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Family Pets and Head Lice: What’s the Deal?

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Buck Dog

Meet Buck, family pet of LTC president Liz Solovay – and a familiar presence at Lice Treatment Center, based in Monroe, Connecticut. A bred of retriever known as a duck toller, Buck often entertains kids and generally lifts morale at the center while irksome creepy crawlies are being eliminated.

But won’t poor Buck get head lice, too? “Not a chance,” contends Liz. “Buck is not at risk for getting human head lice because we know that lice are species-specific. That is, there’s a different lice species for every animal species. Human lice can only live off the blood of humans to survive, and dog lice can only suck dog blood, and so on. So Buck is always safe.”

Bottom line: While your pet could be accused of eating homework, the animal can never ever be responsible for a child’s infestation of head lice. And that’s a fact.