Nasal mites (Pneumonyssoides caninum) live in the nasal and paranasal sinuses of dogs. They are found worldwide. The nasal mites are oval, pale yellow and 1.0-1.5 millimeters in length with all the legs on the front of their body. A healthy dog becomes infected with nose to nose contact with an infected dog. Only dogs get nasal mites so people do not have to worry about getting them from their dogs.
Nasal mites primarily cause nasal discharge, sneezing, facial itching, and reverse sneezing. In severe chronic infestations there can be nasal bleeding (epistaxis). Diagnosis of nasal mites is made by visualization of the mites in the nose or nasopharyngeal region during rhinoscopy. Sometimes the nasal mites will be found on the external nares. Below is a video of a rhinoscopy that shows nasal mites in the nose of a dog.
The recommended treatment for nasal mites is oral ivermectin. There are certain dogs, such as Collies and other herding breed dogs, that carry the MDR1 mutation that will develop neurological toxicity from ivermectin at the dose recommended for treatment of nasal mites. Instead of ivermectin, these dogs should be treated with milbemycin (Interceptor®) or selamectin (Revolution®) if diagnosed with nasal mites.
The prognosis for dogs with nasal mites is excellent with proper treatment.