UK Miniature Schnauzer Clubs’ Mycobacterium Avium Complex Update July 2017

UK Miniature Schnauzer Clubs’ Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) testing recommendations




As a caring breeder/owner, you may already be aware of the Miniature Schnauzer Club (MSC), Northern Schnauzer Club (NSC) & Schnauzer Club of GB’s (SCGB) unequivocal recommendation, in relation to DNA testing for ‘MAC’, which mirrors that from Dr Urs Giger and the American Miniature Schnauzer Club (AMSC). Thankfully, many caring UK breeders have already begun testing their Minis and have sent copies of their results to Chris Ellingworth, the KC’s Miniature Schnauzer Breed Health Coordinator (BHC) for publication.


This collaborative approach has led to an agreement that:


TheMSC, NSC & SCGB recommend that PRIOR TO MATING, all Miniature Schnauzers should be DNA tested for MAC unless BOTH parents have been DNA tested and BOTH are ‘Normal/Clear’


The UK Clubs arranged a supply of 500 buccal cheek swabs (sufficient for 250 ‘tests’), so that our caring members can follow this important health guidance.


Swab kits are available from:


Chris Ellingworth, KC Breed Health Coordinator,

Tony McDermott, SCGB Health Rep,

Barry Day, Miniature Schnauzer Club Health Rep,


MAC is a significantly life-shortening condition for which there is no cure. The condition causes severe health problems for Miniature Schnauzers (and the consequent emotional issues for their owners) that end up – irrespective of how few – contracting this fatal condition. Additionally, affected dogs may present dangers to very young, or old people and those with compromised immune systems. This test is the very minimum all caring breeders should do.


To date, MAC does not appear to be a problem in the UK but there are two acknowledged ‘Carriers’ and other ‘known carrier lines’ in the UK. With more throughout the World, the UK Clubs agreed to follow the US advice and recommend this ‘best practice’ testing protocol that:


ALLUK breeders to test their breeding lines (both sexes) BEFORE mating unless BOTH parents have been DNA tested and BOTH are ‘Normal/Clear’


The availability of the DNA test is therefore really good news. All caring, responsible breeders / owners/ exhibitors can help eradicate this disease from the breed, within a generation, by following the Clubs’ clear and unambiguous guidance by having any dog or bitch DNA tested, prior to being used in a breeding programme. If both parents are tested ‘Normal/Clear’, then any pup will be ‘Normal/Clear’ & won’t require to be tested in the future. If just one of the parents is a ‘Carrier’, that pup must be tested BEFORE being bred from.


The DNA test (current cost US$75) is available from PennGen, University of Pennsylvania, USA and for further details and how to register go to This is a ‘One-Off test.


Once done, the results can appear on the UK Results list and the AMSC’s ‘World-wide MAC Results’ database. For all those wishing and agreeing to having their results on the UK list plus the AMSC world-wide list, please forward the original email received from PennGen with the report attached to your KC Breed Health Coordinator, Chris Ellingworth on:


Whether ‘Normal/clear’, ‘Carrier’ or ‘Affected’, our results will be of immense benefit to the Miniature Schnauzer community worldwide. The UK-wide list of MAC test results is now available on the Northern Schnauzer Club website on the following link:


You only need to do this test once in a lifetime for each breeding Miniature; it costs $75 (approx. £60). That’s not much more than just one annual eye test (for non-life threatening conditions!), which we all insist any breeder carries out annually (sire & dam) prior to mating.


The test is very simple to do with no Vet needed; just a simple cheek swab – PennGen guidelines are really easy to follow. Go to:


Then, ‘Create an account’ and then follow their instructions.


For those of you with queries, there’s a simple Q&A sheet also on our website. If you still have concerns, then please contact the Club’s Health Reps. details highlighted earlier.


Additionally, on receipt of the original KC registration certificate of the dog tested along with the test result, the KC will provide a new registration certificate with the DNA test result on, free of charge. The adding of the test result to the registration certificate, will trigger automatically on any new registration certificates for the dog / bitch used in a breeding programme AND on any future registration certificates for any progeny of the dog /bitch and if both parents are registered as DNA normal / clear, then the puppies registration certificates will indicate ‘hereditary clear’.


Secondly, to ensure that the dog/bitch’s health records are also up to date, please forward the original PennGen email with test report attached to the Health and Breeder Services on:


Both these services offered by the KC are very quick and responsive with results put up on MyKC very quickly.


Please support your breed by following this important health recommendation.


July 2017 / CME


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