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Biting lice in cats and dogs

Biting Lice are blood sucking insects that can be seen with the naked eye. They have no wings and appear flat. They are very host-specific which means that they don't tend to leave their preferred animal; they spend their entire life cycle on the pet and they don't present a problem to humans.

Unlike fleas and ticks, lice do not live or travel in the environment and can only be transmitted by direct contact with an infested pet (or sometimes from grooming instruments). The lice lay eggs (nits) on the hair shafts.

What are the Symptoms?

The most noted sign of infestation is a scruffy, dry hair coat. You may also find that your pet suffers hair loss and severe itching.

As biting lice suck the pet's blood, heavy infestations can lead to anaemia. Both biting lice and nits can usually be seen with the naked eye, although nits tend to be more easily visible.

Please contact your branch surgery for more information or to book an appointment for a health check.

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