What are dog lice? Can you catch them? It’s important to be aware of dog lice because it is easy for your dog to catch them. Find out about dog lice and the best ways to treat this bothersome parasite.
What are lice?
Lice aren’t just a human problem. Lice are highly contagious parasites. Lice are usually slow-moving, and they are small can be spotted with the naked eye, mimicking little black specs of dirt with clear lining around their bodies.
Dogs are at risk from lice when they come into direct contact with another infected dog or fur from an infected dog. This can happen in dog parks, grooming and boarding facilities, doggie daycare or even a casual interaction on the street. It is important to protect your dog from lice, as lice are highly irritating to your dog.
Will dog lice bite humans?
Fortunately, dog lice only live and feed on dogs. Lice are species-specific, meaning the lice that humans get are different than what you may see on a dog. There is no risk to the rest of the family from dog lice, so no need to worry. Likewise, humans can’t give lice to dogs.
Have a multi-pet household? While lice are also uncommon in cats, cat lice can only be passed from one cat to another and are also species-specific. If your dog has lice, you do not have to be concerned that it will be transferred to your cat. Dog lice cannot be transferred to cats or vice-versa.
What are the symptoms of dog lice?
Lice are very irritating to dogs, making dog lice symptoms easy to identify.
The most common symptoms of dog lice include:
- Excessive itching and scratching
- Chewing irritated areas
- Hair loss
- Matted coat
How to treat dog lice
Since dog lice attach to the dog’s hair and multiply there, it is important to get rid of the lice as soon as possible. Advantage®II and K9 Advantix®II are both options available through veterinary clinics and pet stores to kill lice on dogs through contact. Dogs undergoing treatment for lice should avoid contact with untreated pets until their treatment is complete, since lice are highly contagious to other dogs.