Most common health problems in Miniature Schnauzers, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Miniature Schnauzer

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Miniature Schnauzer, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your Mini Schnauzer already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


Miniature Schnauzer dog breed

Miniature Schnauzer Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Miniature Schnauzer health problems

Start with all kinds of serious eye diseases. Severe cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, lens luxation, glaucoma. I've lost count of how many blind Mini Schnauzers I've known personally.

Epilepsy is a major issue in Miniature Schnauzers, along with hereditary heart disease.

Urinary stones are more common in Miniature Schnauzers than any other breed. Stones are especially dangerous in males, because their narrow urethra is easily blocked, which is a life-threatening emergency.

Miniature Schnauzers have a lot of trouble with their digestive system (stomach, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder). Pancreatitis and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis are more common in Miniature Schnauzers than in virtually any other breed. An inherited cholesterol disorder causes progressive liver dysfunction.

Lots and lots of skin problems in Miniature Schnauzers, from chronic allergies (causing itchy skin) to all kinds of growths and tumors, some benign, some malignant.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Miniature Schnauzer have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases, your Miniature Schnauzer has less risk of developing those conditions.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your Miniature Schnauzer, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Miniature Schnauzer puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Miniature Schnauzer puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
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Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Miniature Schnauzer
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Miniature Schnauzer. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Miniature Schnauzer
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Miniature Schnauzer. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Miniature Schnauzer puppy really need? Does your adult Miniature Schnauzer need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your Miniature Schnauzer. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Miniature Schnauzer. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of Miniature Schnauzer health problems

Let's start with eye diseases, the most serious of which are severe cataracts (appearing anytime between birth and 6 years old and usually leading to complete blindness) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (appearing around 3 years old and always leading to complete blindness). A simple DNA test is available for PRA in Miniature Schnauzers, so you can find out at any time whether your dog has the disease, carries the disease, or is completely clear of it.

Other eye diseases in Miniature Schnauzers include retinal dysplasia, lens luxation, and glaucoma.

Urinary stones are more common in Miniature Schnauzers than any other breed. Stones are especially dangerous in males, because their narrow urethra is easily blocked, which is a life-threatening emergency.

Two digestive system diseases, pancreatitis and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, are also more common in Miniature Schnauzers than in virtually any other breed.

An inherited lipid metabolism disorder predisposes some Mini Schnauzers to dangerous elevations in blood cholesterol and triglycerides. The result is intermittent abdominal distress and vomiting, and eventually liver enlargement and progressive liver dysfunction. A homemade low-fat diet is a must for affected dogs, along with Omega-3 fatty acids.

Liver shunt is a real concern in the breed, along with heart disease (especially pulmonic stenosis and patent ductus arteriosus) and epilepsy.

Diabetes, hypothyroidism, megaesophagus, and kidney disease all occur in Miniature Schnauzers.

Skin problems include allergies (which cause itchy skin and can lead to pyoderma), non-tumorous growths, and tumors (especially sebaceous gland tumors).

A mild inherited skin disorder in Miniature Schnauzers is comedo syndrome, in which black crusty "bumps" form along the back, sometimes accompanied by patches of hair loss. Comedo (KOM-a-doe) is Latin and refers to blackheads, which are plugs of keratin and sebum that block the hair follicles. You may also see this spelled comedone (KOM-a-DOE-nee), which is simply the plural of comedo. Calendula, aloe vera, or vitamin E oil are soothing.

The most common orthopedic diseases are luxating patella (loose knees) and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Hip dysplasia occurs, as well. Unfortunately, very few Miniature Schnauzer breeders are X-raying their dogs' hips, so we don't know how widespread the problem really is in the breed.

Blood-clotting diseases in Miniature Schnauzers include von Willebrand's, hemophilia A, and thrombocytopenia.

Myotonia is an inherited muscle disease in Miniature Schnauzers. Myotonic puppies have prominent, hyper-reactive muscles. They move with a stiff gait and have difficulty swallowing due to the exaggerated size and mobility of the tongue. There is no cure and affected dogs will never be able to exercise or eat normally. Approximately 2% of the breed is affected, and another 20% are carriers. Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available for myotonia, so you can find out at any time whether your dog has the disease, carries the disease, or is completely clear of it.

Other health issues occasionally reported in Miniature Schnauzers include autoimmune hemolytic anemia and lysosomal storage disease (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis).

Cancer occurs in Miniature Schnauzers, although some individuals diagnosed with lymphoma may actually be suffering from mycobacterium avium infection (a form of tuberculosis). Affected Miniature Schnauzers have defective genes that cannot fight off this particular organism. Long-term antibiotics can send it into remission, but cannot cure it.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.