Did I Get Head Lice From My Dog?

As a parent, you must already be familiar with head lice. If you’ve received a call from the nurse at your child’s school, informing you that your child is infested with lice, you may begin to wonder where the nasty, blood-sucking critters came from. No worries, we’ll make that easy for you! Can Puss and Scruffy get lice? Yes. Can you or your first-grader contract lice from them? No. There’s one thing you need to bear in mind; humans are never at risk of getting head lice from pets who have them, and the converse is also true. This is because every species of head lice infests its own specific species. That is to say, human lice will only infest a human head because they have been biologically created to survive on human blood only. Similarly, cat lice thrive on cat blood, so on and so forth. Thus, if the school health clerk finds out that your child has nits, there is no need for you to quarantine your pets. Instead, let them enjoy and snuggle with you and your children in the nursery.

The Human Lice

There are three types of lice that humans can get:
  •  Head lice or Pediculus humanus capitis
  •  Pubic lice or Pthiris pubis
  •  Body lice or Pediculus humanus corporis
The main point worth reiterating here is that all these types of human lice are adapted to infest humans only. No cat or dog can ever catch human lice and vice versa.

The Lice in Pets

Although lice are not a common parasite affecting pets, they do sometimes infest them. Usually, they are found in animals living in unsanitary conditions. Malnutrition and poor health care may also result in a lice infestation in cats and dogs. The two types of lice that are found in dogs are:
  •  Trichodectes canis, and
  •  Linognathus setosus
Cats, on the other hand, are affected by only one type of lice, namely: Felicola subrostrata. Again, every animal species gets its own special species of lice. Hence, if, by chance, a stray louse lands onto a cat or dog or a human, for that matter, it will not hatch because it won’t survive long. Pet lice can be divided into two categories:
  •  Chewing lice, that live and feed on pets’ dead skin
  •  Blood sucking lice, that thrive on the blood drawn from the host animal’s skin
Like human lice, pet lice cause a lot of irritation. The chewing lice, in particular, are infectious and can transfer tapeworms to other pets. Worst case scenario, your pet can suffer from excessive fur loss, if left untreated.

Does Your Kid Have Lice?

If yes, you should know that Lice Troopers offers an pesticide free, chemical-free head lice removal services. Come visit our lice salon or schedule a house-call now: 800.403.5423.