Miniature Schnauzers emerged in Germany in the 1800s, where they were bred to kill rats and to keep watch. These are smallish dogs, weighting 10 to 15 pounds (5 to 7 kg) and standing a little over a foot (32 cm) high. Despite having thick hair, Schnauzers shed relatively little; their playful attitude and need for love also make them popular, though they do not always interact well with other pets. Schnauzers’ distinctive “bearded” look is maintained by careful grooming.
Should you Purchase Insurance for your Miniature Schnauzer?
These dogs are fairly robust, with an average lifespan of around 12 years. They are, however, particularly susceptible to a number of health conditions:
- Bladder Stones: certain compounds can form crystals that build up in a dog’s urinary tract and can block the free flow of urine. The result is great discomfort for the dog, and unwanted behaviors like urinating in the house. Urinalysis will confirm what kind of stones have formed, and treatment usually involves a special diet, though surgery may be required in acute cases.
- Canine Diabetes(diabetes mellitus): as in humans, this disease is caused by a deficiency in insulin, a hormone that is crucial for the metabolism of sugars. A dog with diabetes will lose weight, and will drink and urinate excessively. Diagnosis is made based on urinalysis and blood work. The disease can be controlled with a combination of changes in diet and medication, including the administration of insulin orally or by injection.
- Comedone Syndrome (“Schnauzer bumps”): this acne-like condition affects the skin on these dogs’ backs, and can lead to secondary bacterial infections. Treatment involves topical ointments, and antibiotics if infection occurs.
- Hyperlipidemia: this condition is essentially high cholesterol, which in dogs just as in humans can have devastating health effects. Affected dogs experience stomach pain, skin lesions and sometimes tics and twitches. Diagnosis is based on detailed blood and urine analysis; treatment involves a special diet and, frequently, medication.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease: affected dogs have abnormal clotting proteins in the blood, which causes them to have difficulty recovering from cuts, scrapes and bruises. Symptoms include unhealed wounds and blood in the feces. Diagnosis is confirmed by blood and urinalysis, and blood transfusions can be necessary to maintain a dog’s health.
Any of these conditions, not to mention accidents and the effects of old age, can result in hundreds, even thousands of dollars in vet bills. And since it is impossible to predict when a medical problem may arise with a pet, owners will want to consider protecting themselves financially with pet health insurance.