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5 Common Miniature Schnauzer Health Problems

February 9, 2021 by The Spot Pack
Mini Schnauzer Close Up

Although they are the smallest of the three Schnauzer breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer makes up for it with an outgoing, friendly personality sure to charm those around him! These smart, distinguished dogs are blessed with sporty good looks and a compact size that makes them great for any home, big or small. As a purebred dog breed, however, they are more prone to genetic health problems.

Today, we’re breaking down the most common Miniature Schnauzer health problems so that you can carefully monitor your Miniature Schnauzer with your veterinarian’s help.

Common Mini Schnauzer Health Problems


Diabetes is a common disease among many dogs, but Miniature Schnauzers are affected at an even higher rate. When a dog becomes diabetic, they are unable to regulate and process sugars in their body. Frequently, they will require daily injections of insulin to manage this condition. (1)

Along with managing your dog’s diabetes, diabetes also puts your pup at a higher rate of other serious issues, like cataracts. Cataracts obscure the vision and can even cause partial or full blindness in the affected eye. Studies estimate that 80% of dogs will develop at least one cataract within 16 months of a diabetes diagnosis. (2)

Diabetes can quickly become expensive, but SPOT can help cover the bills for chronic conditions like diabetes so that you’re able to provide your dog with the best treatment. Get a pet insurance policy before conditions like diabetes occur or show symptoms so that they are not considered a pre-existing condition (which insurance won’t cover).*

Liver Problems

Miniature Schnauzers are more prone to liver problems, especially portosystemic shunt (PSS). PSS occurs when blood meant to go to the liver instead goes around the liver, depriving the liver of the necessary blood to function correctly. When the liver is unable to function properly, your dog cannot remove toxins from their bloodstream effectively.

Your veterinarian can regularly screen for PSS with a liver function test. Surgery is often needed, but some dogs may be treated with only medication and a special diet. (3)

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE), also known as acute hemorrhagic diarrhea syndrome, occurs when a dog begins vomiting and having bloody diarrhea. HGE often happens in dogs that otherwise appear healthy, and toy dog breeds, such as Mini Schnauzers, are affected the most.

The exact cause of HGE has not yet been determined. Still, it can be treated with intravenous fluid therapy that supplies the dog with plenty of electrolytes and potassium, as well as antibiotics to counter the potential for a secondary intestinal infection. If untreated, a dog will become severely ill and may die. (4)

Since the cause of HGE is unknown, there is no way to scan for it. If your Miniature Schnauzer has any of the above symptoms, immediately reach out to your veterinarian.

Bladder or Kidney Stones

Miniature Schnauzers are more prone to developing bladder and kidney stones, particularly calcium stones, than other dogs for unknown reasons. Female Miniature Schnauzers or Mini Schnauzers over the age of six are at an even higher risk of developing this painful condition. To prevent this, many veterinarians will periodically test your Miniature Schnauzer’s urine for any signs of kidney or bladder stones. (3)

If you notice that your furry friend has blood in their urine, is straining to urinate, or cannot urinate, immediately contact your veterinarian. Bladder and kidney stones are incredibly painful!

Skin Allergies and Skin Diseases

When humans develop environmental allergies, we typically experience an increase in sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. However, dogs with environmental allergies will develop itchy skin, otherwise known as “atopy.” The most sensitive areas of their skin include their ears, skin folds, belly, and feet.

If you notice that your Miniature Schnauzer is suddenly rubbing their face more, licking their paws, and has regular ear discomfort or ear infections, they may have allergies. There are a wide variety of available allergy treatments to relieve your pup’s discomfort. Consult with your veterinarian to discuss your treatment options.

Miniature Schnauzers are also prone to follicular dermatitis, also known as Schnauzer bumps. Schnauzer bumps are not a life-threatening condition, but they can be very uncomfortable for your dog. Schnauzer bumps are often described as “canine blackheads,” and they occur when bacteria infects your Schnauzer’s hair follicles. If scratched or opened, these bumps can quickly become infected. As a Mini Schnauzer parent, it’s vital that you keep an eye on your pet’s skin for any bumps and signs of infection. (5)

Pet Insurance for Miniature Schnauzers

It’s heartbreaking to have your beloved Miniature Schnauzer diagnosed with any health issue, but with proper veterinary care, they can continue to live a happy and healthy life.

While your Miniature Schnauzer is still young, sign up for a pet insurance policy so that you can be reimbursed later on if they develop health issues or a chronic illness. Your dog’s health is a crucial factor in their short-term and long-term happiness. Let SPOT pet insurance help you cover the cost of providing your Miniature Schnauzer with high-quality veterinary care today!

*There is a 14 day waiting period after enrollment, if any symptoms or conditions develop during that period, they will be considered pre-existing.

Traditions Veterinary Center (1)
National Library of Medicine (2)
Animal Health Center (3)
Veterinary Centers of America (4)
The Schnauzer Collective(5)


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