Can dogs and cats get head lice?
Credit: M.L. Duong CC-BY-2.0
Q:

Can dogs and cats get head lice?

A:

Quick Answer

Dogs and cats cannot catch human head lice. Lice are species-specific; therefore, there is a specific species of lice for specific species of animals. Conversely humans cannot catch the species of lice that can live on dogs or cats.

  Know More

Full Answer

Human head lice is very contagious and is spread through close contact, sharing of hats, hair brushes and other personal items and through bed linens and towels. Head lice are not an indication of poor hygiene and can affect people of all ages. Children are at a higher risk because they spend time in group settings, such as in schools and on team sports. Additionally children have close physical contact and share personal items. Contact a doctor for recommendations of treatment options. Treatments may include medicated shampoos available over the counter or by prescription, or a prescribed oral medication for resistant lice.

While human head lice are contagious and are not caused by poor hygiene, lice are not common in healthy dogs and cats. Animals that are at the highest risk are those that have poor nutrition and poor overall health and that are very young or very old in age. If lice are suspected, a veterinarian should be consulted to provide treatment for the animal. Treatment options may include medicated shampoos or sprays.

Learn more about Veterinary Health

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can you use Frontline Plus for cats on dogs?

    A:

    The flea and tick preventative treatment Frontline Plus has a different formula for cats and dogs, and the treatments should not be applied interchangeably. Dogs and cats process the flea and tick medication differently, so each must receive the correct type of medication.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can humans get worms from cats?

    A:

    Several different kinds of parasitic worms can be passed from cats to humans via contact with infected animals or contaminated environments. Handling cat feces, such as when cleaning the litter box, is one frequent route of cross infection. Some parasites can also survive in contaminated water or soil.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do cats get worms?

    A:

    Although the source of a worm infection depends on the cat's environment and the type of parasite, cats often contract these worms from something they eat. Contact with feces or with soil can also transmit worms.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you get rid of tapeworms in cats?

    A:

    According to VCA Animal Hospitals, prescription tablets or injections are the best way to get rid of tapeworms in cats. About.com states that only one treatment is needed to kill both adults and eggs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore