Schnauzer syndrome: what it is and how to treat it

To take care of the health of our pet in the best possible way, it is good to know which are the most common pathologies that can affect it, as well as the less common ones.

Miniature Schnauzer syndrome is also known as “sterile pustular erythroderma” or “superficial suppurative-necrotic dermatitis”. It is a disease that exclusively affects this dog breed and which we will discuss in the following lines.

If you have a Schnauzer, take this into account

The Miniature Schnauzer is one of the most desired dog breeds , as they are small animals with a quiet character, perfect for life in the city. In addition, the predisposition of other small breeds (such as the French bulldog) to visit the vet frequently should be emphasized, while Schnauzers tend to be in good health.

It is equally true, however, that they tend to develop diseases of genetic origin , such as certain skin diseases (some of which will be described in this article), kidney disease , retinal atrophy or hypothyroidism.

In order to prevent them, it is necessary to know them and maintain adequate control of the symptoms by making periodic visits to our trusted veterinary clinic. In this way we can guarantee our pet good health and satisfactory quality of life.

The Schnauzer syndrome: a brief description

We are talking about a disease that is classified as rare. This is a serious skin and bowel disorder that only affects Miniature Schnauzer dogs.

However, a similar syndrome has been observed in other dog breeds. In the case of Schnauzers, however, the first case described in history was associated with the use of herbal shampoos, while in the other breeds no similar correlation could be observed.

The disease has only been described in adult specimens and a higher prevalence in one sex than in another has not been identified.


The agent responsible for this disease is still unknown, but there is a suspicion of an adverse reaction to various allergens or immunogens that are absorbed with the use of hygiene products or other similar chemicals.

Schnauzer syndrome symptoms

  • General symptoms : fever is common, accompanied by depression and lethargy.
  • Skin symptoms : alopecia and erythema, usually on the trunk, although cases have been described in which the head or extremities were affected.

The appearance of darker and edematous spots is noted, which at times have a tendency to suppuration. Pustules and blisters may appear due to the high temperature of the affected area. Where the erythema is aggravated, skin erosion, ulceration and necrosis may appear.

These areas, when hit, cause severe pain to the touch.

Evolution of the disease

At first the lesions are localized, but in a short time they become general, affecting the internal organs. Blood tests allow for signs of inflammation and very low albumin levels. Signs of heart, lung, and liver damage may also appear, which could indicate approaching systemic malfunction.

Most affected dogs have a poor prognosis and are destined to die in a short time.

Schnauzer Syndrome Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by observing the cited clinical signs and the results provided by the relevant laboratory tests. Among these analyzes, we note the biopsy of the skin lesions, followed by its microscopic analysis.

The differential diagnosis will concern other skin diseases, some of which are of toxic origin. The most similar is what is known as Sweet’s syndrome or acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis. Both have similarities and, at times, a correlation between the two phenomena has been considered.

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