Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome in Dogs

Written By hannah hollinger
Published: 04/12/2017Updated: 09/23/2021
Veterinary reviewed by Michele K.
Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome?

Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome, also known as Schnauzer Bumps, is a skin disorder which affects Schnauzers. These bumps are wart-like in appearance or may look like pimples or blackheads. They typically flare up on the back of the dog, mainly down the spine. They are not contagious and are not harmful to the Schnauzer.

These bumps may vary in appearance from dog to dog; some may be pus-filled, some may have slight oozing fluid, and some may not have either.  Black-centered bumps may be apparent in certain cases, and in other cases they may crust over. The Schnauzer’s skin may also be scaly in addition to having the bumps.

The frequency and the severity of the bumps depend on each dog. For certain Schnauzers, the bumps may only appear sporadically or frequently and consistently. They do not harm the dog’s overall health, but can be slightly uncomfortable in some cases. Luckily, there are specific types of shampoos and topical solutions that can help minimize any discomfort. There is no cure for this condition, but it can be controlled with the help of a veterinarian.

Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome in dogs is a genetic condition in which miniature Schnauzers develop bumps on the skin, typically along the back. This condition is not a harmful condition and only affects the appearance of the skin.

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Symptoms of Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome in Dogs

Symptoms of Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome will vary from dog to dog, in both appearance and discomfort. Symptoms may include:

  • Black, crusty bumps on the back
  • Raised pimple-like or wart-like spots on the back
  • Hair loss
  • Skin thickening
  • Itchiness
  • Red and irritated patches of skin
  • Possible strong odor


There are several different skin conditions which can occur that may be confused with Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome or have similar characteristics. Differential diagnoses include:

  • Skin allergies
  • Food reactions
  • Flea dermatitis
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Ectoparasites

Causes of Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome in Dogs

Causes of these bumps are breed-specific. Causes may include:

  • Predisposition
  • Genetics
  • Blocked sebaceous glands

Diagnosis of Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome in Dogs

If your Schnauzer is showing signs of bumps along his back, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Once you arrive, the veterinarian will take a close look at your dog’s skin. He may then perform preliminary testing, such as blood work, urinalysis and biochemistry profile to check your dog’s overall health. Before he moves on, he may want to rule out any other health conditions.

He will ask questions pertaining to when you first noticed the bumps and the frequency of the flare ups. He may also want to know information about your dog’s environment, sleeping conditions (such as bedding type), and diet. He will also want to be sure your dog gets plenty of water throughout the day due to proper electrolyte content within your dog’s system. Dogs who do not have plenty of water can become dehydrated and can be at risk for scaly skin.

Typically, your veterinarian will be able to come to a diagnosis by visual observation and the knowledge of this condition. The veterinarian may clip a small area of his hair so he can take a closer look at the papules on his back. He may also scrape the skin to retrieve a sample in order for it to be tested. The biopsy will confirm this diagnosis if there is a plug blocking the follicle of the hair and the sebaceous gland. This plug may be filled with sebum and keratin and have a secretion. It will look like a very small cyst.

Treatment of Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome in Dogs

Once your miniature schnauzer is diagnosed with this condition, your veterinarian will outline several treatment options for your companion. Treatment methods may include:


If there is a secondary infection due to infected pustules on your dog’s skin, your veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic for 2 to 3 weeks. Your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate antibiotic for your companion.

Topical Medications or Agents

Consistent cleaning using antiseptics or cleaning pads can help dissolve and loosen the comedones. Other topical shampoos containing benzoyl peroxide and anti-seborrheic shampoos may also be used. It is important to use only the mildest of shampoos or topical ointments due to the fact that the follicles which are plugged may become inflamed by harsher substances. Your veterinarian may also suggest that you combine several of these topical substances.

Consistent Monitoring

Since there is no cure for this condition, consistent upkeep can help keep the bumps to a minimum. Consistent care and monitoring of your dog’s affected areas may help keep any flare ups from occurring. Your veterinarian may suggest keeping the hair very short in the affected areas and bathing your dog frequently.

Vitamin Supplements

Vitamin A supplements may help control your Schnauzer’s condition. You may want to ask your veterinarian if supplements of 600-800 IU/kg once a day can help. You should not give your dog vitamin supplements without your veterinarian’s consent.

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Recovery of Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome in Dogs

Fortunately, this condition is not harmful to your Schnauzer; it does cause his skin to lack a healthy appearance, but it can be controlled.

If your veterinarian has given you suggestions for maintaining the bumps and preventing flare ups, follow his advice. It is important to not give your dog any medications or holistic treatments without consulting with your veterinarian first. If you do choose to see if any holistic supplements will work for your dog, your veterinarian may be able to recommend some for you.

Your Schnauzer will live a long and happy life with this condition. If it is managed well by you, it will be devoid of any secondary infection or inflammation. It will be important to monitor the bumps and be sure they are cared for with the advice of your veterinarian.

Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals


Miniature Schnauzer



Eight Years


45 found this helpful


45 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Itchy/Flaky Skin, Scabs, White Spots
I have taken my schnauzer to the vet three times about his skin and they haven’t really looked into what could possibly be causing his skin problems. I finally came across Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome and I want to find out if that could be the issue. He’s been having skin issues since about January and a little hair loss.

Aug. 1, 2020

Answered by Dr. Sara O. DVM

45 Recommendations

Hello, SO sorry to hear that your dog is having skin issues. Many skin issues can be very frustrating to figure out and treat. Comadones are very similar to blackheads in people. Some dogs are allergic to things that are outside in their environment. Your vet can allergy test your dog to figure out what they are allergic to. Sometimes this is things in their food too. Trying medicated shampoos, Omega fatty acids or conditioners can help her skin. Good Luck.

Aug. 1, 2020

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Seven Years


10 found this helpful


10 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
My dog max has a bump on his chest area. We touch is the bump but it doesn’t seem to hurt him. Should we be worried?

July 25, 2020

Answered by Jessica N. DVM

10 Recommendations

Hello- There are many different possibilities for a skin growth. Approximately 80% of them are benign and approximately 20% of cutaneous growths are malignant. The percentages are a bit different if the mass is under the skin. It would be best to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian, and they can aspirate the mass and let you know if it needs to be surgically removed.

July 25, 2020

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