The dog breed Miniature Schnauzer makes up position number 7 on Animal Talks Top 10 Most Popular Breeds in South Africa for 2012. This is a small breed dog of the Schnauzer type that originated in Germany in the mid-to-late 19th century.
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Temperament: Alert, Spirited, Friendly, Intelligent, Obedient, Fearless
Height: Female: 30–36 cm, Male: 30–36 cm
Colors: White, Black & Silver, Salt & Pepper, Black
Weight: Female: 5.4–8.2 kg, Male: 5.4–9.1 kg
This family dog is highly intelligent and easy to train. The Miniature Schnauzers are prone to putting on weight if not exercised regularly or when they get overfed or spoilt by their owners. For such a small dog, the amount of food it needs is the size of an adult fist.
The doggie needs regular grooming to keep its coat healthy and avoid matting. They do not shed much or have a typical doggie odour, which is another reason why they are great with young children or older people who enjoy their demands for a good cuddle on the couch.
The miniature Schnauzer is the family guard dog, loyal and devoted. Their terrier make-up does not allow them to stand back towards bigger dogs, but their nature in general is not to be aggressive, rather loving and devoted.
Another important fact about owning a Miniature Schnauzer is the cost of owning one, especially if it gets ill. Can you afford this doggie if it gets ill?
Here are some common ailments vets are exposed to with The Miniature Schnauzers:
1. This breed is prone to weight gain. Even when at ideal body weight they may have high lipid levels in their blood making them prone to diabetes mellitus and pancreatitis.
2. Diabetic patients need twice daily insulin injections to control the high blood glucose. Unfortunately most dogs diagnosed with diabetes will develop cataracts within 6 months of diagnosis which will result in blindness. Being overweight increases the risk of this incurable disease.
3. Pancreatitis is a painful condition due to inflammation of the pancreas. A fatty meal can trigger pancreatitis in sensitive dogs. Patients with pancreatitis usually need hospitalisation and intravenous fluids. The condition can recur and in severe cases can be fatal.
4. In older Miniature Schnauzers the risk for hepatitis – inflammation of the liver increases. In younger dogs liver shunts can have an inherited component.
5. The breed can also present with skin allergies, bladder stones, and inherited eye conditions (like progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts). Schnauzer comedo syndrome where black crusty bumps form on the back has been reported but not often seen in South Africa.
Thank you to our online vet Dr Adel for sharing with us ailments which she is exposed to as a vet on a daily basis.
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