The Cutter Lyme Disease Test Kit determines if a tick is a carrier of Lyme Disease. Rather than testing a person or pet, the test can be used to determine if a tick carries Lyme Disease before any symptoms occur. It identifies the DNA of the pathogen in the tick that causes Lyme Disease with 99.9% accuracy and provides critical information to doctors or veterinarians concerning treatment. By buying the kit ($29.95), you prepay for one test.
The Tick Test kit contains a tick remover, an alcohol wipe, a specimen bag, a test submission form, and a pre-addressed mailing label all contained in a handy little plastic box so you can take it with you on trips or store it in your car’s glove compartment if you’re bitten on a hike, fishing trip, or anytime you’re outdoors. It also contains instructions on how to remove a tick and package the sample and can be used even if it’s just part of a tick and not the entire parasite.
When you send the test kit in, Cutter’s lab tests for the presence of Borellia burgdoferi, which is the causative agent of Lyme Disease. You can include up to 5 ticks in the submission, all from one person or pet. You can also have the lab test for other bacterial, protozoal, or virus pathogens for an added fee. The results come back fast, via email or a text message, within 3 days of the sample’s receipt.
I recently ended up in the Emergency Room because I felt a big wound on my back and didn’t know what had caused it. I couldn’t see it and didn’t have much sensation back there, but I could feel that there was something hanging off my back. It turns out it was an engorged tick that had been feasting on my blood for a few days. I have no idea how it got there because I’m very careful when it comes to insect protection and wear Insect Shield or Permethrin-treated clothing whenever I go outside. This was my first tick bite ever!
The ER doctor prescribed a series of antibiotics for me to prevent Lyme disease, just in case, and the hospital drew blood to send off to a lab, telling me “No news is good news. If we don’t call you, then you didn’t get Lyme.” I never did hear from them (and there are no entries in my electronic medical chart), but I don’t know if that’s because I did test negative or because there was some bureaucratic screwup. I have a VERY low level of trust when it comes to the modern medical industrial complex.
So, I decided I’d do my own due diligence by sending the removed tick to Cutters to test whether “my tick” had been a Lyme carrier. While I am confident that the antibiotics will protect me from contracting Lyme, I knew I’d feel better by having all the facts. So I packed up my Tick (the ER gave it to me in a specimen jar) and sent it into the Cutter’s lab for testing.
It took a few days for my tick to arrive at the lab, but they promptly sent me a confirmation email when they received it. They also told me that my tick was an American dog tick, which is more information than I’d have previously. This made it possible for me to look up the other diseases that American dog ticks carry to see whether I was at risk of getting one of them and whether the antibiotic I’m taking, Doxycycline, protects me against those as well.
In addition to Lyme, the American dog tick also can carry Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tularemia. My antibiotic protects me from all of those, which is again much more information than I ever received from the medical establishment.
A day later I got the official test report in the email which told me that my tick did not carry Lyme Disease.
The Cutter Lyme Disease Tick Test Kit can be used to test if a tick that’s bitten you or your dog carries Lyme Disease or a host of other bacterial or viral diseases. While that alone isn’t enough to confirm a diagnosis, it is valuable information that can guide treatment decisions. It can also provide you with peace of mind, knowing that any treatment you have received covers the potential set of illnesses that you may incur. Lastly, it’s a low-cost and very efficient way (unlike the US healthcare system) that provides clear, timely, and concise information for you to manage your own care.SectionHiker is reader-supported. We independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our affiliate links. Help us continue to test and write unsponsored and independent gear reviews, beginner FAQs, and free hiking guides.