Giant Schnauzer Health Information

Up to date health information and the latest health news can be found on the Giant Schnauzer Health Fund website by visiting the following links:

Required Health Screening

Eye Testing - Hereditary Cataracts
Giant Schnauzers are currently listed on Schedule A of the KC/BVA/ISDS Eye Scheme for Hereditary Cataracts. All breeding stock should be eye tested annually before breeding takes place. The sire and dam should hold a current, clear eye certificate to ensure they are clinically unaffected at the time of mating. Additionally, since the age of onset can occur later in life, it is advisable to continue eye testing into old age... See more

Find a BVA Eye Panelist

Recommended Health Screening

Hip Scoring
Hip scoring can be done from the age of 12 months and is currently recommended for Giant Schnauzers prior to breeding to check for any signs of hip dysplasia... See more
Litter Screening
It is recommended that puppies' eyes are tested for Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia (MRD) between 5 to 12 weeks of age before leaving the breeder... See more

Kennel Club Recognised DNA Tests

PRA is a disease that causes the retina of the eye to degenerate slowly over time, the result is declining vision and eventual blindness. Progressive rod-cone degeneration (prcd) is just one type of PRA that has been found in the Giant Schnauzer. A DNA test for this type of PRA only is available via: Paw Print Genetics, Optigen & Laboklin
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)
This type of DCM is a serious and often fatal heart condition diagnosed in young Giant Schnauzers, which causes swelling of the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). The heart's ability to pump blood is reduced and can no longer beat effectively. The DNA tes can be ordered via

Breeding from a DNA Tested Dog

Additional Health Screening Available

Elbow Grading
An elbow grade is a measure of any evidence of elbow dysplasia (abnormal development). Both elbows are graded between 0-3, but only the higher grade is used as an overall elbow grade for the dog. Any breed may be screened under the scheme, however the Giant Schnauzer is not currently listed with the Kennel Club as one of the breeds having a higher incidence of elbow dysplasia, although cases have occured within the breed. Elbow grades are recorded officially by the BVA.
Thyroid Testing
Breed health surveys have reported cases of Giant Schnauzers with low thyroid levels that lead to symptoms of hypothyroidism. The function of the thyroid can be tested with a simple blood test via a vet. Total T4 and Free T4 give an indication of circulating thyroxine levels, and along with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), can determine if a dog has hypothyroidism. An additional test for thyroglobulin autoantibody (TgAA) can determine if a dog has or may develop auto-immune thyroiditis which is thought to be the inherited form of hypothyroidism. Raised TSH and/or TgAA may be present months or years before symptoms develop, and can indicate an imminent problem.

Latest Health News

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) DNA Test now an official KC DNA test

Kennel Club Health Strategy
Latest health strategy infographic

Breeding From a DNA Tested Dog
DCM & prcd-PRA

Genetic Diversity
UC Davis genetic diversity research

Give A Dog A Genome
Latest update about the GDG project



Contact the Breed Health Co-ordinator:
Lesley Parker