Giant Schnauzer


The National Institute of Health has confirmed the identification and location of the gene mutation responsible for SCC in dogs’ toes. They are preparing a paper for publication. It will not be long before a test is available to identify carriers of this genetic defect and that should remove the carriers from breeding programs. Oh happy days! (Feb 06, 2013)


Number 3 toe of Lili’s left front paw (right image above) with relatively early stage of Squamous Cell Carcinoma SCC. You can see the deterioration of bone (lysis) in the distal phalanx and swelling, compared to the good foot, all hidden under her hair. I caught it early, from her licking, and had the entire toe up to the metacarpal joint removed promptly so she survived another four years, longer than most, enjoying many activities as shown here.

This disease is frequently erroneously diagnosed as a bacterial infection or allergy. The resulting delay in proper treatment is dangerous, often with fatal consequences.

A few years later Lili had a cancerous lump removed from the elbow region on that leg. A few years after that it appeared in the foreleg itself. She would lick it profusely at night when she thought I was not watching. She was then eleven and a half years old and would not have been happy with yet another procedure — taking the leg. It never got into her lungs though. She was on effective pain medication (Tramadol generic from Walmart, very low price.) for the last year or so but then it got worse.

If you have a large black dog, especially GS, Poodle, or Lab, pay close attention to any swelling or licking of the toes as the possible first symptom of SCC, particularly if as with Lili it also afflicted the parents or siblings and half siblings of your dog. Your Vet should ease up a bit on the radiograph exposure so that soft tissue can be seen as well, as shown here. A proper biopsy is as traumatic as amputation so save the biopsy for after amputation. Take the entire toe; you want best margins possible.

This was a "weight-bearing" toe for Lili, especially so on a front foot, but she did very well after recovering from the surgery as you can tell from her active lifestyle. I do miss her still. (Skansen’s xxxxxx, daughter of U.P.S., grandaughter of Lucas.)

These X-rays are easier to view than the graphic advanced stages of the disease, seen via a Google Images search for " canine toe cancer. " Early intervention via proper diagnosis is the best approach! Do your large black dogs a big favor. Other dogs have lost multiple toes and/or a leg. Palpate their toes thoroughly every few weeks looking for tenderness or swelling. They will get used to and like the massage…

For post-surgery paw print, see…

Mouse over the image above to see degree of amputation.

For valuable information on inherited canine cancer, see these links: (US Government NIH, making notable progress)… (Carnegie Mellon University. This is a highly technical article; jump to the Discussion at the end.) (American Kennel Club)

As suggested by all the above scientific research, you would do well to do your own in-depth research before getting a new puppy of one of the vulnerable-to-toe-cancer breeds including:

Giant Schnauzer, Gordon Setter, Kerry Blue Terrier, Standard Poodle, Dachshund, Scottish Terrier, Rottweiler, and Labrador Retriever. (Black dogs seem especially vulnerable.)

Toe cancer doesn’t sound all that threatening but it is just the first stage of the process.

Lots of specific information is found in the various breed user groups and forums. Do a Google search as well. You should find out the detailed health history of the parents, grandparents, siblings, half siblings, and cousins of your prospective pup. Don’t take no for an answer.


I was recently offered a "pick of the litter" GS puppy to fill the void left by the departure of dear Lili. On investigation these facts were uncovered:

1) Lili’s Sire, a known producer of toe cancer, appeared once in the pup’s pedigree.
2) Lili’s maternal grandfather, another known producer of toe cancer, appeared FIFTEEN times in the pup’s pedigree. (Yes, in 15 different places!)
3) TWO other known producers of toe cancer also appeared FIFTEEN times EACH in the prospective pup’s pedigree. At least one other producer appeared at least once once.
4) The Sire and Dam were half siblings.
5) I rejected the puppy based on my own application of common sense and strong urging of experts in canine genetics.

NB for Giant Schnauzer owners! There is a wonderful new database online of pedigrees where you can trace dogs back through many generations to 100 years ago and find if suspected carriers of the SCC toe cancer gene mutation are in the line you wish to investigate.

I hope this has been useful to you. Am interested in hearing from other owners of dogs with SCC. Have learned of dozens of cases to date, many far worse than Lili’s with multiple toes and legs involved.

Useful information from Vet Specialist (no connection) on SCC:
Closing comment: Fully 99% of the viewers of this page arrive here via a search using Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. and are not Flickr members so cannot comment or contact me. I have no connection with Flickr, but if you did wish to join for purposes of private/anonymous communication it is a simple process. Others have done this to our mutual benefit but more importantly for the benefit of the wonderful Giant Schnauzer breed. You should know how to diagnose SCC at an early stage and act promptly. Most Vets are not familiar with the affliction.
Good information from Giant Schnauzer Club of America; pay attention to #2 and #1:

You can email me directly at: [email protected]
.Please scroll down to read some informative comments!
Schnauzer géant Schnauzer gigante Ризеншнауцер Suursnautseri suuršnautser Велики шнауцер שנאוצר ענק Schnauzer Gegant विशालकाय Schnauzer Schnauzer xigante sznaucer olbrzym ׃riבs schnauzer veliki navcer נ³חוםרםאףצונ Schnauzer ֲׁ¡ֹל Riesenschnauzer big large giant black dog x-ray xray image radiograph phalanx phalanges toe paw foot feet skansen skansens Skansen’s toe cancer scc subungual squamous cell carcinoma lose loss inflamed sore weight bearing toe diagnostic veterinary veterinarian amputation amputate surgery symptom lump swelling discharge sign test cancer research reuse reuze tumor neoplasm search photo photograph picture gene genetics mutant mutation NIH Ostrander breed breeder denial oncology image photograph photo picture study malignant genetic mistake disease ジャイアント·シュナウザー 巨型雪纳瑞 거인은 허접 lysis deterioration bone nail nailbed osteolysis manus dorsopalmar distal phalanx soft tissue mass metacarpal joint digit digital health test testing problem issue diet inherited epithelium tumor nail große schwarze Hund Pfote Fuß Zeh Krebs grande pie negro pata de perro dedo cáncer большая черная собака лапу палец ноги рака stor svart hund foten tass tå Iso musta koira jalka tassu toe syöpä wielki czarny pies stopa łapa rak Velký černý pes nohou tlapka prst rakoviny chien noir orteil patte grande cão preto pé pés câncer pata 大黑狗足爪趾癌症 grote zwarte hond voet poot teen kanker symptom sign toenail inflammation pedigree search nail bed infect infection toe paw foot squamous cell carcinoma disease swollen licking prevention diagnosis chien hund perro removal remove Canine Dog Toe Cancer SCC X-Ray Giant Schnauzer Squamous Cell Carcinoma one two three four Lily Lilly Lilli Lyyli neoplasia neoplastic histopathologic evaluation prognosis veterinary diagnostic laboratories clinics outcome diagnosis inflammatory lesions malignant tumor metastatic disease melanoma soft-tissue sarcoma mast cell tumor pathologist pathology Disease-free interval Osteosarcoma OSC clinical SCC melanoma soft-tissue sarcomas mast cell tumors presentation histopathologic diagnosis breed predilection for large breed black-coated dogs Giant Schnauzers Rottweilers Flat Coated Retrievers standard Poodles metastatic euthanize skin dermatology Munchener bony three third x-ray radiograph giantschnauzer Lilli Lily Lilly Lyyli cães cão black negro schwarz noir svart zwart черный czarny 黒 černý néger musta cancro syöpä kræft рак 癌 rakovina rák 癌症 vēzis vėžys vähk câncer rak kanser kanker cáncer Subungual nailbed epithelium Metastasis neoplastic squamous epithelium Limping reluctance to walk ulcer nodule papule lymph nodes biopsy one two three four five six 1 2 3 4 5 6 month year old treatment Skansen Skansen’s munchener muenchener munchner muenchner schnautzer Lili Liliput giantschnauzer snaucer snauzer shnauzer

Posted by Giant_Schnauzer on 2012-02-22 11:00:00

Tagged: , giant , toe , cancer , squamous , cell , carcinoma , x-ray , canine , gene , genetic , riesenschnauzer , gigante , schnauzer , giant schnauzer , scc , dog