After struggling with Rufus' lice for over two months it was time to get drastic. The only way I was going to get ahead of the game was to remove all of Rufus' hair so that the dusting powder could get to his skin. It would also help to rid of any eggs attached to his long undercoat.
The last time Rufus was introduced to the clippers Rich had to wrestle him while I attempted to clip him. It wasn't very successful, so after contacting my vet she suggested I sedate him with an oral gel commonly used in these situations. I thought it was worth the try!
As my barn is not complete the only option I had was to put Rufus in my garage. I removed all items that he could get into and put up some boards to create a temporary barrier/stall. I brought Rufus into the garage at 10:30 in the morning. Gave him some hay cubes to keep him occupied and ran the clippers. I wanted him to become desensitized to the noise. At 11:10 I gave him the oral gel, which he took quite easily. The sedative would take up to 45 minutes to take effect. I sat with him for 50 minutes with the clippers running, waiting while he slowly became drowsy.
At noon my help arrived! Shelley and Janine had agreed to hold Rufus while I clipped him. Rufus reacted to the sedative very well and did not seemed to be bothered while I clipped his entire body. It took over two hours to clip him and by the end the sedative had completely worn off but Rufus still stood like a champ while I completed his clip. After a quick dusting from the lice powder he was finished.
All-in-all it was a very successful mission. Although Rufus looks quite pitiful with all of his hair removed I am confident that I will be able to get the lice situation under control and he can grow back a new and healthy coat. Until then I will keep him warm with his selection of warm blankets.