Lice, although they are not as widely distributed as fleas, are just as much of a nuisance. These small, wingless insects are grouped into sucking and biting types. They spend their entire lives, from egg to adult, on mammals and birds. The female louse deposits her eggs on the dog's hair and the eggs hatch in approximately 2 to 3 weeks.

Lice are completely dependent on the host animal for their existence and will not voluntarily leave the dog. They are not as active as fleas and cannot leap from animal to animal. They are transferred by direct contact with the lice or their eggs. When a dog with lice sheds hair containing lice eggs or lice, the hair becomes the means of transmission to other animals. Lice will freely infest different animals, including human beings. Therefore if you have children and a dog (or cat), and one of them has lice, the chances are that the others do. You will have to delouse everybody.

The louse can cause severe anemia in young puppies by sucking their blood. Puppies usually become infested with lice through contact with their mother, if she is infested. Since puppies are constantly nursing and lying against their mother, the chances of their being infested are great.

Control of lice

The eradication of lice consists of dipping or spraying the dog with a nontoxic insecticide. Oral medication can be used. In dipping or spraying, use the same technique as for fleas.

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