The PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary

Donkey Tails Blog

Donkeys and Lice

Posted by PrimRose on January 22, 2018 at 7:10 AM

This has been a bad year for lice at the sanctuary especially noticeable in autumn, late winter and early spring, winter infestations are usually the worst. Symptoms of lice are a dull, matted coat. Donkeys will rub against objects causing loss of hair or raw skin. In severe cases a donkey can get anemia due to loss of blood from the sucking lice. These lice only infect equines and are spread by direct contact. To see if a donkey has lice part the hair especially at the base of the tail and look for one of two types of lice. Biting lice are active and moving and sucking lice are attached and drawing blood. Treatment is a pesticide designed for equines and must be applied twice, once to kill the lice and again to kill the eggs after they have hatched usually two weeks later. Treatments come in pour ons and dusts and most include permethrin of 1 to 10%. Check with the vet to see which percentage is best for donkeys. In order to avoid the spread of lice between donkeys don’t share grooming brushes and coats and keep infected animals isolated. This is Sadie with her winter coat on. As Sadie has lice she has been treated with a dust containing permethrin.


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