Miniature schnauzers are one of the healthiest breeds of dogs. Their life expectancy is longer than most breeds, and they develop relatively few health problems as they age. Only a few medical caveats need to be considered if you are thinking about owning the breed.
The miniature schnauzer has a relatively long life span. If the dog lives a long and healthy life, then its age can span anywhere between 14 and 16 years, according to PetPlace.com. Furthermore, the miniature schnauzer often doesn't show signs of ageing until later in its life.
There are a number of ailments and medical problems that can affect the life span of the miniature schnauzer. The breed is prone to serious conditions such as liver diseases, diabetes, seizures and skin disorders,. Many of these are life-threatening problems, either immediately or throughout the dog's life, but some can be managed with medicine and treatment.
All animals are at risk for cancer, including the miniature schnauzer, which is most likely to develop melanoma, a tumour of the melancolyte pigment cells, and benign fatty tumours called lipomas that can grow in the hypodermis region just beneath the outer layer of skin. Veterinarian Mike Richards says that melanoma afflicts older dogs and is actually low-malignancy 80 to 90 per cent of the time. However, a malignant tumour, which typically occurs in the oral cavities or toes, is very likely to spread to other tissues, and the chances of recovery are low.
Willebrand's Disease is an abnormality in the coagulation of the blood. It is manageable but can cause serious complications during surgery and for breeding females. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland fails to adequately function. Daily medication can counteract effects; otherwise, serious immune system and cardiovascular problems can persist and shorten the dog's life. Cushing's Disease results from the overproduction of adrenal cortex hormones. It's likely to develop when the dog is 6 to 8 years old but can be managed with medication for the rest of the dog's life. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can develop quickly or slowly. It is a life-threatening emergency situation.
In spite of potential health problems, the miniature schnauzer is a healthy dog. It is an active breed, but unlike other energetic dogs it doesn't break down later in life. It can gain weight quickly, but as long as overeating is avoided and health problems don't develop, it can expect a long, full life beyond that of many other dogs.