Adult mites are microscopic, with females no larger than 1.5 mm. The female is ovoviviparous and that there is no nymphal stage in the life cycle of this parasite. Dog-to-dog transmission is by direct transfer of larvae from one infested dog to another, although foxes may act as a reservoir host.
Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:
- Pneumonyssoides caninum
Older, large breed dogs appear more predisposed, although this may be a demographic related to urban culture of working dogs, which are more likely to become infested with foraging activity. Occasionally, nasal discharge has been reported in dogs.
Vague upper respiratory signs and a transient minor increase in the number of eosinophils in peripheral blood may be noted. In routine seroepidemiological studies, up to 10% of necropsied dogs in Norway were infected, with sinusitis a consistent postmortem finding.
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