PETS Magazine: Ask the experts column, by Desmond Chan (Schnauzer Bumps)
Q: My Miniature Schnauzer has severe Schnauzer bumps, so when I send him for grooming, he often returns with bloody spots on his skin where the shears nick his scabs. How can I prevent this from happening, and also reduce the bumps on his skin?
A: Schnauzer bumps are clogged hair follicles usually on the back of the Schnauzer. These follicles are clogged up with keratin and sebum which don't usually pose an issue to the dog unless infected or inflamed. When it gets infected the bumps are swollen and itchy, sometimes even painful.
For a bad bout of schnauzer bumps on your dog's skin, remember to inform your groomer in advance about the situation so they can take preventive measures by avoiding trimming too close to the skin and taking extra care in shampoo selection; leaving a slight length of fur behind instead of shaving down would avoid nicking and aggravating the bumps, and a right, gentle shampoo may help regulate the skin as well.
Here are some ways you can consider to better manage Schnauzer bumps:
1) Upkeep your dog's cleanliness through regular grooming. Showering once a week coupling with professional grooming done once a month is recommended to keep your dog's skin in check. It helps to regulate any excess sebum production that leads to clogged hair follicles, and good cleanliness means a lower risk of bacteria infection as well. When showering your pet, avoid scraping your nails against the skin. This may aggravate the bumps. Remember to always dry your pet thoroughly too.
2) Avoid combs or brushes with sharp pin heads. Such combs stimulate the skin and may cause irritation especially for pet's with skin issues.
3) Take extra care in shampoo selection. You would want something gentle, made with natural ingredients and does not contain any harsh chemicals. Consider shampoos containing neem (a medicinal healing herb) which can help to soothe and and regulate the skin.
As always, the underlying cause to your dog's skin issues has to be identified in order to find an effective treatment. Be sure to seek a veterinarian's advice.
Addressing skin issues can be a long process, do work with your veterinarian and groomer to keep track of the progress.