Can Dogs Get Head Lice From Humans? These Facts Will Surprise You | Kidadl


Can Dogs Get Head Lice From Humans? These Facts Will Surprise You

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Apart from laughter and games, head lice are a common parasite many children share.

Head lice are small-sized parasites that infest the hair of a human. Lice can also infest animals.

Head lice survive on the secretion the skin of their host makes and other skin debris. These transmit from one to another through direct contact as they are not much mobile. A child is most likely to get lice from school or other social places like a park or a daycare. It is necessary to prevent others from getting lice, including any animal living in the house. Just like eradicating a flea infestation, you should also take a lice infestation seriously. Continue reading the article to learn more about dog lice, lice that infest a human head, as well as measures to eradicate lice infestations.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about can dogs eat steak and can dogs eat soybean here on Kidadl?

Can dogs get head lice from humans?

It is pretty common for parents to assume that their child got head lice from the stray cat or dog they adopted or vice versa, that the kid may give lice to the cat or dog. These are not reasons to worry as neither can your kid get lice from your pet nor can your pet get lice from your kid. Lice are species-specific, meaning that they survive on the blood or debris of a single species.

The lice on a human head may pass on to other humans but not pets. Pets cannot get infected by human lice. Dog lice need the dog's blood to survive, whereas human lice survive on the blood of a human. A kid cannot contract lice from a cat or a dog as dog and cat lice are not common. If there is a lice infestation at your home, there is no need to separate your pet and the family member from each other as dogs cannot get the lice humans get. Lice may get transferred from your kid to you, but not to a cat or a dog.

Lice In Dogs

Dogs and cats can get lice but not as frequently as they contract fleas. Living in unhygienic conditions can cause dogs to get lice. Lice infestation is common among shelter, feral, or stray animals that dwell in unsanitary conditions. Lice can be easily transferred to a pet dog if it comes into contact with an animal from a shelter. The animals in the shelter do not get proper grooming, disinfection, and nutrition, and the area has poor conditions. The equipment used on them is also not sanitized sometimes.

Dogs are host to two types of lice species; the chewing lice, Trichodectes canis, and the blood-sucking lice called Linognathus setosus Felicola subrostrata is the only type of lice that cats can get. Your pets will undergo itching, chewing, and scratching at the skin where lice are present, resulting in a rough and matted coat for every kind of lice. One type of chewing lice can also transmit tapeworms to your dog, resulting in lice and tapeworms. Take your dog to the vet if you see your pet scratching, itching, or chewing.

The lice in your dog's hair cannot be transferred to humans, but it is still necessary for your dog to receive proper treatment and diagnosis. The dog's veterinarian will prescribe topical treatments like spot-on tick and flea preventives, sprays, and shampoos. You must also disinfect the bedding of your pet dog and keep it away from any other dog of the same species. Other equipment used on the lice-infected dog must also be sanitized, such as brushes, combs, blankets, collars, and clothes. If you come in close contact with your pet, the chances are that a louse may fall on you. However, as lice are species-specific parasites, that louse that may fall on you will not survive.

Lice prevention for a dog.

Lice In Humans

Out of the 3,000 species of lice that exist in the world, only three of them are disease agents for a human. Others are species-specific and prefer a specific animal as their host. Some species feed upon cats, some on dogs, and some on people.

That means some species will feed only on people, some only on cats, others only on dogs. Many people assume that they get head lice due to poor conditions. However, that is not true. Human head lice are infectious, but they do not indicate unhygienic conditions. Human lice are easily transferrable if two people come into head-to-head contact with each other. They can spread among children easily if they share hair accessories, hats, or hairbrushes. Adults can also get head lice if they live together and share hair accessories or brushes.

Signs of lice include a ticklish and itchy head and tiny white-colored nits (eggs) present near the roots of the hair. There may also be adult lice or nymphs present, which are mobile and gray. They are easily visible to the eyes as they are about the same size as a sesame seed. The lice that are known to infest in the head of people do not infest in pets. Cats or dogs cannot get head lice from a child.

However, lice can get transferred to the bedding and clothing of the infected person. Therefore, you should seek appropriate treatment to get rid of the lice. If you think someone in your family or your pet has lice, you must call your dog's vet or your health care provider to get prescribed proper treatment, so there aren't any more infestations. If you find nits (eggs of lice) in the scalp of a family member, wash all clothing, bedding, and blankets to eradicate this parasite. It would help if you also cleaned the scalp of the infected person with special shampoo to kill the lice. Combing with special combs also helps in removing the adults, nymphs, and nits.

How To Prevent Lice In Dogs

It will take a couple of weeks to completely get rid of lice from a family member or a pet. Thus, preventing lice is much better than treating lice. Dogs can't get lice from people, but they can get it from each other.

You must regularly check if the grooming equipment, clothing, and sleeping area of the dog are clean. Everything that a pet comes in touch with must be disinfected thoroughly before using it on another pet.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for the can dogs get head lice, then why not take a look at can dogs eat skittles or bulldog facts.

Written By
Rhea Nischal

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