It's easy to spot and treat parasites when you groom your dog regularly.
We've known that dog lice has been in the Regina area for a while, but until now, haven't had any experience with it. To our dismay, one of our customers found dog lice. Please stay calm as:
- when noticed early, they're not harmful for your dog,
- they are easy to treat, and
- they are not transmissible to humans.
Dog lice are transmitted through contact. Therefore, because our kennel guests from different families do not physically interact, the possibility of transmission is minimal, but still possible; for example, if an infected dog leans up against or touch noses with another dog through the fence. We are hoping that our customer was one isolated case where an asymptomatic dog was here, but did not shed lice to anyone else.
It's wise to regularly check your dog for parasites. They are slightly smaller than fleas. They crawl on a dog and lay eggs on the hair. Symptoms include itching and scratching. The lice themselves look like dirt, and you're likely to notice them around your dog's head and nose. They are more difficult to detect on dark coloured dogs. If you suspect your dog is infested please contact your veterinarian. Without doing a physical check of your dog, you may not notice an infection for 21 days or more as it takes that long for the eggs to hatch.
If your dog will be in close proximity with other dogs, we recommend that you talk with your veterinarian about a regular parasite prevention program that includes regular checking and applying preventative products.
If your dog has dog lice, talk with your veterinarian about a shampoo and parasite control treatment. Controlling lice is similar to controlling fleas. Remove the parasite and continue cleaning for a few weeks to get rid of their nits or eggs. The control schedule would look something like this:
- bathing with a parasite treatment shampoo over a number of weeks (this ensures that the lice and their eggs are completely removed - follow the shampoo stand-time instruction, and be sure to check that everything is clear before stopping treatment)
- brushing and combing out to remove eggs attached to the hair shafts, then putting the lice/eggs into soapy water to drown
- using a topical insecticide treatment (similar to those used to prevent fleas and ticks)
- washing your dog's bedding, toys and grooming supplies
- washing the clothing you're wearing while shampooing and combing out your dog
While dog lice are inconvenient, when caught early they are not harmful to your dog or family, but other parasites can be. Talk with your veterinarian about a regular parasite prevention program that includes regular grooming and preventative products. If you suspect that your dog has dog lice or any other communicable issue, please do not board your dog.