Are you considering adding a Schnoodle to your family? Before bringing any dog into your care, it is important to know what health issues you may have to deal with in the future. So what health problems do Schnoodles have?
What Health Problems Do Schnoodles Have?
Schnoodles are generally very healthy dogs, which can be attributed to hybrid vigor. However, they may still suffer from some conditions that Poodles and Schnauzers are prone to. Schnoodles can be affected by epilepsy, hip dysplasia, hormonal issues, issues with weight management, and diabetes amongst others.
Let’s look at some issues that are more common amongst Schnoodles and which parent breed they may inherit it from. Hopefully, this will give you enough information that you are able to identify each condition early enough. In doing so, you may be able to provide the necessary treatment to prevent these conditions from becoming chronic, or unmanageable.
Common Health Issue Schnoodles Inherit from Poodles
1. Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This is not just one disease, but rather a collection. Anything that affects the cells in the eyes that pick up light can cause progressive retinal atrophy. Inherited from the Poodle, progressive retinal atrophy will cause blindness in your Schnoodle.
There is currently no cure for PRA. However, some treatments can slow the development of the disease. Because of this, early identification is very important.
Your Schnoodle may be suffering from PRA if you notice that it seems to be very wary and skittish at night. This is because your Schnoodle may struggle to see at night before it struggles in the daytime. You may also notice that the eyes of your Schnoodle suddenly become reflective at the right angle.
2. Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus
Gastric dilation-volvulus, also known as bloat, or gastric torsion, can be deadly. This is when the stomach of your Schnoodle fills with gas, which ultimately causes it to turn. This is usually only correctable with surgery.
There are a variety of things that can cause gastric torsion in your Schnoodle. Eating a very large meal or exercising too soon after a meal are just some of the reasons. Although this is mainly a problem in larger dogs, it is important to look out for signs in smaller Schnoodles too.
If you notice that your Schnoodle is in a large amount of distress, or they seem to be drooling excessively, they may be experiencing bloat. In some cases, the Schnoodle may seem like it is in a lot of pain too.
Prevention is the best way to deal with gastric dilation-volvulus. Make sure that you feed your Schnoodle two or three smaller meals throughout the day, rather than one big one. If your Schnoodle is particularly food driven, try a slow feeder like this one, and make sure any other food is out of reach.
When you exercise your Schnoodle, do so at least 30 minutes before feeding. It should be completely calm before a meal and should have stopped panting.
3. Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is more prevalent in Giant and Standard Schnoodles, but can also appear in the smaller variations.
This occurs when the ball and socket joints of the hip have been damaged and no longer fit as they should. There are a variety of reasons why this can occur, some of which includes a genetic propensity, and injury or repeated stress on the joint.
This is why it is important to stick to exercise restrictions when your Schnoodle is still growing. In my experience, it can be difficult to keep very active dogs like the Schnoodle from exercising too much and damaging their joints. If you are struggling, try to entertain your Schnoodle with mental games or puzzles like this one.
Symptoms of hip dysplasia can include difficulty moving, pain, and inflammation in the affected area.
Epilepsy, which is inherited from the Poodle gene pool, may not seem to be a deadly problem. There are plenty of humans and dogs who are able to live long lives with epilepsy, and the Schnoodle is no different.
However, if a fit is particularly severe, or several of them happen in quick succession, then it may result in brain damage and even death.
Identifying an epileptic fit in a dog is not always obvious. There are typical seizures, which include shaking and foaming at the mouth. But there are also instances where seizures may only consist of stiffening in the muscles and excessive drooling.
If you suspect that your Schnoodle has epilepsy, consult your vet. They will be able to prescribe the correct medication to minimize the frequency and severity of the seizures. There does not seem to be any permanent cure, but some dogs tend to grow out of it.
5. Sebaceous Adenitis (Addison’s Disease)
Sebaceous Adenitis occurs when the body of your Schnoodle does not produce enough of certain hormones. Or, it does not produce any at all.
There are two ways that a Schnoodle can develop Addison’s disease. The first is purely genetic. Your Schnoodle may be born with Adrenal glands that are too small or do not function properly.
The second is caused by damage to the adrenal glands later in life. This is the most common. It usually occurs due to certain medications or even a tumor.
Symptoms of Addison’s disease include increased thirst, weakness, loss of appetite, sudden lethargy, and much more.
If you notice any of these changes in your Schnoodle, consult your vet. You may be able to supplement the lacking hormone with medication. Although the damage to the adrenal gland cannot be reversed, your Schnoodle may still be able to live a happy, normal life with chronic care.
6. Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus, or just diabetes as we all know it, occurs when insulin production or insulin sensitivity is affected. Schnoodles are more susceptible to diabetes because of a genetic propensity to insulin production issues, rather than sensitivity issues.
This means that it may have nothing to do with the diet and exercise of the dog, but is purely genetic.
Treatment is rather simple but very inconvenient and expensive. Your Schnoodle will require daily insulin injections.
Although all Schnoodles are at risk, it seems that Schnoodles who have been bred with Miniature Schnauzers are more so than the others.
Symptoms include recurring infections, excessive thirst, and more. If left untreated, it can also lead to blindness, gangrene, and more.
7. Luxating Patellas
Luxating patellas, or kneecaps that easily dislocate for a moment, are something quite common in Schnauzers. It is only aggravated by the very energetic nature of the Schnoodle.
Symptoms of a luxating patella may include lameness, or a sudden expression of pain while running.
In most cases, treatment includes rest and anti-inflammatory medication to assist with any swelling and pain. However, in severe cases, surgery may be required.
Although this is not a life-threatening condition, you should watch out for it, to ensure that you do not damage the joint further, and so that you can help your Schnoodle heal as quickly as possible.
Schnoodles have a very big appetite. Unfortunately, that comes with an increased occurrence of obesity.
Schnoodles that are much heavier than they should be are at an increased risk for many other conditions. These include hip dysplasia and luxating patellas, as well as size-induced diabetes.
9. Mitral Valve Disease
Mitral valve disease occurs when the mitral valve in the heart leaks. This is not a big issue on its own, but it can lead to heart murmurs, which can lead to heart failure.
MVD seems to affect smaller Schnoodles more than it affects the larger varieties.
Symptoms may include coughing or low energy. In some cases, the Schnoodle may even faint if it is forced to do more than a gentle walk. This can be debilitating for these active dogs.
Mitral valve disease cannot be cured. Instead, some of the symptoms can be treated with diuretics. Schnoodles diagnosed with a leaky mitral valve live on average three to four years after diagnosis.
10. Kidney Stones
Kidney stones in Schnoodles often occur because there is something wrong with the acidity of the urine, allowing minerals to build up in the kidneys. Even if these are passed out of the kidneys, they may still grow in the bladder and cause more issues.
If you think your Schnoodle might be prone to kidney stones, consider changing their food to something that is low in minerals and proteins. This will prevent stone formation. If there are already small stones present, the change in food might also cause them to stop growing, and in some cases start dissolving.
If your Schnoodle has a very large stone that is causing damage to the kidneys and the bladder, they may urinate blood, be reluctant or unable to urinate, or may urinate in very small quantities but very frequently.
It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose kidney stones in puppies, but if you have any concerns, rather take your Schnoodle to the vet. The stones are sharp, and literally cut into the important tissues of the urinary system. They may cause permanent damage if left untreated.
In some cases, surgery may be the only option to remove the stones.
How Schnoodle Generations Affect Their Health
Schnoodle generations may affect their health. When two dogs of different breeds reproduce, hybrid vigor occurs. This is where the stronger, healthier characteristics of each breed are emphasized in the offspring.
Hybrid vigor diminishes the further you get away from the initial cross. So, the first-generation Schnoodles are generally healthier than the second or third.
Additionally, if a Poodle or Schnauzer is used for breeding with the Schnoodles later on, then there will be a higher percentage of Poodle or Schnauzer genetics present. This means that the Schnoodle puppies will be more prone to diseases that occur in one breed than in the other.