Fortunately, lice are relatively rare in dogs compared to other parasites. Contact with stray or poorly cared-for members of the species can still lead to an infestation. But how can you get rid of the little beasts?
Symptoms of a louse infestation in the dog
Lice are usually transmitted through contact with infected animals. The small, wingless insects jump from animal to animal, bite into the respective host and suck their blood. There is severe itching in the affected areas, so you can probably observe how your four-legged friend scratches or bites more. You can also notice lice with regular grooming because they can be recognized as small, moving points in the dog's fur. Skin eczema or fur problems can also indicate lice infestation. Then you should definitely act.
Lice, fleas or hair lice? See the difference
Itching and increased scratching can also occur with other parasites such as lice or fleas. In order to get rid of the vermin, however, the veterinarian must prescribe the right remedy for the respective pests, so it is important to recognize the difference between them. Lice do not jump like fleas and move quite slowly. They can be seen with the naked eye without a magnifying glass. Hair lice do not bounce, but crawl over the dog's skin faster than lice.
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Dog lice: How to fight the parasites
If you suspect that your dog has lice, be sure to see your vet. He will explain the further course of treatment to you and recommend the right preparations. The parasites are usually controlled with bath additives or sprays containing insecticides. Thorough aftercare is important in the case of a louse infestation, since some agents only kill the lice and not the nits, i.e. the eggs of the parasites. Therefore, you should repeat the treatment after two to three weeks. Also wash all textiles that the dog comes into contact with, so that the annoying beasts have no chance.
Can dog lice be transmitted to humans?
There are thousands of different types of lice that usually stay true to their host. This means that dog lice are usually only transmitted to four-legged friends and not to humans or other pets. The lice that infect humans are predominantly head lice, less often pubic lice or clothing lice.
However, the treatment is similar in dogs and humans: kill lice with suitable means, careful aftercare to get rid of the nits, and thoroughly wash all textiles that may have come into contact with the parasites. Most often children suffer from lice infestations in community facilities such as kindergartens or schools. Parents of affected children must report this to the facility so that the health office can be informed.