Common Boxer Health Issues
Boxer dogs can be affected by a number of health issues, some are hereditary, some are not and some science does not (yet) know enough about to say if they are hereditary or not.
In the UK the only test regularly performed* by breeders (and it is not done by every breeder) on Boxers is heart scoring. In other countries Boxers are also subject to other health checks such as Hip Scoring, Eye Test & Thyroid Checks before they are bred from. In Germany testing for Spondylosis is a compulsory requirement.
If you are looking to buy a Boxer puppy then you should look for a breeder who performs Hips, Heart & Eye tests as a minimum. You may have to search a bit harder to find such a breeder, but there are some very conscientious breeders out there.
Below you will find a list of the conditions known to affect the Boxer. The following list of common health issues will be expanded on in the coming weeks.
If you suspect your dog may have one or more of these conditions, please seek veterinary advice.
- Allergies (a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system)
- Aortic Stenosis (narrowing of the aortic valve causing a partial obstruction of blood flow in the heart)
- Atopy (a hypersensitivity to pollens and other particles, causing intense itching and skin damage)
- Bloat/Torsion (stomach fills with air and may twist) A serious problem associated with deep chested breeds)
- Brachycephalic upper airway syndrome due to facial abnormality (short nose) (causes breathing difficulties, an inefficient cooling system, exercise intolerance)
- Cancer: Glioma (brain/spinal cord); Mast cell tumour; Lymphoma (cancer originating in the white blood cells)
- Cardiomyopathy (degeneration of the heart muscles)
- Colitis ( inflammatory bowel disease)
- Cruciate disease (rupture of cruciate ligaments in hind limbs)
- Deafness (associated with white coat colour)
- Degenerative myelopathy (spinal cord degeneration, causing weakness and eventual paralysis of hind limbs)
- Elbow dysplasia (malformation of the elbow joint causing pain and lameness)
- Epilepsy (tendency to have recurrent seizures)
- Epulis (tumours or tumour-like masses on an animal's gums)
- Eye Disease: Entropion/Ectropion (inverted or everted eye lashes causing irritation, pain and eye damage)
- Hip dysplasia (malformation of the hip joints causing pain and lameness)
- Hypothyroidism (the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone)
- Juvenile kidney disease (a devastating disease which attacks young dogs, and can lead to death)
- Lumbar sacral disc disease (the drying out of the spongy interior matrix of an intervertebral disc in the spine)
- Muzzle furunculosis (abscesses around the mouth)
- Osteochondrosis (degeneration of bone and cartilage in shoulder and other joints)
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas causing tenderness and pain)
- Panosteitis (painful bone inflammation)
- Pulmonic stenosis (narrowing of the pulmonary valve, causing exercise intolerance and risk of heart failure)
- Spondyolsis (where osteophytes grow on the ventral and lateral surfaces of the vertebral bodies)
von Willebrands disease type 11 (bleeding disorder)
* this information is based on data available on the Boxer breed council website as at 31 March 2012
all health issues
not just the ones shown opposite.