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Lice in dogs and cats - diagnosis, control, prevention

Lice in dogs and cats are wingless insects, represented by dog ​​louse, dog louse and cat louse. Parasites cause animals to itch skin, make the fur worse, and cause nits to stick to the hair. Learn about the other symptoms of biting lice and how to treat pets.

For more advice and information, also check out the animal health articles here.

Lice in dogs and cats step by step, i.e. recognition, pest control, treatment, harmfulness and prevention

Ectoparasites in pets

The fur and skin of a dog or cat are the habitat of many ectoparasites. Belong to them:

  • fleas,
  • ticks,
  • lice,
  • lice,
  • scabies,
  • Demodex and autumn itch.

Parasites such as lice and biting lice spend their entire lives on the host's body, where adult females lay eggs. These are the so-called nits that are attached to the animal's hair with a special secretion. The life cycle of these parasites is 4-6 weeks.

Lice is most common in animals living in difficult environmental conditions, and the infestations intensify in winter or early spring. Lice infestation is also predisposed by:

  • inability to properly care for (occurs during illnesses such as. feline distemper),
  • contact with a sick cat,
  • contact with objects of a cat with parasites (eg. lair or brushes).

Lice in dogs and cats - what does lice look like??

Lice have a gnawing mouth apparatus which they use to nourish themselves with exfoliated epidermis. Their presence is usually very irritating to animals due to their wandering. The skin of the dog or cat itches, which is manifested by rubbing against furniture, rolling in the grass or on the carpet, as well as scratching, licking or chewing the hair.

Other symptoms of biting lice include:

  • anxiety,
  • poor coat condition,
  • presence of nits,
  • exfoliative dermatitis,
  • baldness,
  • scabs (resulting from secondary bacterial infections).

Recommended preparations for your cat

Your dog's skin is peeling, and a reaction to the bite of a lice may also be a thickening of the epidermis.

Before treatment is started, biting lice must be properly diagnosed. During the visit, the veterinarian carefully examines the hair in search of adults or nits. In case of doubt, the found parasites are examined under a microscope to assess their morphology. Lice have a wide head and short legs ended with "claws ". If you're looking for more advice, check out too articles about parasites collected here.

What to do if the skin itches? Treatment of biting infestation

Lice, such as cat diarrhea or leptospirosis, requires appropriate medical steps! Treatment of parasitic infestations is based mainly on the application of preparations to the skin of a dog or cat. Medicines to combat lice in dogs and cats are:

  • permethrin
  • fipronil.

Permethrin is great for fighting external parasites, but is toxic to cats! Therefore, never give products intended for dogs to cats. These drugs are also not recommended in weakened animals with serious systemic diseases.

Important facts about treatment and prevention are:

  • Getting rid of lice and their nits requires more than one application of drugs.
  • It is important to apply the medications to every pet in the home. Otherwise, lice will relapse and spread from one individual to another.
  • If you have more than one cat or dog, it is advisable to isolate the individual who has been diagnosed with biting lice!
  • When applying the preparation yourself, place it in a place on the neck where the animal is unable to lick it off.
  • If you are taking medication on several animals, separate them so that they do not lick it on each other!
  • It is imperative that the house is thoroughly cleaned with anti-parasite preparations.
  • It is important to disinfect and wash things belonging to a sick individual.
  • Occasionally, treating a cat or dog may involve shaving its hair.
  • It is necessary to check with a veterinarian during and after treatment.
  • In cats with problems with grooming, assistance in the form of bathing and combing is recommended.

Whether you notice conjunctivitis in your cat, a bite from another animal, or signs of itching, always see your vet. Failure to treat or unsuccessful self-diagnosis attempts may result in complications and much more difficult treatment!

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