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Mini schnauzers are perky, loyal dogs that are favorites among many households. Their small size makes them easy to keep, but these dogs do come with some drawbacks. Their long, fuzzy coats require consistent grooming, and like any dog, they may fall prey to some sicknesses, with serious repercussions.
All dogs are exposed to dirt and parasites like fleas, which in turn may expose them to additional parasites like tapeworms. Tapeworms enter a miniature schnauzer's digestive tract, latch on to the walls of the gut and feed on the passing nutrition. These parasites reproduce asexually and can grow to five feet in length. Because they are devouring the mini schnauzer's nutrition, tapeworms cause dogs to lose weight. By disrupting the digestive system, tapeworms also cause diarrhea and vomiting. They are treatable with deworming medications.
Miniature schnauzers are particularly prone to kidney stones and kidney disease. In kidney disease, a miniature schnauzer's kidneys stop functioning normally. Instead of filtering toxins and extra fluid into the bladder, malfunctioning kidneys release toxins back into the blood. Dogs begin to drink more to try to filter their blood, which causes increased urination. The miniature schnauzer becomes unable to take nutrition from food, which results in diarrhea. Vomiting is one of the final symptoms of kidney disease which is incurable.
Mini schnauzers are also prone to diabetes, along with a range of symptoms. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where a miniature schnauzer's body is incapable of using insulin to transfer nourishment to cells. This is a wasting disease; the mini schnauzer is literally unable to process any nutrition. Diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) is a complication of diabetes, where the miniature schnauzer's liver overproduces ketoacids, which lead to electrolyte imbalances and dehydration. Diabetes itself causes wasting, diarrhea and vomiting, due to the body's lack of nutrition. These symptoms become more pronounced when a miniature schnauzer has DKA as a complication of diabetes.
- miniature schnauzer image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com