Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation.

Comedone Syndrome in Dogs

What is Comedone Syndrome in Dogs?

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.

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

What is a Canine Comedone?

Comedones are basically a dog blackhead. A dog comedo 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.

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.

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

Canine Comedone Syndrome 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 Schanuzer, be ready to deal with comedones throughout your dog’s life. For most Schnauzers, Comedone Syndrome is inherited from their parents

Comedone Syndrome Treatment for Dogs

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 comedone requires a veterinarian’s attention. If comedones get infected and aren’t treated with antibiotics, they can quickly lead to more serious problems.

At Home Dog Comedone Treatment:

  • Mild comedone syndrome cases can be treated with benzoyl peroxide shampoo
    • 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
  • Keep your dog well-groomed, and clip hair short during comedone treatment
    • 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.
  • Antiseborrheic shampoos may help more severe comedone cases
  • Antibiotics are necessary if a secondary infection develops from comedones

Important Notes About Canine Comedones

  • 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.

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.

Consider adding high-quality supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics to your dog’s diet. 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 you 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.

DIY Dog Treatment - Popping Schnauzer Bumps

He didn't flinch when I cut the cyst open. You could clearly tell afterwards that he was so happy to have it removed.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

Summary
Article Name
Comedone Syndrome in Dogs
Description
Comedone Syndrome in Dogs. What it is: Also called schnauzer bumps, comedone syndrome refers to blackheads that appear on the skin.
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Publisher Name
Pet Insurance U
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  • Susan Murphy

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

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