Health - Schnauzer Bumps / Pimples

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Schnauzer bumps or 'pimples', sometimes called Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome, or Comedo Syndrome,
is reported to be one of the most common Schnauzer health problems. 

A comedone is a blackhead, so Schnauzer Comedone Sydrome is a doggy version of blackheads. What is a blackhead?
Simply a plug of keratin and sebum (skin cells and oil) blocking the hair follicle.

These comedones characteristically appear on the dog’s back. They don’t usually cause any problems unless they become
infected. Once infected they can become itchy and may even develop into deep pus-filled little abscesses or “bumps”.

Once they appear they usually stay for the life of the dog. It is important the if you notice these 'bumps' to give the Schnauzer
a nice long bath in warm water.  Washing the dog to loosen and open the pores.  Then as in any blackhead, try to squeeze the
bump to get the black head out.

Are Schnauzer Bumps Inherited?

Schnauzer bumps are suspected to be a hereditary problem in Miniature Schnauzers characterized by defective keratinization
of the hair follicles in the middle of the back.

However, though it seems to be a genetic problem, this has not been proven.

Schnauzer Comedone Syndrome is often associated with problem Schnauzer skin such as flea bite or other allergies, and is also
affected by the quality of the food that is fed.

Most types of skin disorders can be avoided or controlled through sensible management and good diet.

How to treat Schnauzer Bumps:

Bathing:  Shampoos

Using shampoos that breakdown the skin oils that plug the follicles is a recommended strategy. This should be done every fortnight
at least. However, in between times you could dab the affected areas only.

Such shampoos contain antiseborrheic ingredients that can also be bought on their own as a gel or wash.

Common ones are benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, sulfur and tar. I have found “Pine Tarsol” (containing pine tar) very effective for most skin problems (including infection and irritation) in both my dogs and my family.

It also makes sense to go for the most natural ones you can find i.e. that are free of soap, chemicals, artificial colors and preservatives.

If they are not infected you could also try rubbing affected areas with astringents to dissolve the plugs. Recommended astringents are witch hazel the gentler option) and rubbing alcohol.


Grooming: Regular Clipping

Clipping the hair over the affected areas and keeping it short can help in some cases. Combined with regular outside activity, this allows sunshine and air to the skin, which is said to improve the condition.

Protection: Control of Fleas

If your dog also has flea bite allergy (marked by hair loss on the tail end of the back) then controlling fleas can provide relief for comedones as well. And, since even a single flea can set off flea bite allergy, it must be strict flea control. Like with most allergies,
diet also helps, so see below.

Diet: Natural Food

The classic skin nutrients are zinc, vitamin E, vitamin A and omega oils. So ensure your dog is getting sufficient quantities in their diet.
Supplementation may be necessary at first to bring body levels up to normal. Fish oil is a good source of omega fats.  

For long term dietary supplementation I make up my own multivitamin, multimineral mix and use it in home-made meals for my dogs as a supplement to their natural “raw meaty bones” based diet.

Please read the Foods Section of this web site.