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Dogs, Puppies

Lice in Dogs: Why it’s so important to know the signs

Discover how to tell if your dog has lice and why it's so important.

Watch Out For These Common Signs of Lice in Dogs

Severe itching can be a sign your dog has lice.

As if there weren’t enough parasites to protect your pooch from already — heartworm, fleas, ticks, intestinal worms — you have to watch out for lice, too. The good news is that, unlike other parasites, you can’t pick up lice from your dog, and they can’t get it from you (no, they’re not the same as human head lice). 

The bad news? Untreated lice can cause many health issues for your furry friend, so it’s essential to act fast! Keep reading to learn how to spot the signs of lice in dogs and what to do about them. 


What Are Lice?

Dog lice are flat, six-legged, wingless insects that attach to your dog’s fur. Lice spend their time laying tonnes of eggs (called nits) that stick to your dog’s hair and resemble tiny white flakes — think doggy dandruff.

There are two types of lice pet owners need to be aware of; one chews on your dog’s skin, while the other feeds on its blood — nasty! Lice are uncomfortable for dogs, causing skin irritation and even bacterial infections, so it’s best to start treatment immediately! 

You might be wondering where your pet got lice from in the first place? Lice are typically transmitted by direct contact with an infected dog or by sharing contaminated grooming equipment or bedding


How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has Lice?

While you can spot most lice and nits with just the naked eye — simply by combing through your dog’s fur — there are a few other signs to keep an eye on.

  • Severe itching
  • A scruffy, dry coat
  • Localised hair loss
  • Small wounds (from over scratching)
  • Restless behaviour


How to Treat Lice in Dogs

Thankfully, lice are simple to treat. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best treatment options to get rid of lice and nits once and for all. Sometimes, you might need to repeat the treatment a few times to make sure every last one is gone. To stop future infestations, be sure to clean any shared grooming equipment and wash your dog’s bedding regularly. 


The Link Between Lice and Intestinal Worms

If your dog has lice, they aren’t the only parasite you’ll need to treat. Unfortunately, lice may host tapeworm eggs, so there’s a good chance that your pet is also dealing with intestinal worms

If you’re not already treating your dog with a regular allwormer (every three months is best), it’s time to start. You might not know it, but all of your dog’s daily habits expose them to gastrointestinal worms, so proactive prevention is key. 

Drontal Allwormer® is safe to partner with your pet’s other medications and prevents all 12 gastrointestinal worm species — that’s more than most on the market. Your dog will think deworming is a treat with the range of tasty chews available too!

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