Dog Lice Symptoms

Dog lice can be present in pets regardless of age, breed or cleanliness. The canine lice are parasites that are different from the lice that affect humans. Dog lice can be transmitted from other canines that carry these parasites. The lice in dogs can be detected judging by a few symptoms and should be treated as soon as possible, as the dog is under a lot of stress and discomfort due to lice.

Dog Lice

Dog lice are different from other lice that live on humans or cats. Lice that affect dogs may be of two types:

  • Lice that live on skin flakes and dander
  • Lice that feed on the pet's blood

Both lice cause discomfort, but the lice that feed on blood bite the dog and may cause additional irritation or even allergies in more sensitive canines.

Dog Lice Symptoms

Dog lice will show a series of symptoms that cannot be ignored:

  • The dog will scratch in excess, as the lice will cause itchiness and will also bite his skin.
  • Licking of skin, as the saliva will cause temporary coolness and relieve the itchiness.
  • Bumps on the skin, due to the bites, but only if the dog is affected by lice that feed on blood.
  • Bald patches, caused by scratching and biting of skin.
  • Secondary skin infections, due to the licking of skin.
  • Visible lice, which are brown or darker and are mostly present in areas such as the ears, shoulders or neck and rectum. You may notice these when grooming your pet.
  • Visible nits, which are the eggs of the lice and are glued to the dog's fur. They look like white flakes, and are often mistaken for dog dander.

Lice Treatment

Dog lice can be removed easily with insecticides and there are plenty or sprays and powders you can purchase over the counter. However, if you have a puppy, you have to check with your vet first, as some insecticides may be harmful for puppies.

A bath with an insecticide solution can be more effective than other topical solutions, because the bath will kill all possible lice and the nits as well. After the lice are gone, you will have to apply insecticide once per week, to make sure the lice are gone for good. Check for lice symptoms periodically.

Remove all nits from the dog's environment. This means cleaning the dog's area and all rooms in the house with vinegar or diluted bleach. The dog's bedding should be changed or boiled so that the lice and insects are killed.

Dog lice should be treated, because the dog can be extremely stressed due to the presence of parasites. In addition, dog lice that live long enough on the dog can lead to severe anemia, especially if the dog is younger and weaker.