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Dog Comedones (Schnauzer Bumps)

Comedone Syndrome, or Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome, is commonly known as Schnauzer Bumps.

Comedones or “bumps” are just dog pimples. They aren’t serious and can usually be treated at home.

As the name suggests, comedones are mostly seen in Schnauzers and Miniature Schnauzers. But, any breed can be affected by Comedone Syndrome.

What Is A Comedone?

A dog comedone, also known as a schnauzer bump forms under the surface of the skin from the buildup of oily material in the dog’s pore. Oil is meant to lubricate the skin and hair, but sometimes the old gland gets blocked. This is how comedones form.

Comedones are basically a dog blackhead.

A comedo looks black because the oily buildup oxidizes when it is exposed to oxygen on the surface of the skin. Comedones are typically harmless. However, they can be a sign of bacterial infections, ringworm, and hormonal diseases.

Can Dogs Get Zits?

It is not unusual for a dog to have multiple comedones at once, similar to an acne breakout in humans. It’s also possible for a single comedo to form by itself. Most dog owners say that these “pimples” appear overnight, out of nowhere.

Regardless, if your dog has a single comedo or many comedones, there’s no need to panic. As long as you keep the skin clean and the lesions don’t get infected, you can easily treat dog comedones at home.

Also, dog comedones and dog acne are not contagious to other animals or to humans. You don’t need to keep oth


er pets away from your dog while they are being treated for comedones.


Dog Comedone Symptoms

Here is a list of signs to look for if you suspect Comedone Syndrome in your dog:

  • Blackheads on the skin of your dog’s back or along the spine
  • Pimple or wart-like bumps on your dog’s skin
  • Localized hair loss near pimples or bumps
  • Itching, if a bacterial infection develops from comedone syndrome
  • If your dog is a Schnauzer, be ready to deal with comedones throughout your dog’s life. For most Schnauzers, Comedone Syndrome is inherited from their parents

How Much Does Comedone Treatment Cost?

Treatment costs depend upon each individual case but can range anywhere from $50 to $1,500.

At-Home Treatment of Comedone Syndrome

You can treat most cases of dog comedones at home without visiting a vet.

But, be on the lookout for signs of an infection. An infected comedo requires a veterinarian’s attention. If comedones get infected and aren’t treated with antibiotics, they can quickly lead to more serious problems.

Mild Comedone Syndrome Treatment

Mild cases can be treated at home with a couple of different options:

    • Benzoyl Peroxide Shampoo
    • Witch Hazel
    • Hydrogen Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide helps to flush the dog’s pores and hair follicles in order to remove debris and clear comedones.

Wash your dog’s entire body (except for the face) with benzoyl peroxide shampoo. This will help treat existing comedones and prevent new bumps from forming.

Apply witch hazel directly to the comedone flare-up.

Hydrogen peroxide can also be used but may dry your dog’s skin over time so use sparingly.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Keep Your Dog Well Groomed

During the first two weeks of at-home comedone treatment, wash your dog twice per week. Then, once per week should be sufficient. Too much washing can dry your dogs skin and make the condition worse.

Use a soft-bristled brush or bathing mit to gently scrub your dog’s skin and coat in order to loosen debris on the surface of the skin

Allow medicated shampoo to remain on the skin for at least 5 minutes (but 10 minutes is better!).

Consider Changing Your Dog’s Diet

Food allergies can exacerbate comedone formation. Know what foods are safe for your dog.

Severe Comedone Cases

Anti-seborrhea shampoos may help more severe comedone cases.

Anti-seborrhea products get rid of oil on the skin. This helps to unclog pores.

Are Antibiotics Needed?

Antibiotics may become necessary if a secondary infection develops from comedones.

Infections require immediate veterinarian attention. Dog skin infections cannot be treated at home.

See a vet as soon as possible for antibiotics.

Important Notes About Schnauzer Bumps

For Schnauzer And Miniature Schnauzer Parents:

Don’t drive yourself crazy looking for a canine comedone cure. There isn’t one! Relax. Look at treating your dog’s comedones as a pampered pup spa treatment.

It May Be Tempting To Pick At Or “Pop” Your Dog’s Comedone. Resist This Temptation!

Trying to remove a dog’s comedones yourself can lead to an infection. Infections are costly to treat and cause your dog to suffer.

However, in some cases, removing a comedone is the best option. You must consult with a vet or skilled grooming professional first.

Preventing Comedones In Dogs

Regular grooming helps to prevent comedone formation.

Washing your dog weekly and brushing his coat daily loosens debris on the skin that clogs pores to cause comedones.

Dog Food And Comedone Syndrome

Switching your dog’s food can make a world of difference in skin issues and many other health problems for your dog.

Consider switching to a high quality, whole food based kibble or even a raw food diet. Many Schnauzer parents have seen a dramatic decrease in the comedones after switching to a raw food diet for their Schnauzers.

Canine Comedones And Nutritional Supplements

Consider adding high-quality nutritional supplements to your dog’s diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics are most effective at treating dog skin issues. Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil are very beneficial for your dog’s skin and coat, and they help normalize oil gland production.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Comedone Syndrome?

A number of pet insurance plans cover prescription shampoos, prescription food, and even nutritional supplements that may be prescribed for Comedone Syndrome.

Almost every pet insurance covers the cost of prescription medications in the case of an infection due to Comedone Syndrome.

If your dog has to have a comedone surgically removed, pet insurance will cover the cost of the procedure, as long as your dog is diagnosed with Comedone Syndrome before you buy insurance. Otherwise, it will be considered a pre-existing condition, and will not be covered by any pet insurance company.

We recommend investing in pet insurance for your puppy so that no condition is ever considered pre-existing and you will always have help paying your vet bills.

There are a few pet insurance plans that offer wellness plans and preventative care coverage. This type of coverage reimburses you for regular vet checkups and other preventative care that may be helpful to prevent comedone recurrence.

Compare pet insurance coverage to see which policy provides the best options for your pet with Comedone Syndrome.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.


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  1. Reply
    Susan Murphy 10/27/2016 at 5:15 am

    Very informative video. The video was a bit much to look at but glad everything worked out in the end.

  2. Reply
    Jenny 05/18/2017 at 1:46 am

    I had no idea dogs could also get comedones! I thought this issue was a human thing 🙂

    • Reply
      mark 07/22/2017 at 12:22 am

      Use some coal tar dandruff shampoo,,,,,,,Omg works after one use ……you can feel the different!!!!!

  3. Reply
    Mark 07/22/2017 at 12:20 am

    Omg just used some of my Kroger coal tar dandruff shampoo 2.95$ ,,, My little boy;s back was covered it was like hard rocks……..OMG gone after using twice !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Reply
    Betty 11/08/2017 at 3:15 pm

    This article has truly been helpful. I had no knowledge of the degree these Comedones can affect a dog or how to treat it. Very helpful.

  5. Reply
    Chantelle 06/11/2018 at 10:33 pm

    Hello, We have a Yorkshire and this really helps alot, he has this on his back along his spine. All of this products looks good but i am all the way in South Africa and can’t seem to find those, will try to get more or less the same. Thank tou for this great information.

  6. Reply
    Michael Reilly 06/30/2018 at 2:02 am

    Peanut has them on her flanks and back. I started with nightly washes with Hyrogen Peroxide, they disappeared in four days and then began applying an essential oil to the area and they have not returned. That started two and a half months ago.

    • Reply
      consumers advocate 07/25/2018 at 10:30 pm

      This is so good to hear!

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