Lice on Dogs


Getting Rid of Lice Index
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Can a Dog get Lice?
Dog lice (Trichodectes canis) are fortunately an uncommon problem for the majority of dog owners to have to deal with, however dog lice can infest the really young (puppies), old, and unhealthy/malnourished (such as strays) dogs if left to do so. Dog lice can also affect those dogs that are unable to groom themselves properly, certainly if the lice are in hard to reach areas. If caught early enough, dog lice can be treated relatively easily however if they are left, these parasites can cause severe skin irritation and damage to the dogs coat/fur through excessive itching. It is not only dirty or unhealthy dogs that can catch lice, although they are probably spotted earlier on those that are kept clean and groomed.

Can my Dog get Lice?
Dog lice are small parasitic insects that live and feed on the skin of your dog. They do not fly (wingless) and cannot jump or hop, however they have six legs which enable them to crawl through fur, on skin and from one dog to another. Adults are between 1-3 mm in length and their eggs (also known as nits) and nymphs are even smaller. The eggs are so tiny that they can be mistaken for specs of dandruff or flaky skin, however they will be cemented to the hair shaft with cement-like saliva. Normal shampoo will not release the eggs. Without a thorough inspection and parting the fur, it is often difficult to see dog lice. Adult dog lice range in color from a whitish grey through to a reddish brown and their eggs can be white or yellow/brown. Dog lice are usually found around the neck, shoulders, ears and anus.

Dog Lice Symptoms
Dog lice are transmitted via close body to body contact with an infested dog. As dog lice have to crawl/walk onto their 'hosts'; dogs may be able to pick them up by rolling around and playing with other dogs in the park. They may also be picked up in kennels, at friends houses, through infected bedding and on shared grooming utensils. Signs that you dog may have lice include intense itching in particular areas, dried skin, anaemia, hair loss and matted hair. Your dog may be weeping with discomfort or showing signs of irritability (gnawing themselves). To confirm a dog lice infestation, wear a pair of protective gloves and part their fur. A magnified glass may help if your eyesight is poor. Go through their entire coat in small sections at a time, to ensure a thorough inspection takes place. Otherwise a trip to the veterinarian may be helpful.

Dog Lice

lice on dogs
Dog Lice Treatment
Dog lice can be treated in a number of ways. If you take your dog to the veterinarian they may prescribe an insecticide to help kill the dog lice. Shampoos that contain Pyrethrin are good as they can target the eggs/nits as well as any adult lice. Once the shampoo has been applied, a lice comb could be used useful to extract any dead nits. Dry your dog thoroughly and follow up with sprays, dips and dusts (with Pyrethrin) to attack any lice that may have been missed. If your dogs hair is matted, the coat may require trimming for the products to work properly. Whilst these treatments are taking place (remember to apply to all dogs simultaneously), your dogs bedding can be washed on a high temperature and a good vacuum/general clean may also help. Keep dogs who aren't infested away until the treatment has worked.



Treatment for Dog Lice - Prevention
Prevention of dog lice is much better than looking for treatment. If you know other dogs have lice then keep your dog away from them until they are treated. Regular grooming will help prevent dog lice and also help you spot the signs early on, should they occur. Steer clear of sharing grooming tools with other dogs and keep strays at a good distance. Prevention of re-infestation can be helped by thoroughly following treatment instructions. If multiple applications are necessary over a number of weeks, ensure that they take place and all lice are completely killed/removed. Regularly inspect your dog for lice throughout the year and certainly when they return from kennels or other locations where they've been in contact with other dogs.

Thousands of people search to find out about the dog louse and how to get rid of them. Fortunately there are so many products available on line, you should be able to find what you want without too much of a problem. We hope that you have found this article a useful guide and that any questions you may have had have been answered. You will find that this website is a great resource, including this article, whether you are looking to learn more, purchase products or just seek some quiet information. Men, women, children and pets are all affected by these parasites and we hope you have located the treatment you may need, be it a comb, lotion, cream, medication or shampoo. Treatments and remedies should be sought after quickly and if you have pubic-lice you should seek medical advice so they cannot be spread or infect others.

Canine Lice

Can a Dog get Lice

  • Combs, Liquids, Lotions, Insecticides and Medication for louse control
  • Facts and Information about a dog louse, head louse, body louse and pubic louse
  • How do you get head-lice? Remedies for head-lice!
  • Need pubic-lice treatment? Find out what to do here
  • Symptoms of head louse? Search our information on Louse Combs!
  • Life Cycle of head-lice and information on possible prevention methods, treatment and avoidance
  • What is a lice-body? Take a look at our Pictures

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Dog Lice - Getting Rid of Lice