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Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome

Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome is often referred to as Schnauzer Bumps because it's a condition that affects a dog's skin and although it can affect other breeds, the disorder is predominantly seen in Schnauzers, hence the name. The "bumps" typically develop along a dog's spine and they are often filled with pus if they become infected. It is thought the condition develops as a result of blocked sebaceous glands found in a dog's skin. These glands excrete an oily fluid called sebum which is needed to keep hair and skin moisturised and in good condition. It’s worth noting that when dogs are exposed to a little more sun they tend to have fewer outbreaks of Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome.

The Causes

Comedones are one of the commonest health problems in Schnauzers with the Miniature Schnauzer inheriting the condition from their parents and as such once the "bumps" develop, a dog will suffer from the condition for the remainder of their lives. A vet might recommend prescribing a course of antibiotics to help clear up an infection and it's essential for the course to be completed for it to be really effective and to prevent any resistance to the antibiotics building up.

Signs to Watch Out For

The condition can develop quite suddenly with just a few small bumps forming on a dog's back. These bumps resemble warts and although unsightly, the condition is not dangerous to a dog and it cannot be transmitted to other dogs or people. Some dogs suffer from the condition throughout their lives whereas other dogs just have occasional flare ups. With this said, some dogs never develop any bumps at all throughout their lives even though they have inherited the disorder.

The problems really start when bumps become infected and fill up with pus in which case veterinary attention should be sought sooner rather than later to make life more comfortable for an affected dog and as usual, the earlier an infection is treated, the easier it is to clear up.

Treatment Options

There are all sorts of treatment options for Schnauzer Bumps, but in reality, because it is not known what actually causes the condition a permanent cure or solution to the problem remains unknown.

Living with a Dog with Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome

Dogs with the condition tend to either have occasional breakouts or the bumps flare up on a more constant basis. It's essential for a dog's skin and coat be kept as clean as possible, but it's also crucial that any products used to manage the condition are specifically formulated for use on dogs. Shampoos that contain Benzoyl Peroxide are often recommended, but other products that can be used on dogs with the condition include the following:

  • Witch hazel applied topically to bumps
  • Hydrogen peroxide applied topically to bumps

Other ways of helping a dog suffering from Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome include the following:

  • To keep coat clipped tidy and short
  • Changing a Dog’s Diet
  • This involves quite a bit of trial and error when it comes to finding the most suitable food bearing in mind that corn is thought to be one of the triggers. As such, it's best to feed commercially produced dog food that does not contain corn or other types of grain. Another alternative is to feed a dog a home-made diet, but again it would be trial and error when it comes to finding recipe that does not cause any flare ups.
  • Other products that can help manage the bumps when they develop include the following:
  • Adding Omega 3 fatty acids to a dog's food
  • Adding Enzymes and probiotics to a dog's diet
  • To wipe a little vinegar on bumps when they form using a cotton tip
  • To brush a dog's coat every day to remove any dirt and debris being careful to do this gently
  • To bath a dog with the condition on a weekly basis using a shampoo that's specifically formulated for use on dogs with skin conditions

Seeking Advice from a Vet

Before changing a dog’s diet or adding any supplements to their food, it's best to discuss their condition with a vet first and to do as they recommend. A vet might suggest carrying out necessary tests before doing anything else which would rule out any other reasons and to establish that it is Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome they are suffering from.


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