How to kill lice on horses

When a horse becomes infected with lice, it is crucial to act quickly. If not treated properly, lice on horses can lead to serious health problems. A horse's skin is extremely sensitive, so be sure to pick a product that's made for horses. Lots of products are available to treat lice, but the best thing to do is to wash the horse with a lice shampoo. It is wise to get a vet's advice on treatment options.

Fill a large bucket with warm water. Mix the lice treatment shampoo into the bucket, following package instructions.

Dip a sponge into the solution. Scrub the horse thoroughly with the treatment. Cover all areas of the horse's body, including the mane and tail. Do not get any shampoo in the horse's eyes. Allow the shampoo to sit on the horse for a few minutes.

Rinse off the shampoo thoroughly. Use warm water instead of cold. This will keep the horse calm.

Use a sweat scraper to remove excess water. Towel dry the horse's body and legs. Rub the towel in a circular motion to remove all water. Use a soft towel on the horse's face. The horse should be completely dry.

Lightly brush the horse to remove any dead lice. Use the lice comb to check the mane and tail for lice. Softly check the rest of the horse's body for lice. If you find any that are still alive, repeat the bathing process.

Put the horse in an area away from other horses until all the lice are gone. Keep the horse in a stall or small paddock so you can check for allergic reactions.


Check all nearby horses for lice and treat infected horses immediately. Clean all tack and equipment. If it is cold or rainy, blanket the horse after bathing. If desired, use a spray bottle to apply the shampoo.


If the lice infection is extreme, such as causing loss of hair, contact a veterinarian. Treat the horse in an area where you can get out of its way if it kicks or bites.

Things You'll Need

  • Buckets
  • Lice shampoo for horses
  • Towels
  • Large sponges
  • Sweat scraper
  • Brush
  • Lice comb
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About the Author

Susan Patterson is a health and gardening advocate. She is a Master Gardener, Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor and a Certified Health Coach with vast experience working with organic gardening and nutrition. Her passions include sustainable living, organic foods and functional fitness. Patterson has been writing and presenting on health and gardening topics for 10 years.