Lice in dogs
Lice are small, flat parasites that give the dog a lot of itching. There are two types of dog lice: the blood lice and the hair louse. As the name says, the blood lice of blood and tissue fluid live.
The blood louse is also sometimes called the bird mite. This species feeds on the blood of birds to multiply. However, when there is a lack of birds, the bird mite will look for another mammal species. These can be dogs, cats or even people.
The hair lice feeds alongside blood with skin flakes. This louse lives permanently in the fur of the host. The lice are best visible when the fur is combed with a fine flea comb. This louse lays his eggs in the coat of the dog, after which they attach themselves to the hair.
However, infection of hair or blood lice is rare in dogs and cats. When the dogs live in unhygienic and overpopulated conditions and receive insufficient general care, the chance of lice is greater. When many animals live together in a small space, the chance of infection with the dogs is greater.
Transfer can also take place via indirect contact, this is for example that you use the same brush for multiple dogs. Even when several dogs share a dog pillow, it can happen that the lice are transferred faster.
What is the lifecycle of lice?
The adult louse lays eggs, these eggs are called nits. These eggs grow into a larva, which is also called a nymph. The nymph undergoes three to five molars and grows into an adult louse. The whole life cycle takes about five to twenty days.
What are the symptoms of lice?
The most commonly seen symptoms are itching and skin damage. Small red spots indicate a bite of a louse. Lice are blue-gray and brown. The eggs are white, this looks like small skin peelers, but they stick to the hair. Because of the itch that gives the lice, the dog can constantly scratch and become restless. Often it also happens that a stale air comes from the coat.
What is the diagnosis of lice?
The lice and eggs are visible to the naked eye. With the help of a lice comb you can quickly discover whether the dog has lice.
What is the treatment of lice?
It is important to treat the lice as well as the other pets and also the environment. You can wash the dog with a lice or flea shampoo. In addition, you can also administer a pipette between the shoulder blades that also works against lice, the so-called spot-on pipettes. It is important not to wash the dog for up to two days after administering the pipette. If you do wash the dog, the drug probably does not work well enough.
Are lice a zoonosis?
The lice and dog lice are different from each other and can not be transferred from dog to human or from human to dog. This is because lice are host specific. So it is not a zoonosis. Make sure that the children do not sit too much on the dog if they have just been treated against lice.