A common misconception regarding Miniature Schnauzers is that they are simply a toy variety of the standard Schnauzer. The Miniature Schnauzer is, however, a completely separate breed with its origins dating back to 1899. Originally bred as a farm dog, today the Miniature Schnauzer is just as comfortable in a rural setting as it is in a small city apartment. These dogs have a double coat consisting of a soft undercoat and a wiry outer layer, often called a “show coat,” which sheds minimally. Miniature Schnauzers are a smart, friendly breed that responds well to training and makes excellent watch dogs, despite their small size.
Miniature Schnauzers are prone to a number of health problems including diabetes, schnauzer bumps, as well as eye defects such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.
Canine diabetes is a condition in which the dog’s body fails to produce enough insulin to metabolize sugars. Miniature Schnauzers are one of the breeds that have the highest incidence of this disease, and the average onset is usually between six and nine years of age. This condition can be monitored by taking urine glucose levels and controlled through daily insulin injections which generally cost around $50 per month.
Schnauzer bumps are small black comedones, or bumps, which typically appear along the back but may also develop on the head and tail of Miniature Schnauzers. There is no cure for this condition and, because it is inherited, it is something a dog will most likely have to deal with throughout its entire life. The bumps themselves are not harmful, unless they get infected, so it is wise to treat them with an antibiotic ointment or benzoyl peroxide shampoo. Small bottles of benzoyl peroxide shampoo usually cost under $10 and antibiotic ointments usually cost less than $20.
Two of the most common eye defects Miniature Schnauzers are likely to encounter are cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). A cataract is defined as a loss of transparency within the lens of the eye and it often leads to partial or complete loss of vision. Though dogs can adapt to a loss of vision, surgery can repair the condition through procedures which usually cost between $1,000 and $1,500. PRA is a condition involving a progressive degeneration of the retina and eventual blindness. There is currently no cure or medical treatment for this condition.
Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.