Parasitology

Parasitology

Lice Treatment

Identifying lice infestation

Defining characteristics: Six legs, chewing or sucking mouth, long body, and may see blood in the louse’s abdomen.

Host Symptoms:

  • Eggs in hair or fur
  • Dermatitis
  • Hair Loss Anemia if infestation is severe

What does lice infestation tell us about the patient?

If the patient is a baby, lice infestation can confirm it was an orphan. The mother will keep babies free from lice.

If the patient is an adult, lice infestation confirms the animal is otherwise compromised. Healthy animals will keep lice in check.

Treatment

  • If sucking lice, the patient is administered an anti-parasitic that is passed through the blood stream. Sucking lice will consume enough blood for it to be effective. Topical powder can also be used in conjunction.
  • If chewing lice, topical powder is used. A chewing louse will consume the powder while the louse is eating.
  • Pouch lice are chewing lice, however they must be treated differently. Powder cannot be safely ingested by the host animal, so pouch lice are treated using an anti-parasitic (similar treatment as sucking lice). The anti-parasitic is administered after as many pouch lice as possible are manually removed.