Dog Skin Parasite: Lice
Table of Contents
Lice (Pediculosis), and dog lice symptoms such as skin irritation are caused when the parasties feed on blood (the lice species calle Anoplura "Linognathus setosus" ) or skin debris (Mallophaga "richodectes canis" lice). The condition is usually limited to dogs that are suffering from nutrional deficiencies or neglected since flea preventatives also kill lice.
Dog lice can be
seen with a naked eye. Chewing Lice to not spread disease. Lice that
feed on blood (Anoplurans) can cause hypoproteinemia (abnormally low
blood protein levels), anemia and in severe cases, death. The parasite
is 2 - 4 mm in size.
Lice Eggs on Dog Hair
By: Bella Moss Foundation
SymptomsDog lice symptoms include:
- Itch (pruritis)
- Skin scaling
- Skin scabs
- Dog dandruss (seborrhea sicca)
- Hair loss (alopecia)
- Bacterial skin infection (as the result of scratching)
DiagnosisDog lice symptoms along with actually seeing the lice on the dog's body will confirm the diagnosis. The two lice types can be distinguished by their behavior with blood sucking lice moving slower than mice that feed on skin debris. Lice eggs will be visibly attached to dog hair.
Lice LifecycleLice will complete their entire lifecycle while attached to one dog. When off a dog or host they can live up to 7 days. More infestations are found during the winter.
TreatmentAs mentioned, products (dips, shampoos, powders) formulated to kill fleas can also kill lice. Products are applied multiple times (see manufacturers directions to kill any hatching eggs. For more information on specific products, click on the links below)
- Adams Pyrethrin Dips (dosage: 3 times at 3 week intervals)
- Frontline Spot-on (Fipronil, spot-on, 2x at 30 day intervals)
External Parasitic Diseases of Dogs and Cats
P.A. Payne1, M. W. Dryden2 and G.R. Carter3
Department of Diagnostic Medicine-Pathobiology
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, KS, USA
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