This page is to provide you with the basic health  of the miniature schnauzer and to help you to be better informed of any of the possible health issues that could effect your breed of choice.
First and foremost remember that regular visits to your veterinarian will help ensure that any health problems will be caught early and kept in check. Regular vaccinations and deworming for any dog are a must. The miniature schnauzer is a inside dog and must be kept indoors, so please remember to house him, or her indoors year round, with time allowed outside for play in the summer. Regular grooming will help ensure healthy skin, as well as a good quality food, never skimp on a good quality food for your pet. Remember to clean his bedding occassionally as well.

Before I get into the health issues known to be specific to this breed I would like it to be known that the miniature schnauzer is known to be a pretty healthy breed for the most part, and lives a pretty long life, not usually showing its age till very late in life. The good thing about owning a purebred pet is that breeders can work to screen carriers of the known diseases out of their breeding programs and that purebred dogs are bred from a confined gene pool. This means that veterinary science can identify diseases that are known to occur in a given breed. With this information and careful breeding one can hopefully breed out any of these problems from ones genetic pool. With that said I still feel it important to inform you of the health issues.

Pancreatitis
occurs with increasing frequency in Miniature Schnauzers. As well as many of the small toy breeds. The exact mechanism is poorly understood, but appears to be associated with the fact that many Miniature Schnauzers have high blood serum lipids (fats). Clinical signs generally include vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy and depression. It is an emergency situation which warrants immediate veterinary care. Treatment includes intravenous fluids, antibiotics and dietary control. The dog will probably have to be on a low fat diet. Causes are unknown but some of the causes can be Hyperlipemia, Obesity, Infectious Disease, or Trauma. It is also believed that feeding a high fat diet can contribute to this as well so it is reccomended to never feed your miniature schnauzer table scraps. While this disease can be controlled and lived with in most conditions after the initial onset and treatment, it is a very serious disease and often requires liftetime monitored diet for the canine.

Urinary Tract Infections - Urolithiasis
occur at a higher rate in Miniature Schnauzers than other breeds. Clinical signs include frequent urination and blood may be present in the urine. Untreated, they can lead to bladder stones. If severe enough this may cause urinary blockage, which is a medical emergency. To muddy the waters, this problem can occur in dogs for reasons unrelated to heredity. Treatment involves prescription diets, antibiotics and/or surgery. Few breeders would risk breeding any dog with a history of these problems

Progressive Retinal Atrophy - P.R.A.
causes the retina of the eye to deteriorate slowly. Symptoms may not show until the dog is three years old or older, beginning with night blindness. P.R.A. eventually blinds the dog. It is incurable. An Electroretinograph can be used for early detection, but this tool is not available to most breeders. Annual eye certification of breeding stock is a must if breeders are to reduce the risk.

Hypothyroidism
is the number one inherited disease of all dogs in general The metabolism is affected, causing depression, weight gain, hair loss, lethargy and an intolerance to cold. Untreated, it can lead to immune system, cardiovascular, and reproductive problems. Testing and treatment is relatively easy and inexpensive. Daily medication can give good results and many dogs live healthy lives. When it occurs in young dogs or several members of a family, a genetic cause (autoimmune disease) is likely.

We all love our Miniature Schnauzers and want whats best for them even after they go to their new homes, below you will find a list of a few things to  watch out for in our daily environement.

Human Foods that Poison Pets      

Many times feeding our pets food that we enjoy is not only wrong, it can also be fatal. There are some foods that human’s relish, which cause illness and death if eaten by pets. This is not to say that there are no foods in our human diet that are healthy for our pets as there are. Many owners bring their dogs up on a homemade natural food diet, however great caution must be used and I advise anyone wishing to do so to educate themselves thoroughly on what foods are truly healthy, in what content, how to prepare them. and in what amount for your individual pet!

Chocolate, macadamia nuts and onions are good examples. Each of these foods contains chemicals that rarely cause problems for humans, but for dogs, these same che

Chocolate toxicity:
Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.
When affected by an overdose of chocolate, a dog can become excited and hyperactive. Due to the diuretic effect, it may pass large volumes of urine and it will be unusually thirsty. Vomiting and diarrhea are also common. The effect of theobromine on the heart is the most dangerous effect. Theobromine will either increase the dog’s heart rate or may cause the heart to beat irregularly. Death is quite possible, especially with exercise. After their pet has eaten a large quantity of chocolate, many pet owners assume their pet is unaffected. However, the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with death following within twenty-four hours.Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A 10-kilogram dog can be seriously affected if it eats a quarter of a 250gm packet of cocoa powder or half of a 250gm block of cooking chocolate. These forms of chocolate contain ten times more theobromine than milk chocolate. Thus, a chocolate mud cake could be a real health risk for a small dog. Even licking a substantial part of the chocolate icing from a cake can make a dog unwell.Semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate are the next most dangerous forms, with milk chocolate being the least dangerous. A dog needs to eat more than a 250gm block of milk chocolate to be affected. Obviously, the smaller the dog, the less it needs to eat.

Onion and garlic poisoning:
Onions and garlic are other dangerous food ingredients that cause sickness in dogs, cats and also livestock. Onions and garlic contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate. Onions are more of a danger.Pets affected by onion toxicity will develop hemolytic anemia, where the pet’s red blood cells burst while circulating in its body.At first, pets affected by onion poisoning show gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhea. They will show no interest in food and will be dull and weak. The red pigment from the burst blood cells appears in an affected animal’s urine and it becomes breathless. The breathlessness occurs because the red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body are reduced in number.The poisoning occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion. All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions, cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion, sometimes fed as a supplement to young pets, can cause illness.Onion poisoning can occur with a single ingestion of large quantities or with repeated meals containing small amounts of onion. A single meal of 600 to 800 grams of raw onion can be dangerous whereas a ten-kilogram dog, fed 150 grams of onion for several days, is also likely to develop anemia. The condition improves once the dog is prevented from eating any further onion.While garlic also contains the toxic ingredient thiosulphate, it seems that garlic is less toxic and large amounts would need to be eaten to cause illness.

The danger of macadamia nuts:
Macadamia nuts are another concern. The toxic compound is unknown but the affect of macadamia nuts is to cause locomotory difficulties. Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed, usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when the limbs are manipulated.Dogs have been affected by eating as few as six macadamia kernels (nuts without the shell) while others had eaten approximately forty kernels. Some dogs had also been given macadamia butter.
Luckily, the muscle weakness, while painful, seems to be of short duration and all dogs recovered from the toxicity.

Pet owners should not assume that human food is always safe for pets. Be sure that your pets can’t get into your stash of chocolates, or garbage, that food scraps are disposed of carefully. Not a food but caution should be used when providing your beloved pet a cooked bone as well that it cannot be broken down to sharp shardes of bone, as well never feed chicken bones to your dog as both of these could pierce the intestines and cause serious problems or even death.

Other potential dangers:

·        Pear pips, the kernels of plums, peaches and apricots, apple core pips
        (contain cyanogenic glycosides resulting in cyanide poisoning)
·       Potato peelings and green potatoes, hard boiled potatoes in chunks, cannot          be broken down by a dogs digestive track
·       Rhubarb leaves
·       Moldy/spoiled foods
·       Alcohol
·       Yeast dough
·       Coffee grounds, beans & tea (caffeine)
·       Hops (used in home brewing)
·       Tomato leaves & stems (green parts)
·        Broccoli (in large amounts)
·        Raisins and grapes
·       Cigarettes, tobacco, cigars

CLICK HERE for a list of our foods that are actually healthy choices for our dogs to eat!

Thousands of dogs and cats needlessly suffer and many die each year by accidental ingestion of household poisons, including pesticides, popular houseplants, medications and common foods. Contact your local Animal Poison Control Center for advice and a list on which household goods may be dangerous and even deadly to your four-legged family member.
Mothballs, paper shredders, potpourri oils, coffee grounds, homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, dishwashing detergent, swifter jet floor cleaners, batteries, cigarettes, alcoholic drinks, pennies and hand and foot warmers electric wires from appliances plugged in, could be dangerous for your pet. Keep all prescription and over-the-counter medications out of your pets reach, preferably in closed/locked cabinets above the counter. Painkillers, cold medicines, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills can be lethal to animals, even in small doses.Read all of the information on the label before using a product on your pet or in your home. a product is for use only on dogs, it should never be used on cats; if a product is for use only on cats, it should never be used on dogs. Be aware of the plants you have in your home and yard. The ingestion of azalea, oleander, sago palm or yew plant material by your pet can be fatal. Easter lily, day lily, tiger lily and some other lily species can cause kidney failure in cats.  Make sure your pets do not go on lawns or in gardens treated with fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides until they have dried completely. Always store such products in areas that are inaccessible to your pets. If you are uncertain about the usage of any product, ask the manufacturer and/or your veterinarian for instructions. Be alert for antifreeze/coolant leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste and ingesting just a small amount can cause an animal's death. Consider using animal-friendly products that use propylene glycol rather than those containing ethylene glycol. When using rat, mouse, snail or slug baits, or ant or roach traps, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your pet. Some bait contains sweet smelling inert ingredients, such as jelly, peanut butter or sugar that can attract your pets. I caution if you live in an area where you have ever green trees and there are dry or even fresh pine needles on the ground, or within his or her reach these can pose a very serious danger to your pup. Not just due to the poisonous danger but due to the fact that these can be digested and pearce your pups digestive tract causing serious harm by internal bleeding!

The Miniature Schnauzer is famous for having his nose to the ground so keep this in mind always, as anything that he can reach, can be a potential danger!!
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