What is Comedo Syndrome?
In comedo syndrome, comedones, or blackheads, cover the dog's back. It is commonly known as Schnauzer Comedo Syndrome because of the frequent occurrence in Miniature Schnauzers.
How does my dog get Comedo Syndrome?
For some reason hair follicles become dilated and plugged with keratin and sebum. Because it is found predominantly in Miniature Schnauzers, the condition is believed to be hereditary.
How do I know if my dog has Comedo Syndrome?
Signs can vary from a few blackheads along the spine that go unnoticed unless the dog is clipped, to multiple raised bumps with plugged follicles, pimples and scabs all over the back. Some of these raised areas can be as large as an inch in diameter. Some patchy hair loss may be present, and in some cases the skin may be somewhat greasy or may develop secondary infections. Your veterinarian can diagnose the condition based on the breed of dog and appearance. Other conditions, such as infection, demodicosis, and dermatophytes should be ruled out by means of skin scraping and biopsy. Blood tests can rule out hormonal diseases such as hypothyroidism or Cushing's disease that can also cause comedones, especially in older dogs.
What can I do about Comedo Syndrome?
Treatment is similar to that for human blackheads: regular cleaning with veterinary prescribed benzoyl peroxide gel or shampoo. This will often control, but not cure, the condition. If secondary infection is present, your dog may need to take oral antibiotics for a few weeks. In severe cases that do not respond to these treatments, your veterinarian may prescribe retinoid therapy.
Is there anything I can do to prevent my dog from getting Comedo Syndrome?
Avoid breeding affected dogs, and avoid buying a puppy from a family with affected dogs.
Are there certain breeds that get Comedo Syndrome more often?
Miniature Schnauzers are the primary breed affected.