Chewing Lice – Mallophaga

A client presented with a 7-week-old puppy for his first puppy exam. The client noted that she noticed something moving on the puppy’s skin and that it seemed extremely itchy and had dandruff-like flakes.

Rubbing, scratching, and biting of infested areas can be signs of louse infestation. Heavy infestations may even cause pruritus (severe itching of the skin), intense scratching, a rough matted coat, and sometimes patchy hair loss. Chewing lice are attached by their claws or mandibles to the base of a hair, usually on the head, neck, and tail. Treatment of this puppy included repeated doses of anti-parasitic/anti-lice preparations because all canine lice nits are usually not killed in a single application. In addition, an anti-parasitic drug was prescribed.