal with it :D

#13 Lyric

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 11:21 AM

If you're thinking about using boots, I ran across these awhile back and it seems like the extra height might be what you're looking for. http://www.dogbootcompany.com/ You could also coat the outside of the boot with something like tiger balm or Vicks since leeches apparently don't like menthol.

#14 Shadows Mom

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 03:41 PM

Ohhh no wonder I got a bad infection wehen we salted one on my ankle.. ewwww leech tummy contents in my skin!!! I guess the idea with the baking soda is the same as the soda water, leeches must not like fizz.

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