DEAR PAW’S CORNER:
I have a 4-year-old miniature Schnauzer named “Yonnie” who has little bumps like acne running up and down her spine. I was told they might be comedones, but was given no advice as to what to do. Another Mini owner I know told me the bumps are caused by improper grooming — trimming from tail to head instead of head to tail. Can you offer any advice? — Kent D., via e-mail
Comedones are basically little blackheads (just like the blackheads we humans get on our skin that can become pimples) that are common enough in miniature Schnauzers to sometimes be called “Schnauzer bumps.” The cause isn’t exactly known, but dogs with sensitive skin or allergies can develop these bumps, most often found on the back. If the bumps are not infected, direct treatment such as a topical medication is not necessary. But if Yonnie is bothered by them and scratches frequently, you might want to look into ways to reduce discomfort and itching and prevent the bumps from worsening. Regular grooming is very helpful in preventing bumps. I’m not sure that the direction in which the groomer trims the dog’s hair makes a difference. Bathing, not more than every two weeks to prevent dry skin, can help prevent more bumps from occurring. A diet low in allergens (like grain fillers present in many dog foods) and high in skin-friendly vitamins can be effective as well. If the bumps appear to be infected — larger than before, red, filled with pus — take Yonnie to the veterinarian for treatment. Unfortunately, bumps that already exist on a dog’s skin may never go away. Preventing more from appearing is the best course of action.
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