Caring for a Toy-Sized Schnauzer

If you own a toy-sized dog, this is a MUST READ.
Your toy size Miniature Schnauzer is no different from any other toy breed ( Chihuahua, Yorkie, Pomeranian, Maltese, Poodle, etc.) It is subject to the same health risks. The toy size Miniature Schnauzer is relatively new to the veterinary practice. There are veterinarians that have never seen a one pound, 8 week old schnauzer puppy. These veterinarians may assume that they are a runt ( prone to health problems), or that a heart or liver condition exists and is responsible for the puppy’s small size. Though in some cases this could be true, in most cases it is not. Many years of breeding down the size of these schnauzers has produced many a tiny puppy. In fact, whole litters of tiny puppies have been produced with none of them being a runt.

Liver Shunt:
The liver’s job is to cleanse the blood of toxins. When a liver shunt occurs it prevents this job from being accomplished. The blood vessels responsible for feeding the liver have, in most cases, bypassed the liver. It has always been believed that this is a hereditary condition or a birth defect. New findings indicate that in some cases it can be brought on by stress. In any case, it can be diagnosed properly without surgery. A simple blood test can show an indication of a liver shunt. This test combined with a test done by fasting can give you a good idea of whether or not it does exist.

A large percent of toy size puppies experience a condition called, Hypoglycemia ( low blood sugar). Hypoglycemia is not genetic. Hypoglycemia is preventable, treatable, and correctable. When a puppy is small in size, some vets will jump to the conclusion that it is a liver shunt. In most cases this is not true. Symptoms of hypoglycemia is lethargy, or depression, trembling, gums are white, teeth are clenched, they may even act like a drunk, very unsteady on their feet, falling over, and in extreme cases, seizures. Should a seizure occur death could be eminent. You must immediately give your puppy sugar. Nutra Cal, or Nutra Stat on hand is excellent for this. Should you not have these, you can substitute Honey, Karo syrup, or corn syrup. Do not try to use artificial sweeteners. Do not let one meal go by uneaten or unnoticed. Your puppy needs to eat on the schedual the breeder gives you.. Until your puppy has adjusted well to it’s new surroundings, let the food soak up warm water to soften it and make it easier for the small pup to eat. Sometimes a flavorful enticement with canned food is a necessary thing. You may also use Nutri Cal as a supplement before feedings to keep up the blood sugar and entice him/her to eat.

It is very common for toy breeds to have retained baby teeth. These may cause plaque and bacteria to build up. This is a major cause of health problems in these tiny babies. You need to keep the baby teeth pulled as they become loose and be sure they are removed by the time they reach 8 months of age. Then keep your precious baby on a good teeth cleaning schedule. Brushing their teeth can certainly be of great benefit. Please practice good dental care.

I have also just found a Prescription diet food that I use as a treat twice a day for my adult dogs 6 mos and older. It is Science Diet T/D. You must purchase this from a veterinarian. Used as a treat 2x per day will help keep the plaque and gingivitis away.

Rope toys, hard plastic chew toys, nyla bones, budda bones, edible bones, all natural treats, just to name a few, are good things to give your little one. DO NOT, however give your puppy twisted rawhide chews. Rawhide can gum up and pieces that are swallowed are not digestible. You could face an expensive surgery to remove it.

I feed Pro Plan Focus Puppy chicken/rice purchased from Pets Mart, Pet Co or This food has small chunks and is perfect for your Toy Schnauzer. The Toy or Small Breed formula's have too small of chunks unless you have a Tcup puppy. If you cannot find this food you may use brand and mix with the food I provide with the puppy. Feed the mixture then go to the new food.

I have also added Kefir to their food once a day. Kefir is a probiotic that is like a drinkable yogurt but is much stronger than yogurt( it is good for you too). You can find it in the grocery store by the refrigerated coffee creamers. I only use the plain as dogs do not need added sugar in their diet. It is 1 tsp once a day for 20 lbs or less. My boxers get 1 TBL once a day.

Other Issues:
Another major risk is that of stepping on, kicking, or dropping your puppy, even when your puppy reaches adulthood. What may appear to be a minor blow to your puppy could be fatal. A bell fastened to the collar could help to prevent an accident by allowing you to know where your puppy is at all times. Make your entire family aware of the risks. Do not leave your pup unattended on the furniture or with your children. You must not allow your pup to get chilled or too hot. Extreme temperatures can be life threat ening and/or cause permanent damage.

Thank you for reading about these issues. I truly want you and your pup to have a long happy life together. You may contact me with your questions at any time.

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