Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

The Giant Schnauzer is an example of working breed of dog and has a dense, coarse coat that protects them against the elements and vermin. The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three breeds.
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Budgie
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Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by Budgie »



My 8 year old Giant Schnauzer is full of character and I love him more than anything else in the world.

Sadly he recently had an eye removed due to glaucoma and he is very likely to lose the other one too at some stage. I was wondering if any other Giant Schnauzer owners have had the same experience.

The eye specialist vet said my Giant was the first he'd operated on, even though on doing tests on the removed eye (in a lab) and the good eye whilst under anesthesia, it is apparent that the glaucoma is a primary hereditary condition i.e it's a breeding flaw.

I informed ***********breeders where I got my dog, so they may inform other owners so that they can get their dogs checked and start treatment early to prolong the health of their dogs' eyes. I feel they have a moral obligation to do so. But instead, they asked me to not mention anything on their Facebook group, which I didn't but they have since closely monitored and sensored my posts, by removing pictures of my dog and blocking comments on the one remaining post.

As this is a hereditary flaw, I was wondering if there were anyone else out there going through the same agony with their dogs now or have done in the past, from any breeder.

Anyone who bought a Giant Schnauzer from ******** in the last 8 years, I implore you to have your dog's eyes tested for glaucoma. It's a simple and painless pressure test of the eyeball and could save you up to £5000 per eye and more importantly, prolong your dog's eyesight.

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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by zeta1454 »

I am really sorry to hear about your Giant Schnauzer and the distressing experience you have had with his breeders. Due to Forum rules I have removed the name of the breeder but your advice is important and anyone who wishes to know more details should contact you by private message or email.
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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by Oscar 12345 »

That's really sad, I do hope your Giant copes ok with losing his eyesight. Have you thought about talking to the Schnauzer Club GB, I remember Tony McDermott being a key figure on the health side. I would imagine they would be interested in your story as they co-ordinate the Schnauzer Health Surveys.
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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by zeta1454 »

I agree with Julie that it would definitely be worthwhile contacting all of the schnauzer breed clubs re this. The health co-ordinators of each should be given full details of your Giant schnauzer's condition and any further information re breeder / pedigree and vet assessment.

The Health Coordinator for the Giant Schnauzer Club is Lesley Parker and her contact details can be found on the UK Giant Schnauzer Club website:

http://www.giantschnauzerclub.co.uk/contact_us.php

There are more links re GS health issues on the website too:

http://www.giantschnauzerclub.co.uk/health_info.php

The Health Coordinator of the Northern Schnauzer Club is Christine Ellingworth who is also the Club Secretary and her contact details are on this link:

http://northernschnauzerclub.co.uk/our- ... committee/

More about GS Health on their website here:

http://northernschnauzerclub.co.uk/heal ... nt-health/

The SCGB contacts are here:

http://www.schnauzerclub.co.uk/about.php

I would also mention that, if the breeder is a member of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme, they are required to give support to anyone who has purchased a puppy from them throughout that dog's lifetime. As a mark of an ethical breeder it is also expected that they would, if a hereditary health issue has appeared in their breeding lines, publicise the relevant pedigree, inform the breed clubs and remove affected dogs from further breeding, and themselves contact the families who have had pups from those lines. If the breeder is actually a member of the ABS I would be inclined to inform the Kennel Club if you feel the breeder is not fulfilling these expectations. There is a link here to further information on the ABS and, at the foot of the page in the link, a Complaint Form.

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/breedi ... der-scheme
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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by Budgie »

Thank you all for your advice and guidance, and thank you for your sincere empathy. I really appreciate it.

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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by redalert »

I had a Boxer many years ago who sadly died a the age of 3 of Cardiomyopathy. It had been proven that our dogs father was related to 29 other reported cases of Cardiomyopathy. A Genetisist contacted me and asked for details etc and as we had another Boxer from the same line asked for a blood sample which our vet provided them with, we also lost this Boxer to Cardiomyopathy. However, I wrote to the Kennel Club and they basically poo poo'd my letter although I provided proof etc and the Genetisist wrote with evidence and the information provided "got lost". There was also a programme on the TV a few years ago about the Kennel club regarding the unhelpfulness of them and sure enough it came up about Boxers and 3 of the main kennels refused to take part in the survey etc. As sad as it is, I really don't think the Kennel club will be of any help unless they have improved greatly since my dealings with them.

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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by redalert »

Sorry this has appeared 3 times - when submitting it said page not available!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry

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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by zeta1454 »

redalert wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 08:35
Sorry this has appeared 3 times - when submitting it said page not available!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry
No worries I have deleted the extra 2 posts :)

Re the Kennel Club suggestion, I do know it is difficult to judge how helpful they will be until you approach them and it is depressing to read that they were of no support or help with your boxer years ago :(

My suggestion was only based though on whether or not the breeder in question was one of the Assured Breeders as the Kennel Club (certainly according to their website) do demand of the ABS members not only that they comply with certain health testing of their breeding dogs but do have to provide on-going support to puppy buyers through the lifetime of the dog and ensure that any hereditary health issues are properly addressed. If the breeder is found to be failing to meet required standards they can be removed from the scheme. I realise it is not much help to the individual dog and family even if the breeder is removed from the ABS but membership does give some benefits which would be lost by anyone removed from the scheme.
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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by redalert »

Hi Leigh, Please don't think I was having a pop at you for suggesting contacting the kennel club, I just found them to be very unhelpful and unsympathetic. The breeder in question was a very well known breeder in our area also a judge, and I contacted her when Murphy was originally diagnosed and she was very abusive to me, saying how dare I "bad mouth" her name, and several other breeders(a bit of a closed shop I think) who had used the same sire basically had a go at me, even at our vets a chap who I know was very very well known in our area (a local counsellor) he stood and argued with me that there was nothing wrong with the sire in question. Our vet heard the commotion and came out and confirmed what I was saying was true but he still wouldn't have it. As I say, hopefully the Kennel club has taken on board all the bad publicity and got there act together. Having had 3 Boxers, all with serious heart conditions, this is what put us off, as a family and I went to Standard Schnauzers, as their health is second to none luckily. Touch wood, all my girls have had is 1 Cruciate repair and both had Lepo, which can be caught by any dog.

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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by zeta1454 »

redalert wrote:
02 Sep 2019, 13:25
Hi Leigh, Please don't think I was having a pop at you for suggesting contacting the kennel club, I just found them to be very unhelpful and unsympathetic. The breeder in question was a very well known breeder in our area also a judge, and I contacted her when Murphy was originally diagnosed and she was very abusive to me, saying how dare I "bad mouth" her name, and several other breeders(a bit of a closed shop I think) who had used the same sire basically had a go at me, even at our vets a chap who I know was very very well known in our area (a local counsellor) he stood and argued with me that there was nothing wrong with the sire in question. Our vet heard the commotion and came out and confirmed what I was saying was true but he still wouldn't have it. As I say, hopefully the Kennel club has taken on board all the bad publicity and got there act together. Having had 3 Boxers, all with serious heart conditions, this is what put us off, as a family and I went to Standard Schnauzers, as their health is second to none luckily. Touch wood, all my girls have had is 1 Cruciate repair and both had Lepo, which can be caught by any dog.
Hi Sue - I didn't think you were getting at me :) Just explaining why I made the suggestion as I can believe that the Kennel Club in general is not as stringent re health etc. as I would hope.

I do find it so shortsighted and unethical as well when breeders are unwilling to recognise there may be a health issue in their lines. Anyone who is passionate about retaining the good health and longevity of a breed should be striving to do the best they can with their decisions over mating and it is almost inevitable that (until there are comprehensive DNA tests for common conditions in particular breeds) a serious health issue may suddenly arise despite careful planning. Genes for conditions that can be carried undetected and may never materialise in either parent but do occur in their offspring come to light in even the best breeding lines. There are good breeders who have done the right thing and it is heartbreaking for them too if they have tried to produce strong healthy puppies using the only health resources available to them only to discover it has failed and what seemed an excellent mating cannot be repeated.

What is so frustrating and upsetting to me is when a breeder fails to acknowledge that there is a health issue and does nothing to support the puppy families who are devastated at what has happened to their loved dog; when they don't publicise their pedigree; don't contact other families whose related dogs may also be affected and don't stop using those breeding lines. The closing of ranks by individuals within any breed over significant health issues is not uncommon sadly and I am so sorry for the OP on this thread and the suffering of his beautiful GS and for the experiences you had in the past with your boxers.
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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by redalert »

I totally agree with you. When we knew Murphy was in heart failure we were offered a lovely S & P mini who was looking for a good home as she had been diagnosed with an eye problem, unfortunately we wasn't able to take her because we didn't know how long Murphy would live and we didn't feel it was fair to him to introduce a new dog to the home, but the owner who is a local breeder did the correct thing, in the interest of others, she forgo her bitch to safeguard others. As you say it is such a shame that other breeders whatever the breed don't take this action, it would certainly save so many families so much heart break. Unfortunately a lot of breeders only see the £ signs and not the bigger picture. Murphy past in 2004 and I still miss him so much and I certainly wouldn't want anybody to suffer as we did, he was my sons 21st birthday present and losing him 3 years later almost caused us to lose our son as well. It was a very dark time for all of us.

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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by Budgie »

So, after almost 3 years of medical surgery to remove his left eye, medication consisting of 4 different drops four times a day in his right eye, well over £20,000 spent over the last 3 years, my boy has had his other eye removed at Rowe veterinary eye hospital in Bristol. The vets at Rowe did their very best for Alfie and I fully support them.

However, the operation to prolong the life of his remaining eye failed 2 weeks after the operation. So he's back at Rowe eye hospital to have his right eye removed and I'll be collecting him sometime this week. Obviously, his quality of life is dramaticall diminished and that saddens me. He loves running about in the fields, chasing after the kids, jumping into the sea, fetching his ball and dropping it in my lap to go outside to play. His life is going to be so different now. Our whole family are heartbroken and I have such a heavy heart right now. I wouldn't change Alfie for the world but if I had known, I wouldn't have paid a breeder to continue breeding if I knew I was supporting an unscrupulous business who are clearly only interested in making money and keeping a clear reputation. They refused to let other owners know of Alfie's glaucoma, so they could have them checked out, and they banned me from their facebook page too, in case I let others know about the glaucoma on there, which just rubbed salt in my wounds.

Forum rules prevent me from naming the breeders but, for the sake of future puppies and the families they will eventually go to, please do your research when looking for Giant Scnauzer puppies in the Morcambe area, to save you and your family from future heartache and help eradicate these breeding flaws in these innocent puppies.
Last edited by Budgie on 13 Sep 2021, 10:03, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Giant Schnauzer glaucoma. Anyone else experienced this?

Post by zeta1454 »

That is such sad news re Alfie and my heart goes out to you for the dedication and commitment you have made to give Alfie the best chance of a fulfilling and happy life. When breeders fail so dismally to fulfil the obligations you would expect from anyone who cares about the dogs they breed it does make it even harder to bear what your dog has had to endure. No reputable breeder would react in the manner you describe given the circumstances and the breeding dogs involved should be removed from their breeding programme.

It is difficult for you to do much more in respect of the breeder other than the suggestions above re informing the breed clubs whose health co-ordinators and responsible breeder members do have a genuine concern for breeding healthy dogs. There are some links here which I have put in for anyone else who considering getting a Giant Schnauzer to draw attention to the health issues in the breed and the health tests that should be carried out:

http://www.giantschnauzerhealth.org.uk/ ... screening/

http://www.giantschnauzerhealth.org.uk/ ... screening/

http://northernschnauzerclub.co.uk/heal ... nt-health/

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/search ... schnauzer/

With the Kennel Club link there is a section on health and health tests for GS

I am not sure whether there is a DNA test specifically for Glaucoma in Giant Schnauzers. As with the Miniature Schnauzers, some of the eye conditions can only be identified by annual eye screening and the efforts of ethical breeders to remove any dogs with eye issues (or producing puppies with eye issues) from their breeding line.

I am sure that your vets will have given you help and advice re Alfie’s blindness but there are a couple of links here which may add to that:

https://www.sagecenters.com/veterinaryv ... ppy-lives/

https://moderndogmagazine.com/articles/ ... dapt/89248

It really is amazing how dogs adapt to all kinds of trauma and with help can continue to live a happy life even if it is a different one from that which they previously enjoyed. In the past, we had to rehabilitate a 9 year old miniature schnauzer who suffered total paralysis (cause never diagnosed) from a neurological issue and who was recommended to be PTS as there was no treatment. It was heartbreaking to see what had happened to our lively loving little dog but with time and patience on our part and hers, she did learn to stand and walk again (if in a somewhat drunken fashion) and I know she enjoyed life still but just at a different pace. Although it is so sad to know that Alfie has been deprived of the fun-filled life he has had with you and your family up until now, try to look out new ways to join in games with him and different types of game that use his keen sense of smell rather than sight. It isn’t easy to put aside the memories and the sense of unfairness in regard to the callous breeder but I am sure you will find ways to enjoy life with Alfie still and it would be really appreciated if you would share on the Forum how things go with him in the coming months as he adapts to his different life.
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