Despite its name, the Miniature Pinscher is not a tiny version of a Doberman Pinscher. It’s an unrelated breed entirely, it and more likely has Italian Greyhound and Dachshund in its origins. It is a lively dog, wary of strangers, and very independent. The Miniature Pinscher is subject to Legg-Perthes disease, often mistaken for hip dysplasia, as well as patellar luxation and mucopolysaccharidosis. The breed is a long lived one, with dogs living in the range of 12 to 14 years and often beyond.
Primary Health Conditions of the Miniature Pinscher
The Miniature Pinscher is prone to a hereditary disease called Legg-Perthes disease, which is at times misdiagnosed as hip dysplasia. The two conditions have similar symptoms – the dog may have difficulties walking, and may appear to have soreness in the hip and back legs. Legg-Perthes, however, has a different cause. In most cases a dearth of blood supply causes the femur head to stop developing; resultantly, the femur and hip socket don't fit together as they should. Surgery is the usual treatment. The Miniature Pinscher is also prone, like many dogs, to patellar luxation, in which the kneecap becomes loose and shifts. Surgery is sometimes used as treatment, although medicinal management is sometimes possible.
Secondary Health Conditions of the Miniature Pinscher
The Miniature Pinscher is one of a few breeds that are subject to canine mucopolysaccharidosis, an inherited inability to manufacture the enzymes essential to the building of bone, cartilage, and skin. Unlike most neurodegenerative diseases, mucopolysaccharidosis generally has an adult onset, with most dogs manifesting the disease when they are 3-5 years old. Dogs suffering from mucopolysaccharidosis can be abnormally small with flattened faces and skeletal abnormalities. There is no treatment for this condition, and dogs with the condition should not be bred. This breed is also predisposed to congenital heart defects, some of which may not present until later life. Sometimes heart issues may be corrected surgically, and sometimes the ailments are serious and incurable.
Miniature Pinscher Exercise and Walking Needs
The Miniature Pinscher needs a moderate amount of exercise that can be satisfied with a daily walk or two and some lively play. Much of this play can occur indoors, such as chasing and retrieving toys, although this dog will enjoy a chance to go into the yard for free runs. Because the Miniature Pinscher is a good jumper, a fence of sufficient height might be required to keep the dog from chasing other animals or heading off to explore. With its short coat, the breed does not do well in the cold, so owners should minimize outdoor exercise during the winter.
Miniature Pinscher Nutritional Needs
This breed of dog does not have any particular feeding needs, although, as with any dog, a high quality food with the correct mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, and nutrients will provide better health and longer life. At times, the Miniature Pinscher can have weight issues, and food portions should be tailored to the dog’s activity levels and age. A healthy weight will help manage the hip and knee conditions to which the breed is prone.