Nasal mites in dogs

nasal mites in dogs

What are nasal mites in dogs?

Many different types of mites live in dogs as well as other species of animals, including humans. Canine nasal mites are approximately 1 mm long and are visible to the naked eye. These nasal mites live solely in the nasal passages and sinus cavities of dogs. Canine nasal mites can be present in all breeds, sexes, and ages of dogs. Dogs get infected by these nasal mites through the direct, nose to the nose, or indirect transmission from another dog. Nasal mites are often transported from one dog to another in the form of insect larvae.

Cases of canine nasal mites have been reported in dogs worldwide. Canine nasal mites are a condition where dogs get infected by a specific type of microscopic mite that lives inside their nasal passages and sinus cavities. These mites feed on the keratin layer of the epidermis.


Contrasting diagnoses based on clinical findings could suggest many upper respiratory diseases such as rhinitis (idiopathic, secondary, parasitic, or fungal bacterial), oronasal neoplasm, dental disease (oronasal fistula), nasal foreign body or nasopharyngeal disease (foreign body or mass injury). To eliminate a concurrent systemic disease, a CBC (Complete Blood Count), serum chemistry profile, and urine analysis should be performed. If there are any nosebleeds, a one-stage prothrombin time, partial thromboplastin time, and oral mucosa hemorrhage time should be considered in addition to a platelet count.

Images of the nasal chambers should be taken through nasal/dental x-rays. Alternative imaging modalities such as CT provide excellent images of the nasal cavity and sinuses. More invasive diagnostic procedures such as rhinoscopy, retroflex nasopharyngoscopy, nasal washing, and nasal biopsy should be delayed until after imaging, to prevent illness caused by such medical examination, as such illness or changes can be difficult to distinguish from the primary illness or disease itself.

However, flexible rhinoscopy and nasal rinse are one of the most useful diagnostic tools. As they allow for better observation of the nasal choanae. This area is best visualized by placing a U-curve on the rhinoscope and proceeding toward the oral cavity until it can get hooked under the soft palate. Gentle force is applied by the endoscopist to aid in seeing the nasal choanas or caudal nostrils when they enter the nasopharynx. Flooding the nasal chambers with anesthetic gas or oxygen to encourage the mites to migrate to the nasopharyngeal and the endoscope has been described as needful.


Nasal redness can also help identify caninum. This is usually done with the dog under general anesthesia alongside an endotracheal tube with cuff in place. The oropharynx is filled with gauze and the saline solution is rinsed through the outer nostrils with a Foley catheter or syringe adjusted to collect the oropharynx liquid. Backward washing can be performed by placing a modified catheter at the back of the soft palate, including the nasal pharynx and rinsing with saline. This permits the fluid to be collected through the external nostrils. In both cases, the fluid should be evaluated with an illuminated magnifying lens to be able to observe the mites.

Conclusive diagnosis of nasal acariasis can be achieved through endoscopy or nasal washing if mites are identified. However, this does not ascertain whether the disease is primary or secondary.

 Treatment for nasal mites in dogs

There is no single fixed treatment recommended for canine nasal mites. Treatments used are generally effective but may not completely get rid of symptoms, especially if mites are not detected in the diagnosis, but symptoms suggest that present in the nose.

There are no medicines currently approved for the treatment of P-caninum; however, ivermectin (200-400 mcg/kg, SC or PO), milbemycin oxime (1 mg/kg, PO, three times at 10-day intervals) and selamectin (topical) have been suggested so far. The optimal treatment process or procedure has not yet been determined. The treatment has been reported to be effective in 85% of cases, and the assurance from this is excellent. However, treatment may not completely get rid of clinical signs, especially if the infection is suspected rather than revealed. In such an instance, the signs are most probably as a result of coinciding upper airway disease. Treatment is based on definitive diagnosis, but observational treatment or therapy has also been carried out based on a high rate of suspicion.

Treatment of nasal mites will involve administering topical or oral medications according to the veterinarian prescription. It is very important to follow your veterinarian’s exact instructions to remove the nasal mites and prevent them from reoccurring. Keeping your dog away from stray or infected dogs is ultimately the best way to prevent infestation or re-infestation of canine nasal mites.

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