Nasal Mites In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
October 25, 2021 | 3 min read
Updated October 25, 2021
By Sarah Milton
Published: August 12, 2021
Updated: May 16, 2023
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Summary: In this blog, we get in the know about nasal mites in dogs. We'll discover what nasal mites in dogs are, what causes them, what the symptoms of nasal mites are, and learn about the treatment for nasal mites.
What Are Nasal Mites In Dogs?
Nasal mites are a type of microscopic mite that can live within the dog’s nasal passage and sinus cavities. The canine nasal mite (or Pneumonyssoides caninum or Pneumonyssus caninum) can affect all dog breeds, sexes and ages in any part of the world. This parasitic infection is more common in wild or stray dogs and is tricky to diagnose but easy to transmit.
If your dog has a nasal mite infestation, they'll usually set up home in the nasal passages, the edge of the nostrils and their nasal sinuses. Here, they'll feed off the keratin layer of skin (epidermis) up there - delightful, right!?
What Are The Symptoms Of Nasal Mites In Dogs?
Understanding the symptoms of nasal mites will help you properly assess your dog.
Symptoms of nasal mites can vary, but generally include:
- Reverse sneezing
- Nose bleeds
- Head shaking
- Facial itching/pawing at the face
- Nasal discharge
- Labored or high-pitched, loud breathing
- Impaired sense of smell
- Tiny white/slightly tanned colored specks may be observed in the nostril area
- Restlessness or collapsing
Reverse sneezing and sneezing happens to dogs for many reasons, so these symptoms shouldn't be the most immediate cause for concern. If they're accompanied by bleeding and discharge, that's more of an indicator that something's going on up their snout and needs investigating.
Can Nasal Mites Kill A Dog?
Heavy, untreated infestations can lead to alveolar emphysema, where the air sacs of the lung's inner walls are damaged. This, in some cases, can prove dangerous or fatal for dogs. The quicker you see a vet and obtain treatment, the less likely your dog's overall health will suffer.
How Do Dogs Get Nasal Mites?
Dogs can catch nasal mites from nose-to-nose contact with other dogs incredibly easily, as mites are very mobile. This is the most common way of catching nasal mites in dogs.
However, mites can also live on fleas, ticks and flies so dogs can also contract nasal mites in this way too.
Nasal mites in dogs cannot be transmitted to humans.
How to Treat Nasal Mites in Dogs
Effective treatment for nasal mites should be made a priority, as they can be highly irritating and uncomfortable for a dog. Treatment for nasal mites needs to be administered by a veterinarian if you want to be sure the infestation is properly gotten rid of.
Schedule an Appointment With Your Vet
If you suspect something's going on up a dog’s nose, get your pet looked over by a qualified, professional veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet will most likely flush the nose through (nasal flushing) and examine your pooch's nose with an endoscope. They may also request X-rays, blood and urine samples.
If nasal mites are discovered, your pup will most likely be prescribed anti-parasitic medication, which could be applied orally or topically.
Always follow your vet's instructions religiously and keep away from other dogs and pets until your pup's infection has cleared so as not to pass it on. In some cases, dogs may need a follow-up appointment to check the infection has dispersed.
In addition to visiting your vet, you can also take steps at home to make your pup feel better as they recover from a nasal mite infection. Your veterinarian might advise you to apply a cream to help soothe sensitive, irritated skin on the nose and ears.
Nasal Mite Prevention
The best prevention of nasal mites is to try and keep your pup away from stray dogs and keep them up to date on their anti-parasitic prevention treatments as advised by your veterinarian. Regular flea and worm control is an absolutely vital part of being a responsible pet parent and protecting both your dog and others they encounter. Using a topical parasiticide or anthelminthic would be a great way to prevent nasal mites, as well as other parasites, including heartworms, fleas, ear mites, and ticks.
Recovering From Nasal Mites
Luckily, with proper and quick treatment, recovery from nasal mites remains good for infected dogs. The anti-parasitic medications that most vets recommend have an 85% success rate and while nasal mites might be uncomfortable for your pooch, they likely won’t be life-threatening when treated properly. If you suspect that your dog has nasal mites, contact your vet right away so they can prescribe the appropriate course of action.
Knowing when your dog is sick or not feeling their best is an important part of dog ownership. Here, we explained what nasal mites in dogs are, some of the common symptoms, and how to treat nasal mites. At PetLab Co., we’re always here to answer any questions you have about finding the right solution for your furry friend so you can provide them the love and care they deserve!
Canine Nasal Mites By Ned F. Kuehn, et al. “Canine Nasal Mites - Dog Owners.” Veterinary Manual, MSD Veterinary Manual https://www.msdvetmanual.com/dog-owners/lung-and-airway-disorders-of-dogs/canine-nasal-mites
Drdrool. “How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Nasal Mites?” Dog Health and Wellness, 3 Oct. 2021 https://drwaggers.com/how-do-you-know-if-your-dog-has-nasal-mites/
“Pneumonyssoides.” Pneumonyssoides - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/pneumonyssoides
This post was updated on 08/20/2022. This post was originally published on 10/25/2021.
Comes from a family of animal lovers and got to grow up with a menagerie of pets! I believe owning a pet is a privilege and I love researching and creating informative, fun content for fellow pet owners to help their furry friends have the happiest and healthiest lives. When I’m not writing blogs, you can find me sharing a walk with my pet dachshund or at a yoga class!