Lice – just something about this word makes you itch and imagine little creepy crawlies on your skin and in your hair. Even though we're not discussing human lice, animal lice can have the same effect. The good news for people is that lice are species specific; meaning that if you're dog has lice you can't get it from them. The same is true for cat lice, equine lice, pig lice and other types of lice, such as goat lice.
However, this doesn't mean that your animals don't need treatment, because they most certainly do and it's very important that you understand the signs of lice and how to relieve your pet of these creepy crawlies that can make their lives miserable.
For most animals, lice can be discovered through skin scrapings and direct examination of the animal. Just a few symptoms of lice include itching, hair loss, crusty lesions, dandruff, bleeding and oozing skin, depending on the severity of the case. In many instances, the excessive itching and biting at the skin leads to many of these more severe symptoms.
Dog Lice are not very common within the United States, although it does and can occur. Those dogs that are poorly nourished tend to suffer from lice infestation more than other dogs, as do those dogs that live in unclean environments. Dog lice are not transferable to humans or any other animals. If your dog is scratching itself more than usual, then it is often a good idea to investigate the cause. Dog lice tend to look like dirt, only it moves.
Cat Lice symptoms include an abnormally scruffy coat, often due to excessive scratching. Because there are cat lice that bite, the cat may develop bald patches as well as have scabs and bleeding. Cats often pass lice on to other cats as well and be aware that grooming tools can also harbor the lice.
Fish Lice are a common problem in pet shops. Fish lice come in several types and there are those that can be invisible to the naked eye. Although, an infestation of lice can easily be mistaken for algae, but with careful examination you can see a very big difference. These lice are small like green discs that move around on the fish and dig their claws into the fish's body. Fish will often rub against items in the tank to try and remove the pest.
When it comes to Horse Lice, you often have more than one animal that is suffering, especially if horses are allowed contact with each other. These lice cause irritability, anemia, loss of hair and incessant itching. Horses will often be very distracted during riding or training if they are suffering from lice and you should be careful not to spread lice by using the same grooming tools on different horses.
As you can see, there are several different types of animal lice, but they all have similar symptoms. Each animal requires a different treatment whether you're dealing with Bird Lice, Chicken Lice, Goat Lice or Pig Lice. Throughout this site you will find information on all types of animal lice, their symptoms and appropriate treatments.