Does My Dog Have Lice?

by Scot
(New York, NY)

Reader Question: Does My Dog Have Lice?

My 5 mo old Yorkie, mini sleeps with me and in the am I notice small caramel colored firm flakes in the bed. They do not move, and honestly I cannot see anything at all on his body. I have treated him with pyrethrin shampoo for 2 weeks and have flea treated him with frontline.

What could this be? My vet says they are puppy lice but being a new puppy mom I want to know since the literature says puppy lice are very rare. Thanks

Veterinarian Answers Reader Question Regarding Lice In Dog


The pyrethrin shampoo and Frontline that you have used should have taken care of any lice your dog had (as well as fleas – I’m thinking that flea larvae are a possible explanation for what you’ve been seeing). Continue using the Frontline monthly as a preventative.

If you are still finding these “flakes” in your bed, I wonder if they could be dried out tapeworm segments. Have you ever seen anything that looks like a squished piece of rice in the fur around your dog’s anus or near where he is sleeping? This is what a “fresh” tapeworm segment looks like, and it may even move. It wouldn’t hurt to treat your dog with a dewormer that contains praziquatel, an ingredient that is effective against tapeworms.

If the problem persists, talk to your veterinarian again.


Jennifer Coates, DVM

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