Miniature schnauzers are a wonderful dog breed. They are adorable, energetic, loyal and very intelligent. Unfortunately, there are diseases and health conditions that can be found in this breed. As an owner it is important to be aware of these possibilities. Even with a relatively healthy breed, it is the responsibility of the owner to look out for warning signs of health conditions, diseases and injuries in order to keep your pet healthy. Here are a few miniature schnauzer health problems to be aware of.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
One health issue is schnauzer eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). PRA is a genetic eye disease that affects the retina. This disease causes the rod cells in the retina to die. Although PRA does not cause any pain to the dog, it initially causes night blindness in its early stages. As it advances the dog will continue to experience vision loss and eventually be completely blind. Although there is no cure, vision loss can be slowed with the help of an antioxidant supplementation.
Comedone syndrome, which affects about 50% of all miniature schnauzers, is a skin condition characterized by pimple like bumps present on the back of the dog. They often look similar to blackheads or whiteheads and can become infected. When an infection occurs itching is likely. Various shampoos may help, as well as diet changes in some dogs.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that occurs after your pet has eaten something that negatively affects their stomach. Signs of this inflammation include diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal tenderness and vomiting. Miniature schnauzers often experience this health problem throughout their lifetime in bouts following the consumption of fatty foods or something else that didn’t agree with them. Pancreatitis can also be caused by a food allergy. If any symptoms are present owners should seek medical attention for their dog. Severe pancreatitis can lead to development of diabetes. It can be life-threatening, and it requires good professional evaluation and treatment.
Another condition on the list of schnauzer health problems in hyperlipidemia, which is the presence of high fat levels in the blood. This condition is often a result of obesity and/or high cholesterol levels, both of which are common for this breed. Signs of hyperlipidemia are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and seizures.
Bladder stones are also very common in this breed of dog. They are likely caused by bladder infections and/or mineral excretions. In order to diagnose bladder stones, an x-ray is required. Signs to watch out for are straining during urination, frequent urination and blood in the urine. Making sure they have adequate water to drink and a better acid-alkaline balance in the urine using diet and natural products like cranberry powders for dogs can help.
Diabetes is also is a disease found in miniature schnauzers. It occurs as a result of the body not producing enough insulin to get glucose into cells and provide energy to run the body. As a result, cells in a diabetic animal or person do not utilize glucose (sugar) properly. The excess sugar in the bloodstream damages nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels, among other complications. Symptoms of canine diabetes includes frequent urination, large appetite, weight loss and extreme thirst.
Schnauzers are a working active breed of dog. For more active schnauzers chasing rodents or other dogs or toys, the physical activity can lead to certain types of injuries. These most commonly include achilles tendon rupture or anterior cruciate ligament injuries. An achilles tendon rupture is rupture of the common calcanean tendon. It can range from a partial tear to a complete tear and can be caused by a fall, overstretching or overuse.
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are another very common orthopedic injury found in miniature schnauzers and some other breeds. When this ligament that stabilizes the knee becomes damaged, the dog experiences pain along with swelling and instability. Acupuncture for dogs can sometimes help, and some holistic vets offer this service. Otherwise, treatments may include regular medications and even surgery.
Overall, miniature schnauzers are a healthy dog breed. However, owners should educate themselves on possible miniature schnauzer health conditions, diseases and injuries that can develop. Being a great pet owner is all about doing what you can to keep your pet healthy, prevent problems when possible, and recognizing what signs and symptoms should tell you it is time for a visit to your veterinarian.