What Are Dog Lice?
Dog lice are six-legged insects that live in the hair and feathers of animals and birds. They are tiny, flat, and wingless. They can hang onto the animal’s hair shafts thanks to strong hook-like claws at the end of each leg. Because the claws are made to fit the size of the host’s hair shaft or feathers, lice are species-specific. They devour skin detritus, sebaceous fluids, feathers, or the host animal’s blood to live.
There are two types of lice:
Chewing lice have a blunt, flathead and thrive on eating skin debris and surface fluids.
Sucking lice survive on blood. These have a sharply pointed mouthpiece, unlike chewing lice.
How To Know If Your Dog Has Lice?
By splitting the dog’s hair and inspecting the hair shaft, you may see the parasite. Adult lice are approximately the size of a sesame seed — around 2-to-4 millimeters — and can be seen with the naked eye. They are yellow to tan to medium brown in hue. Fleas, on the other hand, are exceedingly dark, nearly black in appearance.
Chewing lice roam more than sucking lice, by implanting their piercing mouthparts into the skin, similar to ticks. If you suspect a dog lice infestation, use a flea comb to go over the region and check the hair.
Lice, particularly the eggs or nits, can frequently be mistaken for dandruff, and shaking the dog’s hair can help identify lice from dandruff. It’s dandruff if the little flakes come off. It’s undoubtedly lice if they stick to the hair stubbornly.
How Do Dogs Get Lice?
Direct contact with another infected animal is the most common mode of transmission of dog lice, although they can also be spread through contaminated bedding, dog collars, or grooming tools.
Symptoms your dog may have lice;
Scratching and a lot of itching.
Their coat is rough, dry, or matted.
Hair loss in the ears, neck, shoulders, groin, and rectal areas, in particular.
Sucking lice bites can cause small sores or bacterial infections.
Extreme cases of Anemia
Lice can spread tapeworms and other germs or parasites.
What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Dog Lice?
To begin, for severe infestations, cut matted hair off the dog since lice and eggs will most likely be stuck to that hair and difficult to remove. Flea combs can also be used to remove both living and dead lice from the remainder of the coat. (After using it, soak the comb in water combined with flea shampoo or another pesticide for at least 10 minutes.) A flea comb, on the other hand, will neither destroy nor hinder the hatching of the dog’s eggs.
Insecticide treatments given topically or in shampoos will kill nymphs and adults but not the eggs, thus any treatment must be repeated at regular intervals for at least one month. Treatment should be given to all pets in the home. For at least four weeks following treatment, keep an affected dog and his bedding away from other animals.
Lice Treatment Using Natural Ingredients
While using natural items to treat severe infestations may not be a smart idea, they may be used to comb out dead lice and nits. Certainly, as a long-term maintenance option, consider natural alternatives.
When combing nits and dead lice out of your dog’s hair, use petroleum jelly or hair gel as a help.
Comb out nits with vinegar. The vinegar’s acid helps dissolve the adhesive that holds the nits to the hair.
Lice are killed by lavender oil, but not nits. Use lavender oil on your dog on a regular basis to keep canine lice at bay.
A healthy dog is less likely to become anemic as a result of flea, tick, or lice infestations.
Make sure your pets have enough fresh water, well-balanced food, and frequent exercise – ideally outside. And a whole lot of love!