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Generally, the Miniature Schnauzer is a very healthy breed. They do have their share of health problems. It is wise to be somewhat knowledgeable before purchasing a puppy so you can ask the right questions.
Breeders have been aware of certain genetic eye problems in the breed for many years. Among them are cataracts, both early onset and later onset; Progressive Retinal Atrophy, similar to Retina Pigmentosa in humans; glaucoma; and cataracts due to other conditions, such as diabetes and some thyroid conditions. Concerned and caring breeders have their puppies eyes checked by a Veterinary Ophthalmologist when they are 8-10 weeks old, prior to selling them. They also have all breeding stock and adults checked yearly, since some problems do not appear until later in life. If the family veterinarian diagnoses some kind of eye disease in the family pet, it is wise to have the dog seen at once by a Board Certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist. Larger cities usually have them in Referral Clinics.
Heart problems have also been seen in the Miniature Schnauzer. A yearly exam can detect any changes to the heart rhythm before it becomes a serious problem.
Allergies seem to be the most common medical problem seen by Schnauzer owners, both environmental and food associated. If you suspect that your dog has allergies, it’s a good idea to have him tested. Dogs can be placed on desensitization shots just like humans!
At this time the AMSC is funding a study at the University of Pennsylvania that has identified the gene that allows some dogs to develop a condition called MAC or Mycobacterium Avian Complex. It is deadly to dogs and is a genetic problem in the Miniature Schnauzer. Please read about this disease on the AMSC Health website below.
Fortunately our breed is free of hip and elbow problems and other bone deformities.
For a look at other health related problems, check out the health page at the AMSC web site link.