The first thing on parents’ minds when a child comes home with lice is head lice removal. The second is probably containment. It’s natural to worry about head lice spreading to other family members. But what about the family pet? You might be wondering if your dog or cat can get head lice from your child or vice versa.
Can My Pet Get Head Lice?
We are happy to report that, no, your furry friend can’t catch lice from your child and won’t need head lice removal. That’s because lice do not spread from one species to another. Lice happen to be a species-specific ectoparasite.
The lice that humans can carry are called Pediculus humanus capitis. The lice found on dogs is called Trichodected canis or Linognathus Setosus. On cats, the lice found is called Felicola subrostrata. Each of these is a completely different pest that requires the specific blood and body temperatures of the species they survive on.
Even though there are animal-specific lice, they are not commonly found on household pets. They are far more likely to catch fleas than lice. In the rare case that your pet did contract lice, they would not be able to pass it on to any humans in the family. It’s also very unlikely that your pet would be able to transfer human head lice from one family member to another. Head lice simply don’t live very long once they can’t feed off human blood.
Fortunately, all of this means that if your child comes home with lice, head lice removal for your four-legged friend won’t be necessary.
Lice Symptoms for Pets
If you think that your pet contracted species-specific lice, you should contact your veterinarian for a screening. They will be able to check for lice, fleas, ticks, and other ectoparasites. Signs that your pet may have lice include itchiness, scratching, rubbing or biting skin, hair loss and a dry coat.
If your pet is found to have lice, there’s no need to panic that it will spread through your home. Your vet will prescribe the most effective lice removal treatment. Most importantly, don’t try to treat your pet with over the counter medications or pesticides that could harm them.
Head Lice Removal
Now that you know you don’t have to worry about Fido, just check your children periodically for lice. If they or another family member may have head lice, have them screened as soon as possible. Fresh Heads lice treatment centers offer head checks for the entire family. Our technicians will carefully inspect for any signs of head lice. If head lice removal is necessary, we offer a range of treatment options to suit your needs. For an appointment or for more information, please contact us at any of our Jacksonville, Orlando, or Savannah locations!
Jacksonville & Jacksonville Beach: (904) 517-4087
Orlando: (407) 618-1175
Savannah: (912) 988-4099