What are Canine Nasal Mites?
There are many different kinds of mites that live on dogs and other species of animals, including humans. Canine nasal mites are approximately 1-mm long in length, and visible to the naked eye. These nasal mites live exclusively in the nasal passages and sinus cavities of dogs. Canine nasal mites can be found in all breeds, sexes, and ages of dogs. Dogs acquire these nasal mites through the direct nose to nose transmission and indirect transmission of another dog. The nasal mites are often transported from one dog to another in the larval stage. Canine nasal mites have been reported in dogs worldwide.
Canine nasal mites is a condition where dogs contract a specific type of microscopic mite that lives within their nasal passages and sinus cavities. The mites feed on the keratin layer of the epidermis.
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Symptoms of Canine Nasal Mites in Dogs
Depending on the severity and whether or not the respiratory system is affected, any or all of the following symptoms may be present. The greater the infestation of nasal mites, the more severe the symptoms are. It is important to know that sometimes there are no symptoms present.
- Bleeding from the nose
- Sneezing and “reverse sneezing” (inwardly, rapidly sniffing the air)
- Itching of the face
- Nasal discharge
- Impaired sense of smell
- Shaking of the head
- Labored breathing
- Noisy breathing during inhalation, sometimes high pitched
- Small white to light tan specks may be seen in the nostril area
There is only one species of canine nasal mite; Pneumonyssoides Caninum. The stages of the nasal mite include the egg, larva, nymph, and adult stage. All stages of the nasal mite are found in the sinuses and nasal passages of the dog. Although the mites are easily transmitted from dog to dog, they cannot be transmitted to humans.
Causes of Canine Nasal Mites in Dogs
Canine nasal mites are spread through direct nose to nose contact or indirect contact of the mite from one dog to another. These nasal mites are extremely contagious and mobile, moving from host to host in the larval stage of development. Often times the nasal mites are present on the outside of the nostril area making transmission easier. There is some suggestion that the mites may be able to travel via fleas, lice, or flies, although this is just a theory. Environmental factors regarding transmission are unknown, but if your dog is close contact with other dogs, the likelihood of contracting canine nasal mites increases.
Diagnosis of Canine Nasal Mites in Dogs
Canine nasal mites are common. Sometimes symptoms are not present and the diagnosis is made by chance. Your veterinarian may ask questions and examine your dog’s nose with an endoscope (rhinoscopy). The scoping may reveal nasal mites in the nasal passage, the end of the nostrils, or the sinus cavity. A nasal flushing may also be performed. This entails flushing the nasal chambers, moving the mites to the upper part of the throat behind the nose. When that occurs, the nasal fluid will be collected and examined. The presence of mites in the discharge will be looked for. Scoping in the nasal passage may also be done at that time to see if the mites are present. Nasal mites may also be found in discharge the dog may sneeze out in the examination room. Imaging such as dental x-rays, nasal and sinus x-rays or CT scans may be used to look for the presence of mites. Urine tests, bloodwork, and nasal biopsies may also be performed.
Treatment of Canine Nasal Mites in Dogs
There is no single, specific treatment that is recommended for canine nasal mites. The treatments that are used are usually effective but may not completely eliminate symptoms, especially if no mites are detected but symptoms suggest that nasal mites are present.
This is a topical parasiticide (substance used to kill parasites) and antihelminthic (antiparasitic drug) used on dogs to treat and prevent heartworm, flea, ear mites, mange, and certain types of ticks. This treatment is an effective way to eliminate and prevent canine nasal mites.
Ivermectrin is a drug that is effective against canine nasal mites. Oral or injectable Ivermectrin is often used to treat the nasal mite infection. Because it was developed for the treatment and prevention of internal parasites, make sure to follow the exact directions of your veterinarian.
Recovery of Canine Nasal Mites in Dogs
Recovery from nasal mites will involve applying the prescribed topical or oral medications that your veterinarian may recommend. It is very important to follow the exact instructions of your veterinarian in order to eliminate the nasal mites and prevent them from occurring again. Keeping your dog away from stray or infected dogs is the best way to prevent infestation or re-infestation of canine nasal mites.
Canine Nasal Mites Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals
My dog has started sneezing after being boarded. If my dog has nasal mites, will it take longer than 2 weeks to cure?
Will he be allowed to be boarded as we have a trip coming up?
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i think my Chihuahua who is 8 years old and weighs 3 lbs 2 oz may have canine nasal mites . she is doing the reverse sneezing and rubbing her face and nose she is real congested and had had a white drainage coming from nose she sneezed a lot and one time something tan and something white came out what can you so for it? I have taking her to vet twice and her put her on decongestant medicine. but not getting better
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A couple weeks ago I adopted my dog from the shelter. She has multiple fits of reserve sneezing daily, and even in the middle of the night she will be awoken by a fit. She used to have mucus like discharge, but that has cleared up so I haven't taken her to get checked out. She sneezes a lot as well. I'm not sure if I should be worried or not. I want to say she just has allergies? I did see her have a reverse sneezing fit when visiting her in the shelter, so it's been happening since I got her. I was thinking about giving her half a benadryl to see if that cleared up her symptoms but not sure what to do exactly.
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