Ever heard of nasal mites in dogs? Well, this is a common, highly contagious condition that your dog may be suffering from, and you have no idea.
As a dog owner, there are various potential problems that you have to look out for. We tend to develop certain health issues that are not as common in you humans, so it is important to know how to spot them. One problem is different parasitic pests living on our skin, such as fleas, ticks, and mites.
Many canine nasal mite species live on several different creatures, and dogs are no exception. Believe me when I say that we really hate when these little things take over our bodies, and they somehow end up in the worst places, like our ears.
One type of mite to look out for in dogs are canine nasal mites. These mites make themselves at home in our nasal cavity and are highly contagious. Luckily nasal mites in dogs are treatable, and if spotted and dealt with at a reasonable time, your dog can easily make a full recovery.
Today, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about canine nasal mites in dogs, including what they are, how to spot a nasal mite infestation, and how to treat them so that your dog can get back to living a comfortable, healthy life.
What are Nasal Mites in Dogs?
Canine nasal mites, also known as Pneumonyssoides or Pneumonyssus caninum, are a type of microscopic mite that lives within our nasal passages and sinus cavities. These mites feed on the keratin layer of our epidermis, or skin.
Many different kinds of mites live on us dogs and other species of animals, including you humans; however, Pneumonyssus caninum is the only species of canine nasal mites. This species is unique to us dogs and found only in our nasal and sinus passages. Canine nasal mites don’t discriminate with dogs. You will find them in dogs of all breeds, all over the world.
Canine nasal mites are easily transmissible because we can easily catch them while we play with other dogs! We usually catch nasal mites through direct nose-to-nose transmission and indirect transmission between dogs. Luckily for you, canine nasal mites cannot be transported from dogs to humans.
Although you can find all stages of the nasal mite cycle in the noses of dogs, they are often transported from one dog to another in the larval stage or when they’re just babies. They eventually hit the adult stage while they are in our nasal passages.
What Causes Canine Nasal Mites in Dogs?
Canine nasal mites spread through direct and indirect contact between dogs, with nose-to-nose contact being the biggest culprit.
These nasal mites are very contagious and active, and they move from host to host while they’re larvae. They’re often present on the outside of the nostril area, which makes transmission even easier.
There are still many questions about the transmission of these mites, such as if they can travel via other pests like fleas, lice, or flies. We also aren’t too sure about how environmental factors affect transmission other than being in close contact with other dogs.
Symptoms of Nasal Mites in Dogs
As dogs, we exhibit several symptoms when we have canine nasal mites. Some of these symptoms include:
- Bleeding from the nose
- Chronic sneezing
- Reverse sneezing (rapidly sniffing the air)
- Scratching our face against objects
- Nasal discharge
- Weaker sense of smell
- Continuous head shaking
- Unusual breathing (noisy, quick, maybe accompanied by high pitched sounds)
- Small white to light tan specks in the nostril area
Coughing, restlessness, and collapse can also be signs of nasal mites in dogs, but these signs are less specific and usually associated with respiratory diseases. If your dog shows any of these signs, you should consult a vet as soon as possible.
The bigger the infestation, the more symptoms we might show. However, there are times when there are no signs at all of an infestation. If you suspect that your best buddy has canine nasal mites, you will want to treat the condition ASAP.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Canine Nasal Mites in Dogs
If you think your dog has canine nasal mites, you should act fast and bring them to the vet as soon as possible. Your vet will explore several options for diagnosis.
I hate to admit it, but canine nasal mites in dogs are common, which is no surprise considering how easily they are transmitted. Sometimes, there are no visible signs present, and the diagnosis is made by luck when you bring your pup to the vet.
Canine nasal mites in dogs have to be diagnosed by your vet. If you suspect that your dog has canine nasal mites and take it to the vet, your vet will ask questions and examine your dog’s nose to see if there are nasal mites in the nasal passage, the end of the nostrils, or the sinus cavity.
The vet might also perform nasal flushing, which isn’t very fun. This procedure involves flushing the nasal passages, which move the mites to the upper part of the throat behind the nose.
Then, the vet will collect the nasal fluid to examine for the presence of canine nasal mites. They might scope the nasal passage for mites at the same time, just to be on the safe side.
Nasal mites can also be found in discharge if your dog happens to sneeze out in the examination room. When this happens, dental x-rays, nasal and sinus x-rays, or CT scans to look for the presence of mites. Urine tests, bloodwork, and nasal biopsies may also be required.
In short, there are several ways to diagnose canine nasal mites in dogs, so your vet may explore various options!
Always check with your vet first before you try to give your dog any nasal treatment for canine nasal mites.
There is no single, specific treatment for canine nasal mites. Some treatments are usually effective, but they might not eliminate signs, especially if your vet did not detect nasal mites.
That said, many treatments are still quite effective. Some of these treatments include:
- Antiparasitic medication
Medications taken to treat canine nasal mites may also treat other respiratory infections. Two drugs are sometimes used to treat canine nasal mites in dogs.
Selamectin is a topical parasiticide and antihelminthic used to kill and prevent parasites. It is commonly used on dogs to treat and prevent pests such as heartworms, fleas, ear mites, mange, and different types of ticks, making it effective at treating canine nasal mites in dogs.
Ivermectin is another drug that is quite effective against canine nasal mites. This drug comes in an oral or injectable form and is often used to treat nasal mite infections. Because it is for the treatment and prevention of internal parasites, you have to make sure to follow your vet’s recommendations. Even a small overdose can have fatal consequences for your dog.
Since nasal mites can live around the nostrils, the outside of your dog’s nose might be a little irritated if he is constantly scratching it. You can help with the recovery and soothe the skin around your dog’s nose by using a healing balm, such as this one.
The only real way to prevent your dog from contracting canine nasal mites is by keeping him away from stray dogs, and other dogs who are known to have the condition. However, this is better said than done, considering us dogs love to play! You also don’t always know which dogs have canine nasal mites, especially if they show no signs.
Your Dog Can Recover from Canine Nasal Mites
As long as you apply the topic, oral, or injectable medication that your vet recommends, your dog should be able to recover from canine nasal mites with little to no problems. It is very important to follow your vet’s exact instructions to not only get rid of nasal mites but to prevent them from happening again. Trust me, none of us ever want to have to experience this twice!
Well, that’s all for me. Hopefully, you have a better idea of what canine nasal mites are, how to prevent them, and how to treat them if your dog is unlucky enough to contract them. If you take action quickly, canine nasal mites can be a minor issue that your best buddy recovers from quickly, leaving both of you in peace of mind.