The mere mention of the word “lice” can make your head begin to itch. The good news is that lice are species specific. This means that only dogs get dog lice, people get people lice, and so on. It’s impossible for people to catch lice from their pets.
The main symptom of a lice infestation is itchiness. Of course, many other things can cause pets to scratch and chew at themselves, but lice are actually visible to the naked eye. If you search through your pet’s coat and find flat, six legged bugs that don’t move very quickly and white “flakes” attached to the hair shafts (these are nits, or lice eggs), your pet has lice.
As creepy as lice are, they are actually quite easy to deal with in dogs, cats, and other pets. First, wash all of your pet’s bedding and grooming supplies in hot water or throw them away and buy new ones. Bathing with a pyrethrin-based flea and tick shampoo will kill the adult lice on your pet, as will an application of Revolution, Advantage or Frontline Plus. Treatment needs to be repeated regularly over the course of a month or two to deal with the new lice that are emerging from eggs. For the spot-on products, one application every two weeks for a total of three or four treatments will usually do the trick, but talk to your veterinarian to determine what treatment option is best for your pet.
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