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What to Do if Your Dog Has Lice?

Lice more commonly affect puppies, older dogs, long-haired breeds and dogs that are either in poor health or have been neglected. You can usually see lice on your dog’s coat, but other signs of an infestation include scratching, a dry, rough coat, and in extreme cases, a matted coat or hair loss.

Managing a Lice Infestation

As lice can lead to significant irritation, anemia and ill-health, it is important to treat an infestation promptly with the following steps:

  • Use a pyrethrin-based pesticide shampoo to rid your dog of lice. These are usually re-applied after 7 to 14 days, though check the instructions on the product you buy. However, if you have a puppy or a bitch that is pregnant or nursing, you should check with your vet before using any insecticides.
  • Your veterinarian can also supply medicated treatments for lice, as well as preventive products, such as Advantage, Frontline and Revolution, to avoid further outbreaks.
  • Wash and dry all bedding and fabrics your dog uses on a high heat, or consider disposing of all bedding during a lice infestation, to remove all trace of the pests and their eggs. You should also disinfect your dog’s sleeping area for the same reason.


By Alan R Walker (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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