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Thread: Can human head lice be transmitted to cavies?

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    Cavy Slave shadowfire76's Avatar
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    Can human head lice be transmitted to cavies?

    Okay my daughter came home and told me one of her friends has head lice. She said her head was itching and I figured I would check it even though I thought it was probably psychological. To my surprise I found one live adult head lice crawling in her hair. Not many nits on her head but we are going to treat everything anyways. My question is, can the guinea pigs get the lice? She spends a great deal of time cuddling with them and spent about an hour this evening cuddling with OddBall and of course he was crawling around all around her hair and on her bed. Do I need to worry about them getting the lice? If I do, what can I treat them with? Do I need to take them into the vet? Any help would be appreciated.

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    Cavy Slave AmandaErlandson's Avatar
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    Re: Can human head lice be transmitted to cavies?

    I used to be a foster parent and everytime we got new foster kids it seemed like they had head lice. So I consider myself a lice-pro! Everything I have read says that it is not transferrible from humans to any kind of animal. It is also not transferrible from hair on the head to hair on the genitals (genital lice is more commonly called crabs). However you can have the lice/nits spread to your eyelashes & eyebrows (don't treat these areas, you must hand remove everything) One neat fact... This is where the phrase "nit picking" comes from. I hope some or all of this helps. Good luck!

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    Cavy Slave JD In Van's Avatar
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    Re: Can human head lice be transmitted to cavies?

    The school nurse tells me at any given time at least 1 in 10 elementry school children has lice unwittingly.

    Once you get rid of them all (I recommend treating then treating again in 7 days just to be sure) you can add tea tree oil to her shampoo or comb it into her hair after she bathes and it will help prevent re infestation.

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    Cavy Slave shadowfire76's Avatar
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    Re: Can human head lice be transmitted to cavies?

    Well apparently from what my daughter has told me this girl has had lice for a while and her parents wouldn't treat her for it. She got sent home Tuesday when a teacher noticed them crawling all over her hair. I'm thinking they must have been pretty bad for a teacher to notice them walking by the student in the classroom. My daughter said she hasn't shared coats, hairbrushes, or anything else like that with the girl but she had hugged her and sat in the hallway at lunch next to the girl with them leaning their heads over to touch before she realized that the girl had lice. So everything in the her room is going through the washer and twice through the dryer and her mattress is getting sprayed down. I do plan on retreating her and everything else in 7 days to be sure they are gone. It's been years since I have had to deal with lice. Luckily my son has never had them. I thought since my daughter was in high school that things like that were a thing of the past but apparently not. I'm just glad that I don't have to worry about treating the guinea pigs for them as well. With a $140 vet bill last week for the boys I didn't look forward to another big vet bill to treat them for lice.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Can human head lice be transmitted to cavies?

    I doubt you can treat your guinea pigs this way, but the best thing we've found for head lice is listerine. There have been several outbreaks at the kids' school, and they each got them once. The stuff you buy at the drug store isn't strong enough to kill them, but wetting their heads down with listerine (and leaving it on for half an hour) every three days for four treatments does the job very nicely.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Can human head lice be transmitted to cavies?

    I would like to point out that even though the human lice won't stay on a guinea pig long, they can get on one. Just like fleas can get on us even though they don't stay long. The lice can get back off of the guinea pigs and back onto you after your treatment. You also might consider flipping mattresses. I had lice several times growing up, it was frustrating to get rid of.

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    Cavy Slave JD In Van's Avatar
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    Re: Can human head lice be transmitted to cavies?

    Half an hour in the drier (though I usually run a full cycle to be sure) is enough to kill any insects. No need to over do it. BUT you should treat yourself and anyone else in the family who could have had hand to head contact with your daughter. Also if you found an adult there IS eggs.

    Buy a super fine flea comb from the pet store (I prefer metal with rounded edges), these work WAAAAAAYYYYY better then the crappy nit combs they send with the medication. You can also use them with out medication on just washed and hair conditioned hair when you're screening for it in the for it in the future. (having had 4 out breaks in my kid's school in the last year I do this once a week).

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    Cavy Slave MyZoo2's Avatar
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    Re: Can human head lice be transmitted to cavies?

    I second JD on the pet comb. I had to help a friend treat her kids for lice, and we actually had the best luck with a mayo/olive oil combo. You leave it on their hair for one hour, and then wash as normal. We would use the comb first, rinse and then apply the mayo/olive oil. This whole thread just makes me itch thinking about it! As for treating the gp's, I don't believe you can use any of the typical OTC treatments. Personally I would comb them, bathe them and clean all their bedding and leave it at that. Unforunately, you are going to have clean your entire house though.

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