Nasal mites are a common but rarely diagnosed mite that infects the nasal passages of dogs and wild canines. The scientific name for nasal mites is Pneumonyssoides caninum
What are the symptoms of a nasal mite infestation?
Infestation with the nasal mite usually does not cause any serious symptoms, however, some dogs may develop a heavy infection and will suffer from bouts of sneezing or nose bleeds. Other dogs may develop a chronic nasal discharge from the infection.
How is a nasal mite infestation diagnosed?
The mite lives inside the nasal passages, but some mites will travel to the outer edges of the nostril. A healthy dog becomes infected when it has nose-to-nose contact with an infected dog. If the infection causes symptoms, the mite can be identified by taking a swab of the nasal passage and applying it to a microscope slide. There are usually a large number of mites visible on the slide if an active infection is present.
How is a nasal mite infestation treated and prevented?
Treatment is very straightforward and consists of administering oral ivermectin. This is an off-label use of ivermectin in dogs, and the drug must be administered by or under the direct recommendation of a veterinarian. Prevention includes keeping your dog out of contact with infected or stray dogs.
Can I get nasal mites from my dog?
No. Pneumonyssoides caninum only infests dogs.
Infestation with the nasal mite is not frequently diagnosed, but should be considered as a cause of chronic sneezing, nosebleeds, or nasal discharge in dogs. Fortunately, if it is suspected, it is easily diagnosed and treated.