Unfortunately, Miniature Schnauzers are not as healthy as their larger counterparts, the Standard Schnauzer. The Minis are prone to more health problems and a few are more serious than what the Standards are prone to. If you own one or are thinking of getting one, it’s good to know the common issues they may face so you can keep an eye out for symptoms. The following are the top 3 health concerns for your Miniature Schnauzer.
#1 – Urinary Stones
Miniature Schnauzers, as a breed, have more occurrences of urinary stones than any other. According to a study in the American Journal of Veterinary Research (1998-99), 47 percent of small dogs reported to have stones were Miniature Schnauzers. They are most likely to develop struvite (more likely in females and usually appear at the same time as a urinary tract infection) or calcium oxalate stones (more common in older male dogs).
#2 – Liver Defects
They also have a high occurrence of portosystemic liver shunts, where a connection forms between a portal vein or one of its branches, so that blood bypasses the liver. This is a birth defect and requires an expensive surgery. Miniature Schnauzers are 20 percent more likely to have this than any other breed.
#3 – Myotonia Congenita
Myotonia is a genetic disorder that can be traced by DNA, so any Miniature Schnauzer breeder you are considering should know to test for this prior to breeding any dog. Myotonia is a condition where the muscles contract easily – causing muscle stiffness. As the disease progresses, the muscles will enlarge and bulge. Then, the dog will have trouble getting up and walking, and will have an enlarged tongue, changing jaw shape, and trouble swallowing. Treatment is through medication.
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