Can Dogs Get Lice? A Guide To Preventing And Treating Dog Lice

Dog Lice Symptoms:

Louse bites are very common among dogs. They cause discomfort and itchiness to the affected area. These symptoms usually appear within 24 hours after contact with a louse infested person or animal. However, they may occur up to three weeks later without any prior exposure.

If your pet has been bitten by a louse, it will have some itching and redness at the bite site for several days afterwards.

The most common symptom is a small bump on the skin called a “louse bump”. These bumps are not painful but they can become infected if left untreated. Sometimes these lice bumps turn into larger blisters which develop over time. Some pets don’t show any signs of infection at all until months after the initial bite.

How Do Dogs Get Lice?

Dogs are naturally attracted to warm surfaces such as human bodies, hair, blankets and clothes. When they come into close contact with these objects, their immune system reacts by producing antibodies against the lice eggs. These antibodies then attack the lice eggs causing them to burst open and release thousands of tiny larvae (larvae) which fall off dead onto the ground where they die.

This cycle is repeated several times before the lice eggs finally hatch into nymphs which can survive for extended periods of time without a host. They can remain dormant on furniture, floors and carpets until the next warm-blooded creature comes into close contact with the infested area.

In most cases, this cycle repeats itself several times before the pet stops reacting to the lice causing them to die off. However, this process can be stopped before it is too late if appropriate measures are taken to stop the pet from contacting an infested source again.

How To Prevent And Treat Lice:

The best way to prevent your pets from getting lice is to keep them away from all other animals that may be infected. They should also be kept away from public places such as parks and sidewalks where other animals may have urinated or defecated. Most importantly, they should not be allowed to come into contact with other people’s pets or hair.

In the event that your pet has already gotten lice, you need to thoroughly examine its coat and skin for lice and their eggs. If you find any of these on your pet, it may already be too late to save them. The best thing to do in this case is to carefully remove all lice and their eggs from your pet using a nit comb.You can buy a good quality nit comb from your local pharmacy or pet store.

After removing all lice and eggs, bathe your pet using an anti-lice shampoo such as “Louse Away” which you can buy online or at your local pharmacy. Be sure to follow the directions written on the bottle carefully. After bathing, allow your pet to thoroughly dry off before holding or touching it again because wet fur is more easily prone to attracting lice. Be sure to wash and dry all of your pet’s bedding, clothes and toys as well since these may also be infested with lice.

If you have other pets in the household that have not displayed any signs of lice, be sure to treat them as well even if they do not display any symptoms. This is especially important for pets such as dogs which do not display external symptoms.

Inspect your pet’s coat and skin once a week for the next month to look for any new signs of lice. If you do notice any, be sure to repeat the nit comb treatment and bathing procedure again.

If you continue to have problems eliminating your pet’s lice problem, you may need to consult a veterinarian or animal skin specialist who can prescribe a special shampoo or lotion to kill the lice or stop their development.

Sources & references used in this article:

Efficacy of an imidacloprid/flumethrin collar against fleas, ticks, mites and lice on dogs by D Stanneck, EM Kruedewagen, JJ Fourie, IG Horak… – Parasites & vectors, 2012 – Springer

Efficacy of Imidacloprid 10% and Imidacloprid 10% plus Moxidectin 2.5% against Natural Lice (Trichodectes canis) Infestations in Dogs by D Stanneck, J Doyle, J Ketzis, J Heine, M Fisher – Parasitology research, 2007 – Springer

Evaluation of the efficacy of fipronil formulations in the treatment and control of biting lice, Trichodectes canis (De Geer, 1778) on dogs by M Pollmeier, G Pengo, P Jeannin, M Soll – Veterinary parasitology, 2002 – Elsevier

The dog mummy, the ticks and the louse fly: archaeological report of severe ectoparasitosis in Ancient Egypt by JB Huchet, C Callou, R Lichtenberg… – International Journal of …, 2013 – Elsevier

Lice (Phthiraptera) by LA Durden – Medical and veterinary entomology, 2019 – Elsevier

Confirmation of the efficacy of a novel fipronil spot-on for the treatment and control of fleas, ticks and chewing lice on dogs by J Kužner, S Turk, S Grace, J Soni-Gupta, JJ Fourie… – Veterinary …, 2013 – Elsevier

Why is it crucial to test anti-lice repellents? by M Semmler, F Abdel-Ghaffar, S Al-Quraishy… – Parasitology …, 2012 – Springer