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Pet Care - Lice

Pet care advice about Lice

Lice are insects and can be subdivided into biting lice and sucking lice according to their method of feeding.

Infection from one animal to another is by very close contact as lice prefer to spend their entire lifecycle living on one animal. Their eggs attach to the animal's hairs and so can be transferred by things such as grooming equipment. Lice are host specific, so although cats, dogs, rabbits and rodents can all get lice they are unlikely to transfer between these species or to you.

We mainly find lice in young puppies or kittens. Adult lice can be seen with the naked eye as very small greyish slowly moving dots. Large numbers can cause intense irritation and itchiness, and can even cause anaemia. Lice eggs are nits and can be seen if you look carefully at your pet's coat, especially around the ears.

The use of ectoparasiticidal sprays, spot on preparations or shampoos can eliminate lice and are available at the surgery.