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Ask Dr.Fiona Your Own Question
Dr.Fiona, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 6273
Experience:  16 years experience as a companion animal veterinarian in British Columbia, California and Ontario
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Why cant lice live on pets Such as dogs and cats

Customer Question

Why can't lice live on pets? Such as dogs and cats?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

Hi thereCustomer

Welcome to Just Answer! I would like to help you with this question, but need a bit more information in order to better assist you.


Are you referring to human head lice living on pets?


Or cow lice, or other?




Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am talking about human head lice, is there an animal lice that can live on humans and vice versus?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I am talking about human head lice, is there an animal lice that can live on humans and vice versus?
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.
Ah, ok, thanks for that further information! I'm just going to go work on an answer for you and will be right back....
Expert:  Dr.Fiona replied 8 years ago.

Hi again,


The short answer to your question is: No,there are no lice that can be passed from humans to pets, or vice versa!


Lice are very species specific, which means that human head lice only like humans, cow lice only like cows, and so on. Lice in dogs is very rare - in 14 years of practice I have never seen it! The louse simply will not stay on a species other than the one it usually infests. Animals will get lice from direct contact with another animal (same species) with lice, OR from contact with a contaminated comb, brush, etc. The nits (eggs) on the brush will infest the other animal of the same species.


I have been a vet for 14 years, and worked with animals for about 10 years before that...and have never seen lice on cats or dogs, though it can happen.


Here is more information:




If this has been helpful, please click on accept. If you need more information, just click on reply and I will be back to provide it!



The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Best wishes to you both,


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