Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Trichodectes canis

Synonym(s): T. canis, chewing louse

Contributor(s): Rosanna Marsella

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Order: Phthiraptera.
  • Suborder: Mellophega.
  • Genus: Trichodectes.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Permanent parasites on the skin of domestic and wild dogs.
  • Highly host-specific for Canidae.

Lifecycle

  • T. canis life cycle Lifecycle Trichodectes canis - diagram :
    • Adult.
    • Egg.
    • Nymphs.

Transmission

  • By direct contact when nymphs or adults transfer to the hair of an in-contact dog.
  • Eggs, nymphs or adults that have been knocked off into the environment are probably of little importance compared with dog-to-dog contact.

Pathological effects

  • Rapid movement of lice through coat and hypersensitivity response (although less intense than to Linognathus setosus Linognathus setosus ), can cause pruritus and self-excoriation.
  • Ranges from asymptomatic through to dandruff and seborrhea with lesions from self-excoriation.

Other Host Effects

  • Feed on hair and epidermal debris but also (probably opportunistically), feed on blood from scabs and lesions due to self-excoriation.

Control

Control via animal

  • Insecticide treatment of dog and in-contact dogs.
  • The egg stage can last 7-14 days. None of the insecticides are likely to penetrate the egg and so repeat treatment in 14 days is essential for insecticides that have little residual activity.
  • Improve condition of debilitated animals.

Control via chemotherapies

No insecticides have been licensed specifically for use against lice in dogs

Control via environment

  • Bedding should be washed (high temperature), or treated with insecticide. Kennels should be vacated for several days.
  • The egg stage can last 7-14 days so repeat treatments are essential for insecticides that have little residual activity.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Hanssen I et al (1999) Field study on the insecticidal efficacy of Advantage against natural infestations of dogs with lice. Parasitol Res 85(4), 347-348.
  • Cooper P R et al (1996) Use of fipronil to eliminate recurrent infestation by Trichodectes canis in a pack of bloodhounds. Vet Rec 139(4), 95.

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