schnauzer health advice

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henry- (2000-2007)

our beloved best- friend
Barked: Sun Jul 1, '07 1:38pm PST 
Hello schnauzers,

Just writing to let you know of a few things I've learned as my sweet sweet schnauzer Henry struggles to keep living (he's at a university teaching hospital right now):

--At age 6, ask a vet for as thorough an exam as possible, including blood and urine tests. Age 7 is when schnauzers can really start to have problems with kidneys, etc. and it's good to have a baseline of what "healthy" is for your dog.

--Be very careful about feeding food with a lot of fat. Even treats. Schnauzers (especially 7+) are prone to pancreatitis and it can be life-threatening (as is the case with my Henry right now).

--If your schnauzer develops kidney problems, be sure to ask a lot of questions about any special diet your vet might want to use. K/D and others are good for kidneys (low protein) but BAD for the pancreas (high fat). I don't know what diet actually works, but Henry is in the hospital because of K/D, and the vets say that they see a lot of schnauzers have difficulty with the kidney diets.

--Try not to rely on information you find on google unless it proves to be a very reliable source AND it is about schnauzers specifically. These little guys have health problems all their own and what might work for some dogs doesn't necessarily work for schnauzers.

--This goes for all dogs: don't be afraid to be pushy if you feel there is a real problem and your vet (or vet tech) wants to wait it out. You know your dog best, so trust your instincts about what he/she needs.

I hope our experience can help another mini avoid the kind of catastrophic illness that Henry is going through right now. If you have more pieces of advice for schnauzer health, please post them so that we can keep our beloved schnauzers as healthy as possible for as long as possible.