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Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome (Schnauzer Back)

Although other breeds may be involved, this condition is typically seen in Miniature Schnauzers, suggesting a genetic predisposition. This is a condition affecting schauzers that produces comedones, or pus filled bumps that are usually mostly on the back of affected schnauzers. This is an inherited condition that will be present throughout the dog's life if it is the problem. There is no cure but good nursing care can make this much less of a problem. Applying benzoyl peroxide shampoos or gels can help a great deal. Usually twice weekly bathing or gel application is sufficient. Clipping the hair over the affected areas and keeping it short can help in some cases. Application of astringents such as witch hazel has been recommended by some vets and may be beneficial as well. Some schnauzers will respond to isotretinoin (Accutane Rx).

What are the symptoms?
Generally the area along the spine is the most affected. Raised, black, crusty bumps will develop all along the back area. These may reach the size of up to one inch in diameter. Patchy hair loss will be evident and the skin may become thickened and red. In some dogs, the skin takes on an oily nature with a strong odor.

What are the risks?
Although not life threatening, this condition affects the appearance and smell of the animal.

What is the management?
Treatment is aimed at managing the condition. Comedo syndrome usually persists in varying degrees for the life of the pet. Medicated shampoos such as benzoyl peroxide work well and should be used on a regular basis, often at least weekly. If a secondary bacterial infection develops, antibiotics may be given. Although not usually curable, the condition can be successfully managed.

The information on this page was obtained from the site www.peteducation.com