Miniature Schnauzer

The miniature schnauzer is spirited, intelligent and obedient. They like children and are friendly to other animals, which makes them a good addition to the family. Miniature schnauzers typically enjoy training, learn quickly and respond well, particularly when young. And they love long walks.

Breed-related concerns

Every dog breed carries a distinct set of genetic advantages and health risk factors. The following are the most common diseases found in the Miniature Schnauzer breed. Hopefully, your miniature schnauzer will not face these problems. However, early detection and preventive healthcare can make all the difference in helping your dog live a longer, happier life (see breed-related disease descriptions below).

Puppy (birth to 1 year)*

  • Portosystemic shunt

Adult (1 to 6 years)*

  • Bladder stones
  • Comedone syndrome
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Allergic dermatitis

Senior (7 years and older)*

  • None listed

Breed-related disease descriptions

Listed in alphabetical order. *Please note that these common diseases can occur earlier or later in the dog’s life.

Allergic dermatitis. Skin inflammation due to an allergic reaction to something in contact with the skin, inhaled dust or pollen, food, or fleas. Itchiness, scratching, rubbing, excessive grooming and licking are the main signs. Other signs may include head shaking, red skin, hair loss, smelly skin, skin thickening and skin darkening.

Bladder stones. May be due to bladder infection or abnormal excretion of minerals by the kidneys. Signs may include increased frequency of urination, straining or inability to urinate and blood in the urine.

Cataracts. Opacity (loss of clearness) of the lens of the eyeball. Signs may include cloudiness in the inside in the center of one or both eyes, poor vision or blindness.

Comedone syndrome. Numerous blackheads, primarily on the back. Skin is prone to bacterial infection. Signs include multiple blackheads, acne-like signs (small swellings with redness, pimples), variable hair thinning or hair loss. The area affected may become itchy if infected.

Hyperlipidemia. Persistently high levels of fat in the blood, which may cause pancreatitis, seizures or eye disease. Signs may include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, a painful tummy, seizures and white discoloration of the eye.

Pancreatitis. Inflammation of the pancreas. Often occurs secondary to dietary indiscretion (eating garbage) or ingestion of a fatty meal. Signs include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and a painful tummy.

Portosystemic shunt. A disease caused by abnormal blood flow to the liver. The blood bypasses the liver, which leads to the build-up of toxins in the blood. Signs include changes in behavior after eating, blindness, deafness, seizures, failure to thrive, excessive drinking and urinating, drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, and signs due to formation of bladder stones.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). A disease of light sensitive cells in the back of the eye (retina) that causes progressive visual impairment leading to blindness. Signs may include night blindness, bumping into objects, dilated pupils, a shining appearance to the eyes, reluctance to exercise or play, or “clinginess.”

Help your dog live a longer, healthier life. Ask your veterinarian about a breed-related preventive health plan.

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