Giant Schnauzer Health

Giant Schnauzer Health


General Position

The Giant Schnauzer is a robust large sized breed that is generally considered to be healthy but to ensure that we maintain this position an Annual Health Report  is produced and forwarded to the Kennel Club.

Giant Schnauzer_BHCP_2020

Please check out the recommended Kennel Club `health tests within the BHCP and in addition, the following  DNA tests for prcd-PRA, PRA5 and DCM are also ‘recommended’ by the KC  for the breed.


GS Annual Health Report 2016

Health Testing - Giant Schnauzers

Health Testing – Giant Schnauzers

• When looking for a puppy, any caring and responsible breeder will be able to show you the KC / BVA Eye Scheme unaffected Eye Test Certificates for Hereditary Cataract (HC) of the mother and confirm that the sire too has an unaffected certificate (both should dated within the previous 12 months)

• You will also be given a copy of the Litter Screening Form to prove that the litter is unaffected by Multi Focal Retinal Dysplasia (MRD) when you purchase the puppy

• The BVA/KC/Eye Scheme for HC is a mandatory requirement for Kennel Club Assured Breeders. All other breeders are strongly advised to use these schemes, tests and/ or advice.

The BVA/KC Eye Scheme for MRD is a strongly recommended to be undertaken by all owners of breeding stock.

Breeders who are members of the Northern Schnauzer Club (NSC) have been following these recommendations for several years now as it is embedded within the Club’s Code of Ethics.

Eye Problems

HC and MRD can occur in the Giant Schnauzer. Every endeavour must be made to eradicate such problems from the breed and it is a strongly recommended that all Giant Schnauzers are eye-tested annually, by Vets registered to undertake such eye examinations, under British Veterinary Association/The Kennel Club (BVA/KC) Eye Scheme.

• When should we Eye Test?

Puppies can be eye-tested for MRD and usually takes place between 6 and 12 weeks. Again, all caring and responsible breeder will be able to show you the Litter Screening Form to prove that the litter has been checked for MRD

Identification of HC requires annual examinations as this condition develops later can only be diagnosed from about 6 months onward and sometimes even later than aged 2 years. Therefore all Giant Schnauzers should be eye-tested again by the age of 12 months and annually afterwards

• The Need to Eye Test regularly

It is important that a BVA/KC Panelist checks all Giant Schnauzers, especially breeding stock, annually, up to about 8 years of age. Ask your breeder or Vet, to give you more information and to tell you how to obtain the name of your closest Eye Panelist Vet.

• What should I do if my Dog has problems?

If your dog is diagnosed with any of these eye problems or any other, it is in the interest of all Giant Schnauzers, to advise The Giant Schnauzer Club (GSC), The Schnauzer Club of Great Britain (SCGB), The Northern Schnauzer Club (NSC) and the breeder.

• If my dog is diagnosed with MRD or HC, why should we tell anyone?

Things occur even in the most carefully planned breeding programmes; it is only through exchange of information that will we eventually eradicate these problems from our favourite breed. It is important to tell the owners of the sire and dam, because neither parent should be bred from again. Also, it is important to tell owners of the other puppies in the litter, because those should not be bred from.

• Why hasn’t a solution been found yet?

Because of the mode of inheritance, (described as ‘recessive’) it’s not possible to identify those that carry the gene. This can only be shown up by a test-mating programme, or by owners of affected dogs advising other owners, through the GSC, SCGB or NSC, so that alternative action can be taken for the future.

• What are the Breed Clubs doing?

The clubs involved with the Giant Schnauzer breed (GSC, SCGB and NSC), in conjunction with other Clubs, support the BVA/KC Eye-Testing Scheme, organise low-cost eye-testing sessions and are raising funds, through the Joint Miniature Schnauzer Eye Fund (JMSEF) and Giant Schnauzer Health to initiate these research programmes with the AHT. A current list of the 31 Eye Panelists and all their locations can be found on the BVA website (click on Canine Health Schemes, then click on Eye Scheme – this will also show the latest costs).

Schemes or advice relevant to this breed

The following schemes, tests and/ or advice are mandatory requirements for Kennel Club Assured Breeders. All other breeders are strongly advised to use these schemes, tests and/ or advice.

BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme

It is strongly recommended that both Kennel Club Assured Breeders and non-Kennel Club Assured Breeders should use the following schemes, tests and/ or advice.

BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme – Litter Screening

Hip Dysplasia

Hip scoring of Giant Schnauzers is now on the list of recommended health checks required of Accredited Breeders. Full details about the BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme can be found on the BVA website (

Additional Health Screening Available

Thyroid testing Thyroid Function & TgAA for Inherited Hypothyroidism – Available from your own vet

Elbow grading:  KC/BVA Elbow grading

Please visit the Giant Schnauzer Health Fund website more for information.