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Does My Dog Have Lice?

July 1 2022

One of the best ways to keep your dog healthy and happy is to keep them well groomed. Getting rid of lice is an important part of this process, but it’s important that you do it right. If you don’t know what you’re doing when you go to delouse your dog, you could end up causing a dangerous infection or worse: death. Luckily, the process is easy and quick! Read on as a vet talks about lice removal and the steps involved.

What Are Lice?

Dog lice are small parasites that live on the skin and feed on dogs’ blood. The most common type of lice in dogs is Ornithonyssus bursa, also known as dog or kennel lice.

They are closely related to human head lice and, like human head lice, can be found on dogs of all breeds and sizes. Dog lice are also known as dog sucking lice because they use their sharp mouth-parts to attach themselves to hair shafts and feed on their host’s blood.

Signs Your Dog Has Lice

  • Scratching or biting at skin and hair;
  • Red, irritated skin, especially around the ears and face;
  • Dry, rough, scaly skin;
  • Heavy dander and scaly skin.

Lice can also be transmitted to humans through direct contact with an infected pet or by sharing bedding or clothing with an infected animal. Remove lice from your dog to prevent infestation in your family.

How to Delouse Your Dog

How to safely remove lice from your dog at home:

  • First, you need to gather your supplies;
  • Shampoo (preferably one that fights lice);
  • A fine-toothed comb or brush;
  • A towel or blow-dryer for your hands (optional).

Now that you have all your supplies, it’s time to get started. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Wet your dog’s coat with warm water. This will help loosen the lice and make them easier to remove.
  2. Apply shampoo liberally over your dog’s entire body and let sit for about five minutes. This will kill any live lice present in your dog’s fur.
  3. Using a fine-toothed comb or brush, gently comb through your dog’s coat until all dead lice are removed from his coat. Be sure not to tug too hard or pull on any tangles in the fur. Instead, gently brush through each knot until it comes loose (using a towel or hand dryer to loosen knots if necessary).

And please don’t hesitate to call us, your local vet in McHenry, IL, if you have any questions or concerns. to have!