Canine Nasal Mite Infections

Persistent canine nasal disease is a common complaint in small animal practice. The most common sign of nasal diseases is nasal discharge which can develop as a result of cancer, fungal diseases (nasal aspergillosis), cleft palate, periodontal disease, parasites, foreign body), and primary bacterial disease.2

Nasal mite infection (nasal acariasis) is primarily a disease of dogs. Animals of any age or gender can be infected, which most often occurs through direct contact. Infection of the nasal cavity with Pneumonyssoides caninum, pale yellow, oval mites, has only been reported in dogs and foxes. The mite occurs worldwide but is particularly common in Scandinavia, where 20% of dogs in Sweden were found to be infected. .

Most infections are mild, but in some cases, the mites penetrate the tissues and migrate throughout the body. They have been retrieved from the bronchi, kidneys and liver and have often been an overlooked cause of nosebleeds.5,7 Common signs include sneezing and reverse sneezing, nasal discharge, rubbing the nose on the ground, itching, head shaking, nosebleed, reduced ability to smell and to detect odors (hyposmia), and even bronchitis.1 Diagnosis in the living dog is difficult as the mites do not inhabit the easily visualised part of the nasal cavity. Occasionally they can be seen exit the nostrils during anesthesia.6

Administration of drugs with acaricidal activity, such as ivermectin, milbemycin, or other macrocyclic lactones4 usually clears the infection. Selamectin (Stronghold®/Revolution®, Pfizer Inc.) has been used off-label to treat a number of ecto- and endoparasite conditions, including notoedric mange, cheyletiellosis and infection with Pneumonyssoides caninum.


  1. Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Dogs and Cats. Etienne Cote
  2. A retrospective study of canine persistent nasal disease
  3. A review of the off-label use of selamectin (Stronghold®/Revolution®) in dogs and cats
  4. Georgis' Parasitology for Veterinarians. Dwight D. Bowman
  5. The Encyclopedia of Medical and Veterinary Entomology. Richard C. Russell, Domenico Otranto, Richard L. Wall
  6. Small Animal Surgery Textbook. Theresa Welch Fossum
  7. Clinical Small Animal Care: Promoting Patient Health Through Preventative Nursing. Kimm Wuestenberg



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