What Does Horse Lice Look Like? (Solution found)

How do horses get lice?

  • The lice are transferred from horse to horse by direct contact or through shared brushes, blankets, and equipment. The horse will be intensely itchy, especially around the base of the tail, mane, and head, although the lice may be all over the horse.

How can I tell if my horse has lice?

The first signs that your horse may be infested with lice are biting at and rubbing infested areas and increased restlessness. Hair loss and even skin loss may occur. If the lice are abundant, the hair might also be matted. Sucking lice cause small wounds that can become infected.

How do you get rid of lice on a horse?

Parting the hair often reveals the lice. Chewing lice are active and can be seen moving through the hair. Horses can be treated with sprays of pyrethrins, synthetic pyrethrins, or the organophosphate coumaphos to kill lice.

Can humans get horse lice?

Lice are tiny parasitic insects that live in the hair coat of horses or other mammals. Lice are species-specific, meaning that bird lice generally won’t live on people or dogs, horse lice don’t typically infect people.

Where does horse lice come from?

Horses most commonly get lice from being in contact with other horses that are infested. Horses in a crowded environment can very easily spread the parasites to each other. Lice can also be transmitted by fomites—objects such as combs, brushes, or blankets that, if shared, can help spread lice from horse to horse.

Can horses catch lice from other horses?

Lice are generally transmitted by direct contact between horses.

Can lice live in Hay?

Hay tends to be the main source of static lice, hence their alternative moniker “hay mites”. They can also come in on some forms of bedding…the more ‘natural’ the bedding, particularly if it isn’t a heat- or freeze-dried bedding, the more likely it will be carrying parasites.

How do you get rid of horse feather mites?

Treatment of feather mites in horses

  1. Fipronyl spray (widely known under the brand name Frontline)
  2. Pyrethroids (eg: Deosect) applied every two weeks.
  3. 1 – 2.5% selenium sulphide wash repeated frequently. The wash must be left on for 10mins before being thoroughly rinsed off.

How long do horse lice live without a host?

Luckily, equine lice can only survive without a host for several days at most, so the paddock can be used again within about 10 days.

Do horse lice jump?

Lice cannot jump or fly, however, they can spread easily to other horses in the herd. In the right weather conditions, adult lice may be able to survive for two to three days on hard surfaces, and the nits can remain viable for about three weeks.

How do you prevent horse lice?

You can take steps to prevent lice by thoroughly grooming horses, isolating new horses until you know they are healthy, and keeping separate tack, brushes, and blankets for each horse. Keep blankets and saddle pads clean.

What does apple cider vinegar do for horses?

Apple Cider Vinegar works to acidify the horse’s stomach for better digestion, cleansing the digestic tract. It can also aid in the absorption of minerals and helps balance the acid/alkaline ratio which is essential for good health.

How long do horse lice live on people?

Lice can also be passed from horse to horse via shared tack or other grooming tools or equipment. In the right weather conditions, adult lice may be able to survive for two to three days on hard surfaces, and the nits can remain viable for about three weeks.

How do you get rid of horse lice naturally?

Study shows that tea tree and lavender oil may be effective in treating lice. British researchers report that two common essential oils—tea tree and lavender—show promise in treating lice that are increasingly resistant to commercial pesticides.

How long do horse lice live on rugs?

How are they spread? Lice are mainly spread by direct contact from one horse to another, but can be spread indirectly by shared rugs and grooming equipment. A louse can survive for 2-4 weeks in an environment with favourable conditions, but more frequently die off within a week.

Can horses have lice in the summer?

In temperate parts of the world, populations of horse lice are characteristically greatest during the winter or early spring with a decline in the summer. Adult lice are dorsal-ventrally flattened insects, a configuration that allows them to position themselves under the hair coat.

Lice in horses: how best to deal with this itchy pest

  • Veterinary adviser to the Royal Family since 1991, Karen Coumbe, MRCVS, has edited and given final approval to this article. What is lice in horses? What are the signs and symptoms? What are the risk factors? What is the transmission? What is the treatment? A lice infestation is one of the most prevalent causes of itching in horses, which is technically referred to as pruritus in the medical community. Lice are most prevalent in chilly, moist areas in the late winter and early spring, when temperatures are below freezing. For the most part, if your horse or pony is itching, you should first rule out lice and other parasites such as asmites before considering other possible causes of itchiness such as sweet itch. The majority of horse owners are more concerned with internal parasites, specifically worms
  • Nevertheless, external parasites, such as lice and mites, may be a huge annoyance in addition to having a negative influence on equine health. Horses that are infested with lice must be miserable, and they may suffer from nutritional deficiencies. A severe infestation of lice can result in anaemia as a result of the open skin sores that are generated as a result of the infestation, as well as the fact that some species of lice are blood suckers.

Types of equine lice

Lice are classified into two types: bloodsucking (Haematopinus asini) and biting (Haematopinus asini) (Damalinia equi). Both species are six-legged, small, and wingless, with their coats of a light brown color. Both the sucking and non-sucking varieties are noticeable during normal inspection since they are both greater in size. They have pointy heads and their mouth parts are capable of penetrating the skin. These parasites are most usually seen on the longer hairs of the mare, tail, and fetlocks, where their eggs (nits) may be seen clearly adhering to the hair.

They are often located around the back and flanks of the horse, but if left untreated, they can spread throughout the entire body.

When the adults lay eggs on their hair, the eggs hatch and grow into adults.

Signs of lice in horses

The moth-eaten appearance of infected animals is characteristic of them, particularly beneath the mane, along their backs, and around their tails, since they rub and bite themselves in reaction to the aggravation. This might result in bald patches and painful places that may secrete serum, while the horse’s coat becomes dull and scurfy as a result of the condition. Horses that have been severely impacted frequently lose condition and become restless. The possibility of a secondary infection developing in regions of damaged skin should not be underestimated.

The presence of live lice is frequently detected when a rug is removed and they flee for refuge by burrowing into the horse’s hair coat, where they are just large enough to be seen with the naked eye in bright light if you have decent vision.

Despite the fact that it is not a nice analogy, horse lice are quite similar to human lice, and an old-fashioned nit comb may be used to detect lice in horses just as it does in humans.

Though lice are discovered on one horse, it is reasonable to infer that other horses in touch with that horse are sick, even if no lice are visible and the skin seems normal.

Which horses are at most risk?

The moth-eaten appearance of infected animals is characteristic of them, notably beneath the mane, down their backs, and around their tails, as they rub and bite themselves in reaction to the irritation. Hair loss and sores that may leak serum are common side effects, and the horse’s coat is frequently dull and scurfy as a result of this condition. Horses who have been severely impacted frequently become dehydrated and restless. The possibility of a secondary infection developing in regions of damaged skin should not be dismissed outright.

In many cases, live lice may be detected as soon as a rug is removed, and they flee for refuge by burrowing into the horse’s hair coat, where they are just large enough to be seen with the naked eye in bright light if you have good peripheral vision.

Unfortunately, horse lice are quite similar to human lice in appearance and behavior, and an old-fashioned nit comb will assist in the detection of lice in horses, just as it will in humans.

A horse with lice should be considered infected if lice are detected on any other horses in the vicinity, even if no lice are visible and the skin seems to be uninfected.

How do lice spread?

Generally, lice are spread between horses by direct touch with one another. They will only survive for a few days in rugs, grooming brushes, and tack, as well as on paddock fences and trees that horses rub against, so they can also be spread in this manner. However, the majority of transmission occurs through direct animal contact or through items such as shared grooming equipment. Lice are host specific, which means that horse lice will only attach to horses and will not be seen on other animals, but donkey lice are exclusive to donkeys alone.

Treatment of lice in horses

Equine lice are treated using anti-parasitic powders and liquids, as well as nutritional and management changes that are appropriate for the horse’s situation. Additionally, grooming and cutting off the infected coat will aid in the recovery process. It may be controversial, but treating all in-contact horses at the same time is necessary to ensure that all lice are eradicated from the horse’s body. Louse eggs are difficult to remove and are resistant to most pesticides, which is why people have traditionally used nit combs to remove them.

  1. Because neither ironing nor nit-combing can completely cure the problem of lice in horses, it is necessary to continue medical treatment at three-week intervals in order to completely destroy the lice that hatch.
  2. To effectively cure lice, it is necessary to use a remedy that is both effective and effective in eliminating them.
  3. There has been scientific studies as well as anecdotal evidence to suggest that not every product works as well as one may expect it to work.
  4. Not only have some studies found that various over-the-counter louse powders are not always successful, but there has also been evidence that donkey lice are developing resistance to several insecticide treatments, including cypermethrin and permethrin used topically.
  5. Always ensure that lice treatment is thoroughly disseminated throughout the coat when treating donkeys.
  6. Another research, which was particularly interesting, suggested that essential and non-essential oils might be used in the treatment of biting lice.
  7. Tea-tree, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, clove bud, and camphor were among the six essential oils evaluated.
  8. At concentrations less than two percent, fifty percent of the population died.
  9. Additionally, two essential oil constituents were found to have identical degrees of toxicity.
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In addition, the wormers, such as ivermectin or moxidectin, that are used to treat parasitic worms may also be effective in killing lice, particularly blood sucking lice that will take up the poisonous wormer, whereas chewing lice that eat skin scale are less likely to be exposed to a louse lethal dose of the poisonous wormer.

As is typical of the law of unintended consequences, it appears that the reduction in the administration of routine wormer medicine may result in an increase in lice infestations.

Therefore, keep an eye out for the louse, which may be found on any itchy horse, pony, or donkey. It is advised that three treatments be administered at 10-day intervals to allow for the hatching of new eggs. Gloves and garments that provide protection should be worn.

Treatment summary

Treatment options include the following:

  • Application of a permethrin spray to the entire body in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions, followed by a second application after 14 days
  • Application of Deosect spray, diluted to the concentration indicated by the manufacturer, followed by a follow-up application after 14 days
  • Ask your veterinarian for an advice on an insecticidal shampoo to use on your pet. Some essential oils are discussed in detail in this article.

Permethrin spray application to the entire body in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, followed by a follow-up treatment 14 days later. Application of Deosect spray, diluted to the concentration advised by the manufacturer, followed by a second application 14 days later; Ask your veterinarian for an advice on an insecticidal shampoo to use. Check out this post for more information on several essential oils.

  • 25 percent fibronil spray (Frontline)
  • Selenium sulphide shampoo
  • Ivermectin or moxidectin wormer paste administered orally for instances involving sucking lice
  • Ivermectin or moxidectin wormer paste given orally for situations involving head lice

Tack, carpets, and brushes should all be cleaned as well, either with a topical solution or by steam cleaning, depending on the situation. Continuation of Reading Control of lice infestation in horses using a topical application of deltamethrin at a concentration of 10 mg/mL – June 2017. The use of essential oils in the control of the donkey louse, Bovicola ocellatus, was first published in March 2015. You might be interested in the following items as well. On the dock and at the top of the tail area, a horse is displaying characteristic signs of sweet itch.

  • Photograph courtesy of Professor Derek Knottenbelt Sarcoids are the most frequent skin tumor in horses and ponies, and they are quite damaging locally, therefore learn about the best treatment options.
  • Image courtesy of Alamy Stock Photo MA VetMB is an abbreviation for Master of Veterinary Medicine.
  • She works as an FEI veterinarian and has represented the organization in three Olympic Games and two World Equestrian Games in the past.
  • Since 1991, she has been as the official veterinary advisor for HorseHound.

Lice alert!

Rather of asking IF your horse will have lice, it’s more important to ask WHEN your horse will acquire lice. The content on the page appeared to be pointing a finger at me in an accusatory manner. This couldn’t possibly be correct. I couldn’t believe this was happening to my horse, could I? I’ve been a horse owner for over two decades. I won’t claim to be a very good owner, but I do pay close attention to the needs of my animals. My horses have been living with me on our tiny farm for the past six years, and I couldn’t be happier.

  • I keep track of deworming and vaccination schedules, and my horses receive basic care from a veterinarian and a farrier on a regular basis.
  • I’m very sure I give them way too many snacks.
  • However, I was proven wrong.
  • The proof was right in front of me on the computer screen, and it read as follows: Lice were probably likely the culprit of my Miniature Horse’s frequent scratching and itching.
  • However, when I conducted my study, I uncovered a slew of myths and misunderstandings.

Furthermore, I was thrilled to discover strategies to assist in the prevention of future epidemics. I believe I can, and I hope you can as well.

Catching the bugs

There is no doubt as to whether or not your horse will contract lice; the question is when your horse will acquire lice. When I looked at the writing on the page, it appeared to be pointing a finger at me. Obviously, this isn’t correct. Surely, this couldn’t possibly be happening to my horse. Almost 20 years have elapsed since I first purchased my first horse. I won’t claim to be a particularly good owner, but I do pay close attention to the needs of my animals. My horses have been living with me on our tiny farm for the past six years, and they are spoiled.

  • The deworming and vaccines are kept up to date, and my horses receive routine treatment from a veterinarian as well as a farrier.
  • Most likely, I overindulge them in sugary snacks.
  • I had certainly never heard of any incidences of lice among the numerous well-cared-for horses that I had come to know over the course of my professional career.
  • In the next weeks, I would be learning a great deal about horse lice, including how to identify a case and how to cure it.
  • However, while it is true that a significant lice infestation is more likely to take root in a horse that has been untidy or neglected, if there was one key lesson I learnt, it was that a case of lice may occur in any horse, even one that has had excellent care and is otherwise healthy.
  • I believe you can as well.

Managing lice in horses

A horse with lice will scratch and bite at his skin incessantly, and this will be the first clue that he has a problem with the lice. It is likely that the rubbing will result in hair loss (alopecia), which will emerge initially on the places where the lice are present: on the neck and head, around and beneath the base of both the mane and tail, and along the flanks and sides of the animal. If the scratching continues for an extended period of time or is vigorous enough, the skin may become irritated and bleed.

  • “They will stomp on them till they bleed.” The horse’s hair may become matted, ruffled, untidy, or “moth-eaten,” depending on the situation.
  • A severe enough infestation of sucking lice may deprive the horse of enough blood to produce anemia, which would manifest itself as lethargy, depression, and pale mucous membranes on the horse’s face and body.
  • Lice, flies, and other insects $19.99 Tick Control Dust-On; $19.99 Although a variety of over-the-counter remedies for equine lice are available, it is always a good idea to consult your veterinarian if you believe your horse is infected with lice.
  • In addition, your veterinarian can recommend the medication that is most appropriate for your horse and the specific type of lice present, as well as a strategy for preventing the parasites from spreading.
  • Lice-killing substances (pediculicides) are available in a number of formulations, including sprays, wipe-ons, pour-ons, shampoos, and powders, among others.
  • These pediculicides act by directly killing louse nymphs and adults; however, they do not damage the eggs or the larvae that hatch from them.
  • As soon as my veterinarian determined that my horse had lice, she recommended a topical permethrin powder to treat the infestation.

Although permethrin is not dangerous to cats, if you have barn cats you may want to consider using a solution that contains a different active component or a wash that rinses away the insecticide completely.

Because sucking lice swallow the pediculicide from the horse’s blood, this kind of treatment is more successful against them than other methods.

Make careful to read and follow the instructions on the label of any product you use, including any safety precautions that may be listed.

Lice treatment products may be found at most feed stores as well as your local veterinarian office.

Veterinary expert Annette Petersen of Michigan State University advises that once an epidemic is identified, all horses should be treated regardless of whether they are showing clinical indications or not.

Even though it was late in the spring and all of my horses were still in the process of losing their winter coats, I body clipped them all in order to make it easier for the lice treatments to get to the lice faster.

It is, of course, necessary to clean the clippers after each usage on a different horse in order to avoid contamination.

Using permethrin powder may have been excessive, but I chose to wear protective eyewear as well as a temporary jumpsuit over my clothing while handling the substance.

When there is a lice epidemic, White recommends that combs and other grooming items that are shared among horses be cleansed with an authorized solution and devoted to only one horse.

“Because lice can not survive for lengthy periods of time away from the horse,” explains White, “there is no need for drastic or severe cleaning of the surroundings, but any of the topical medicines, such as permethrin sprays, might be used if specified on the label.” Nonetheless, my veterinarian recommended that I strip all of my stalls and clear out any material, including as hair and cobwebs, that had become adhered to the walls of the building.

In the end, I went the extra mile and, following her advice, I made a disinfecting bleach solution and sprayed it over the walls and floors of all of my stalls, as well as the area where I groomed.

Because I wanted to get things done as quickly as possible, I bought a cheap hand-pump weed-sprayer to apply the bleach solution, but a regular bucket and brush would work just as well.

My previous practice was to launder their clothing only once a season, but I intend to increase the frequency of my laundering going forward.

In fact, some contemporary washing machines are equipped with an extra-hot “sanitizing” cycle that kills lice nits as well as disease-causing bacteria throughout the washing cycle.

Preventive measures

The most effective methods of avoiding lice from establishing themselves on your horse focus around keeping him clean and healthy–as well as regularly checking his coat and overall health. You’ve most likely already taken the required steps to do this. However, maintaining continual monitoring is essential for finding and treating lice as soon as possible, as well as keeping the parasites from spreading throughout your herd and flock. Here is a rundown of the procedures to be followed: Grooming should be done on a regular basis and thoroughly.

  • In addition to grooming, “bathing is quite effective in physically removing lice,” according to Holohan.
  • Grooming tools should be kept separate for each horse.
  • However, this isn’t always possible.
  • Tack and other equipment should be cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Blankets are typically washed after each season of usage, but if your horse is particularly untidy, you may want to consider washing it as often as necessary over the winter months.
  • A healthy diet, frequent fecal examinations, and parasite management are among the key preventative methods for lice, according to Bridges-Westerman, who recommends “a balanced diet, regular fecal exams, and parasite control” as primary preventive measures.
  • Maintain constant observation over the coats of horses in need of care for early indicators of problems.

Any new horse that is delivered to your farm may be harboring a variety of parasites or dangerous illnesses that you should be aware of.

It’s also a good idea to separate horses who travel regularly to shows or events from horses who like to remain at home.

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Avoid coming into close contact with horses you are unfamiliar with.

This will prevent kicks, bites, and other unwanted behaviors, as well as lice and infectious diseases from spreading.

“Unless the horse who had been stalled there previously was infested with lice,” adds Holohan, the risk is rather minimal.

Winter is a time when you need be extra watchful.

Although you may not be riding your horse on a regular basis during the winter months, it is still a good idea to bring him into a well-lit location at least once every few days for brushing and a thorough examination of his coat’s health and condition.

Since finding that my horse had lice, I’ve made a number of adjustments.

Since dealing with lice at my stable, I haven’t blanketed as frequently as I used to, and when I do blanket, I keep my horses’ coats cropped shorter than they were previously accustomed to.

My horses’ manes and tails are now parted down to the skin almost every day, simply to check for anything suspect, and I use metal currycombs instead of the “jelly” variety so that I can really dig into their coats when I groom them.

So yet, there have been no new indications of concern.

When you are grooming your horse and you see a little speck of “something” that makes you wonder, “Well, what is that?,” don’t be surprised.


It’s possible that this is your first indication of horse lice.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

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Learn How to Identify and Treat Lice on Horses

Lice are ectoparasites that reside on the skin and in the fur of animals that are often overcrowded and/or stressed. They are also commonly seen in animals that are kept in filthy environments. There are two varieties of lice, and the difference between them is in the way they eat. One form of parasite feeds by biting and chewing on hair and dead skin, while the other feeds by sucking the blood of the animal that it is parasitizing.

What Are Lice?

The parasitic lice that reside in the hair coat of horses and other animals are microscopic parasitic insects. Lice are species-specific, which means that bird lice, for example, will not survive on humans or dogs, and horse lice will not commonly infect humans. It is unlikely that you will get lice from your horse or that they will spread to your cat. It is possible, although not always the case, that lice infestations are a result of inadequate care and/or nutrition for the animal. They can be frequent in stables, such as horse racing stables, where tight quarters and shared equipment allow the transmission of lice simple and effective.

  • At their full size, they are just 2 to 4 millimeters in length when completely matured.
  • They may dwell in any part of the horse’s body, including the mane, tail, and coat, and reproduce quickly.
  • asini), the horse sucking type of lice, andDamalinia equi (D.
  • Lice of both varieties may be found in many parts of the world.
  • G.
  • Ferris and the Pacific Coast Entomological Society published this work in 1951.

Signs of Lice on Horses

  • Itching, irritated skin, visible raw areas on the skin, a rough hair coat, and lethargy are all symptoms of this condition.

Even though the lice may be all over the horse, it will be extremely itchy, especially at the base of its tail, mane, and head, and the horse may scratch itself to death. It’s possible that a horse will rub raw patches into its skin as it tries to ease the itching by rubbing itself against fences, trees, or stall walls. An uncomfortable horse may seem listless or colicky, which indicates that it is suffering from a gastrointestinal problem. One or two horses within a herd may be more infected than the rest of the herd on occasion.

A horse that has been severely afflicted with lice will become severely debilitated.

In winter and early spring, lice are most visible on the horse, which has a long hair coat that provides a cozy home for them to reside in. In addition, lice prefer the darkness and avoid strong sunlight as much as possible.


  • Possessing physical touch with another lice-infested animal
  • Using equipment or utensils that have been affected by a lice infestation

In certain cases, the parasites may feed on the horse’s blood, while in others they will feed off of dead skin cells. The lice lay eggs, which are referred to as nits, in the horse’s hair coat and mane, which are then eaten by the horse. These nits will hatch into nymphs, which will mature into egg-laying adults as they get older. Lice nymphs and adults are both responsible for the itching associated with lice. Horses who are underweight or in poor health are more prone to lice infestations than those that are in good condition.


A topical de-lousing powder or an oral louse medicine supplied by a veterinarian are the initial steps in treating the horse itself. Permethrin-based powders, shampoos, and rinses are among the most often used treatments. Applying therapy to skin that has been inflamed should be done with caution, since this might lead to more complications. Avoid inhaling any prescription powder when applying it, and wash your hands thoroughly after you finish applying it. When applying the powder, it is critical that the powder penetrates all the way down to the horse’s skin.

All equipment that has the potential to harbor lice or nits must be cleaned as well.

When it comes to treating lice infestations, your veterinarian is your greatest source of information.


A new horse should be kept apart from the rest of the herd for a period of time to determine whether it has any issues that might be passed on to the rest of the herd later on. A smart idea in a crowded barn is for each horse to have his or her own brushes and equipment since sharing grooming tools and blankets can transmit a variety of skin issues, including lice, ringsworm, and mange, among other things. If you have any reason to believe your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Lice of Horses – Horse Owners

Lice are microscopic, flightless insects that reside in the feathers and hair of both animals and humans, and they are known as lice. All lice live in the habitat given by the host’s skin, hair, or feathers, and are known as nits. They transfer from one host to another mostly by direct contact with the host. Lice are more prevalent in temperate countries during the winter months of the year. Lice may be divided into two types: head lice and body lice. The biting or chewing lice constitute the majority of the population (order Mallophaga).

  1. Horses can be infested by two types of lice: Haematopinus asini, the horse bloodsucking louse, and Damalinia equi, the horse biting louse.
  2. Horse bloodsucking louses are typically found around the roots of the horse’s forelock and mane, at the base of the tail, and on the hairs right above the hoof, among other places.
  3. It can be found on the sides of the neck, on the flank, and at the base of the tail, among other places.
  4. Nits will not be dislodged by ordinary shampooing and washing methods.
  5. Lice, after hatching from their nits, go through three nymph phases before becoming fully mature.
  6. Most lice take around 3 to 4 weeks to develop from nits to adults, however the length of time varies depending on the species.
  7. It is possible to have hair loss and even skin loss.
  8. Sucking lice leave little sores that can get infected if not treated immediately.
  9. Lice are frequently discovered when the hair is parted.
  10. Horses that have lice can be treated with pyrethrins, synthetic pyrethrins, or the organophosphate coumaphos, which is an organophosphate.
  11. Your veterinarian may provide a recommendation for a suitable pest control product as well as offer instructions on how to apply it.

In most cases, the lice that infest horses are not attracted to people as well. As a result, while caution is advised while dealing with the lice that have infected your horse, owners should be aware that lice are seldom transmitted to humans through their horses.

Lice Infestation in Horses

Small, flightless insects that dwell in the feathers or hair of both animals and humans are known as lice. Each and every lice species lives in the habitat supplied by the host’s skin, hair, and feathers. These parasites travel from host to host, typically by direct contact with the hosts. It is during the cooler months in temperate climates when lice are most prevalent. It is possible to get lice in two different ways. The biting or chewing lice are the biggest category (order Mallophaga). The blood-sucking lice constitute a more limited category (order Anoplura).

  1. Bloodsucking louse eggs and larvae are often laid on or near the roots of the forelock and mane, around the base of the tail, and on the hairs just above the foot.
  2. There are areas of it on both sides of the neck, on the flank, and at the bottom of the tail.
  3. Nits will not be dislodged by regular shampooing and cleaning.
  4. Nits are transparent and translucent.
  5. Although they are considerably smaller than adult lice, the nymphs are extremely similar in appearance to them.
  6. Initial indicators of lice infestation in your horse include biting and scratching at affected areas, as well as increased restlessness and agitation.
  7. The hair may get matted if there are several lice present.
  8. Most of the time, a visual examination of the afflicted animal will enough to make a determination.
  9. Lichens that are actively chewing are visible moving through the hair.
  10. For horses who are sensitive to sprayer sounds, a wipe-on formulation is also available, and it is very effective.
  11. It may be essential to repeat the treatment in order to completely eliminate lice.

In most cases, the lice that infest horses are not drawn to people. Consequently, while caution is advised while dealing with the lice that have infected your horse, owners should be aware that lice are seldom transmitted to humans by their animals.

Symptoms and Types

Pediculosis is characterized by pruritus and cutaneous irritation, which are followed by scratching, rubbing, and biting of the afflicted parts of the body. Farm animals with a typically untidy look, a rough coat, and decreased productivity are not uncommon in the industry. In severe infestations, hair loss and scarring may occur, as well as local scarification. Anemia can occur if a person has a severe infestation of sucking lice.

  • Horse’s coat begins to lose its sheen
  • Hair loss on the neck and shoulders
  • Hair loss on the back of the neck Body hairs become matted
  • The hair on the back of the neck becomes matted. Skin itchiness
  • Itching of the eyes
  • Rubbing up against poles, walls, and other obstacles
  • Gnawing at one’s own skin
  • In more extreme circumstances, the patient’s condition will deteriorate. Anemia, which comes as a result of continuing blood loss, occurs in the most severe cases. Lice may be visible on the skin’s surface
  • Nonetheless, they are not contagious.


Horse’s coat begins to lose its sheen. baldness on the neck and shoulders; baldness on the back of the head matted body hair; matted hair on the face Masturbation occurs in both the mane and the tail. Dermatitis (skin itch); The act of rubbing up against poles, walls, and other obstacles tearing at the skin with one’s teeth In more extreme situations, there is a loss of condition. It is more severe cases that result in anemia owing to continuing blood loss. In some cases, lice can be observed on the skin’s surface.

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When it comes to diagnosing lice, a veterinarian is not required; nevertheless, when it comes to identifying lice and treating them, it is a good idea to consult with one. When it comes to dealing with lice, it is sometimes beneficial to have some background knowledge, as individuals who do not understand what they are dealing with may not have a chance against them when it comes to getting rid of them. The presence of lice is used to make the diagnosis. If the dog is being inspected inside, the hair should be divided and the skin and proximal section of the coat examined under a bright light.

In the case of smaller animals, the ova are easily visible.

It is possible to observe biting lice moving through the hair while they are in active.


When it comes to treating lice in horses, clipping the coat is the most effective initial step. Due to the fact that lice prefer long coats, the longer your horse’s coat will be less hospitable to them, which is an excellent technique to prevent lice from moving to and breeding on your horse. The greater the thickness of the coat, the greater the number of lice present; this is why the winter months are the most favorable period for them to reproduce in high numbers. Because the lice’s life cycle is so brief, they should be treated every two weeks; if they are treated less often, they will have more time to reproduce and become a problem once more.

Living and Management

Keeping the horse’s mane and tail cut as much as possible will help to inhibit the spread of lice.

It is also critical to ensure that the treatment is provided on a regular basis until the lice have been eliminated.

Totally Vets – Articles

Lice are parasites that dwell on the skin of animals. Horses are susceptible to lice infestations as well. Once a horse becomes infected with lice, the entire herd might become infected. What symptoms should you look for and how should you address them?


The skin parasite lice is found on animals and feeds on their blood. Additionally, lice may infect horses. Having lice may spread throughout a herd if one horse becomes infected. What signs and symptoms should you look for and how should you respond?


When the horse has lice itch, he or she may lick or bite themselves, scratch or rub themselves with things, and this can create discomfort. This type of behavior may not be obvious when the number of horses is minimal, but with more serious diseases, horses might injure themselves by scratching or biting themselves excessively. When a horse develops bald patches or sores, it is common for horse owners to recognize that something is amiss. Extremely severe infections can be extremely debilitating, resulting in weight loss and, in some cases, fever.


A clinical check performed by your veterinarian can help you determine if you have lice. There are a variety of different factors that might contribute to itching or bald patches that should be taken into consideration. If lice are clearly visible, a diagnosis can be determined without further testing.


It is possible to cure lice with topical treatments (that are applied topically to the skin) that are approved for use on horses. These medications must have sufficient contact time with the horse, and they should not be rinsed off the animal for at least 3 days after they are administered. This includes severe rains, which can wash away the topical medication completely. Make certain that the medicine is applied to the skin rather than the haircoat. If you have any questions regarding how to administer the medication, please see your veterinarian.

  1. Based on the lice’s lifecycle and the treatment that was used, a second dosage may be required 3 weeks later, depending on the drug that was used.
  2. It is necessary to analyze the living space in order to determine whether it need cleaning.
  3. If the horse grazes with any other horses, those animals should be evaluated as well, and if an infection is suspected, they should be treated as well.
  4. People who have come into touch with sick horses should refrain from providing care to non-infected horses once they have been exposed to infected horses.

It is better to attend to diseased horses last since they are more difficult to treat. Contact us if you believe your horse is itching, or if you have any concerns about this post. We would be pleased to answer any of your inquiries concerning itchy horses.

Horse Lice 101

What exactly are lice? Lice are classified as parasites in the animal kingdom because they feed on the blood of their “host,” which in this case is a horse. Horses are infected by two different types of parasitic insects: Biting or sucking lice, Haematopinus asini, feed on blood and may be found beneath the forelock and mane, on the tail, and on the pasterns of horses with long hair. * Chewing lice, Damalinia equi, feed on dead skin cells and are more likely to harm the neck, flanks, and base of the tail.

  1. Lice are brown in color and range in length from 1-2mm in length.
  2. If you divide your hair and keep your eyes peeled for a time, you will notice them moving around.
  3. Lice nymphs and adults are both responsible for the itching associated with lice.
  4. What time of year do they have an impact on horses?
  5. What methods do they use to spread?
  6. In an environment with favorable circumstances, a louse can survive for 2-4 weeks, however it is more common for them to die within a week of being introduced.
  7. Fortunately, humans are not susceptible to lice transmission from horses.

They can, however, have an impact on mules and donkeys.

The most evident and persistent symptom is a state of intense and continuous itching.

Lice symptoms include:* a loss of luster to the horse’s coat;* a loss of hair from the neck;* a loss of hair from the shoulders; and* a matted appearance to the body hairs.

rubbing the skin against poles, walls, and other objects on a regular basis * Grasping at the skin with one’s teeth.


What should I do if I have lice?

It is advantageous to have a variety of items accessible because if the weather is too poor or the temperature is too low to bathe your horse, you may use a spray, lotion, or powder instead.

Despite the fact that many treatments must be extensively coated on the skin before being effective, certain products may aggravate minor wounds and abrasions.

Because of this, the therapy will need to be repeated in two weeks to avoid any unhatched eggs from producing the same issue.

Be sure to use a lice shampoo designed exclusively for horses, since using a lice shampoo designed for cattle or sheep can result in serious skin reactions and/or hair loss in horses when used on them.

Lice can be transmitted directly from horse to horse, as well as via the use of common equipment and instruments.

* Make sure to brush your horse on a regular basis, especially when his coat is longer, as it is during the winter months.

* Wash saddle pads and numnahs at a high temperature to destroy lice and their eggs, then dry them on a high heat.

* Spray insecticide on brushes and tiny instruments to disinfect them. As a last resort:* Steam or wash carpets at temperatures above 50°C.* Spray or scrub clean stable walls and wooden fences. * Replace straw or shavings bedding with new bedding.


We deal with a lot of squeamish creatures in our line of business, but they’re generally more of the wiggling kind rather than the crawling varieties. Our office manager Sarah’s fell pony filly was one of our juveniles, and when she was noticed repeatedly scratching her mane, it was decided that it was time for a thorough investigation. As it turned out, an unpleasant surprise awaited. They piqued our interest, and we couldn’t wait to examine them under the microscope. The other half, well, we were simply looking for a nice scratch!

You guessed it, it’s nits.

What are Lice?

Louses are small, wingless insects that reside on the outside of their host animal, in the thick hair surrounding the base of the mane and tail, on the body of the animal, and, in the case of the sucking louse, in the leg feathers of the animal. As a result, they are classified as ectoparasites, which is a type of parasite that lives in the environment. Infestations of horses are frequent all around the world, although they are particularly prevalent in temperate settings. Almost any horse, including ones in otherwise good condition, can be affected, although young horses and those with impaired immune due to diseases like Cushing’s disease are especially susceptible.

Djinn appears to be checking a number of boxes in this case, and his youth is also a possible component.

She’s gone from having counts of 50 eggs per gram in February and March to having a level of 5,000 eggs per gram for redworm on the 22nd of April when she was tested for it.

Types of Lice in horses

Horses are affected by two separate forms of louse: the chewing louse and the sucking louse. The louse that chews The most prevalent species is Bovicola equiis. When you divide the hair, you’ll see that they’re moving around, and because they feed on the horse’s dander, they like to reside in the finer hair on the head and neck, as well as in the mane and on the flanks and croup, as well as at the base of the tail, among other places. Lice that suckers H. asini feeds on blood by burying their mouthparts into the roots of a horse’s hair, which is called a “blood feeding.” Separate the horse’s hairs all the way down to the skin in order to locate them.

Most of the time, they like to be in locations where a horse’s hair is longer and coarser, such as the underside of his forelock and mane, around the tail, and on the legs of long-haired horses.

Symptoms of Lice

It was discovered that Djinn’s was infested with the chewing louse, in this case specifically. Both types produce rubbing and restlessness, and both types create flaky skin as a result of the rubbing and restlessness. Consider checking for lice if your horse is itching during the winter months! Overall, the life cycle can last anywhere between 20 and 40 days, with the majority of the action taking place on the host itself. Although lice are unable to jump or fly, they are capable of spreading quickly to other horses in the herd.

Treatment: Djinn and the other two horses in her herd will be treated with a residual pesticide, such as Deosect, to keep the insects from returning.

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