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Can dogs get

1420 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ilovesadie

I know humans can get lice, but can dogs get lice? Like from wild birds? or other animals.

I really hate lice.. When I was in beauty school I saw so much of it. After awhile I got sick just thinking about it....

A few years abck there was an out break at Amanda's school and the teacher new I used to do hair and she aasked me to check the kids hair... boy I went through the whole 3rd grade classes... A couple other moms were there helping me and 1 of them didn't even know what she was looking for....

I Check Amanda's head regularly because I am so paranoid about them.. they are so hard to get rid of once you have them... but I would hate to have to use the medication would be nasty for a small dog.
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This is all I could find about lice on dogs.
Lice are wingless insects that spend their entire life cycle on the host and are spread to other hosts via direct contact. Typically, they only parasitize one species of animal.

Lice come in two varieties: sucking or biting lice. Sucking lice move very slowly and have pointed, piercing mouthparts for feeding. In North America, Linognathus setosus, is the one species affecting dogs. Biting lice are smaller than sucking lice, move much more rapidly, and have a more rounded head and biting mouthparts. The biting lice of dogs include Trichodectes canis and Heterodoxus spiniger.

Female lice attach their eggs (nits) to the hairs of the host. Lice infestation is typically diagnosed by identification of adults and nits on the affected dog. The nits are quite resistant to most insecticidal chemicals.

Lice have poor survival capability when off the host.

Clinical Signs
Typical signs of lice infestation include:

hair loss
blood loss
Treatment involves the use of insecticides. Since the nits are quite resistant to most insecticides, a repeat treatment after an interval of several weeks is indicated to kill young lice that may have hatched.

Lice (Pediculosis)
Race Foster, DVM
Marty Smith, DVM
Drs. Foster & Smith, Inc.

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Lice are insects that can be seen with the naked eye. They are flattened and possess no wings. They are very host-specific
and do not tend to leave their preferred animal, in this case dogs and puppies. Lice spend their entire life cycle on the pet.
There are several kinds of lice. Blood-sucking lice belong to the group Anoplura. Those that do not suck blood, but rather
chew skin, are grouped as Mallophaga.

Transmission of lice is by direct contact with an infested pet. Unlike fleas and ticks, lice do not persist or travel in the
environment. Grooming instruments may, however, serve as a source of transmission.

Lice lay eggs (termed nits) on the hair shafts. The life cycle takes about 21 days to complete.

Trichodectes canis is the biting louse of dogs. Another commonly found biting louse of the canine is Heterodoxus spiniger. The
only sucking louse of the dog is Linognathus setosus. Cats have one biting louse and that is Felicola subrostratus. None of
these lice present a problem to humans.

What are the symptoms?

The most noted sign of a louse infestation is a scruffy, dry hair coat. Hair loss may occur and the animal may itch, at times
severely. In very heavy infestations of blood-sucking lice (biting), one may detect anemia, especially in puppies. A diagnosis
can usually be accomplished with the naked eye. Nits tend to be more visible than the actual louse, but both can be seen.

What is the management?

Of all the parasites of cats and dogs, lice are the easiest to eliminate, and they pose no threat to you or your children.
Treatment is relatively simple. The dog may be bathed with a pyrethrin shampoo, and after the dog is thoroughly dry, a
pyrethrin spray or powder can be applied. This treatment will need to be repeated in 10-14 days since all of the nits will not
be killed. Alternatively, permethrins are also effective against lice. Do NOT use permethrins on cats. Another option is
fipronil (Frontline), which has been approved for the treatment and control of lice in dogs. It usually is not necessary to
treat the environment, but flea and tick foggers may help, especially in severe cases. Keep all grooming utensils clean.
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i think it's also called walking dandruff..... i read about it in some chihuahua book.....
I have 4 daughters who are still going to school. Headlice is very common at their schools. Mainly because the lice are more resistant to the medication to get rid of them these days, and also some parents are shall we say...not very scrupulous with their childrens hair :evil: ! Im paranoid about my girls catching them and i am constantly checking there hair. I also use tea tree conditioner on there hair as it makes it harder for the headlice to stick to the hair. Ewwwww! :( :wink:
I know lice is nasty.. and Some parents don't deal with it when their kids get it....

TeresaAnn20, thank you for the info... I knew they had to go from person to person.. I was just not sure if the lice birds have can be past to dogs.
Hi there, most lice and mites are species specific and while they might "jump" from animal to human or human to animal they are transient and won't cause infestation. The exception of course are scabies mites, which your pup hopefully won't pick up and pass on.

If you have more questions, you can ask a dermatologist about it. We get this question on the phone at the vet all the time, and legally we can't give them human medical advice even though the answer is so simple, there is probably more detailed information out there.
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