Like most dogs, Boxers have a very powerful immune system. They can easily get rid of minor illnesses, as well as protect themselves from basic diseases. However, like all living things, Boxer are susceptible to certain diseases. By knowing what these are, and how they are caused, you can help to prevent many common Boxer dog health problems.
Spotting Basic Boxer Dog Health Problems
To know if your Boxer has developed one of the health issues listed below, it’s best to pay attention to their behavior over a period of time. It’s possible for them to have symptoms of certain diseases simply because they are tired, irritable, or hungry. However, if the same issue happens repeatedly, it’s important to pay closer attention and try to develop a pattern. For example, your Boxer may be panting especially hard one day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a breathing problem. However, if you notice they are constantly panting even after a small amount of exercise, you will know there is a health problem.
Boxer Cardiomyopathy is a name of a cardiac disease which can be caused in Boxers. This causes irregular heartbeat, breathlessness and the dog may cough. The dog might cough very often or pant during a walk or a run. This disease can also be fatal depending on the situation. In this condition an owner should avoid taking its dog for a walk or a run and should get an immediate checkup done.
Hip Dysplasia is an inherited disease (from parents to their offspring) in Boxers. Sometimes, it can be caused from joint problems or a lack of strong bones. However, it is primarily presents itself in the off springs of loose-hipped boxers that already has this disease.
If a Boxer has this disease, it is caused by a damaged ball and socket joint that makes up the hip. The articulation at that joint is abnormal due to the Hip dysplasia that causes pain due to which the dog has to face a lot of difficulty in getting up. If you notice your Boxer limps on one side of their back legs, they may have hip dysplasia. This disease can treated by some effective medication or sometimes surgery.
Bloat is a health problem in Boxers caused by overconsumption or unhealthy diet resulting in gastric dilation. Essentially, this means that they are unable to effectively process gas. With this health problem, a Boxer faces a lack of blood supply which may results in spontaneous death. At times the Boxer’s condition can worsen to an extent where its vet might suggest passing a tube through its mouth or go further with surgery.
Symptoms of bloat include an extended stomach, a constant upset stomach, or an inability to go #2. If your Boxer is starting to experience bloat, do not panic. Most of the time this issue will only cause minor irritation to your Boxer, and can be easily fixed with a healthy Boxer dog food.
Hypothyroidism is a health problem in which Boxers have to face deficiency of T4 and T3 hormones by thyroid gland. This condition typically causes cold intolerance, excessive weight gain, and hair loss. This disease is treated by medical treatment and the help of hormone therapy that can compensate the deficiency of that hormone. This disease is mainly found in 4-8 year old Boxers.
The clear symptoms of this disease are weight gain, a loss or thinning of the fur, and laziness in your Boxer.Hypothyroidism will affect your Boxer’s quality of life. Fortunately, this disease can be easily treated. With medications and care, your Boxer can return back to its normal life.
Boxer Dog Cancer
Cancer is a dangerous disease which mostly causes death of the Boxers of old ages. Boxers, unfortunately, are more prone to it than other breeds. There are various symptoms of cancer such as excessive amount of panting, breathlessness, difficulty eating, sudden weight gain or obesity, blood mucosa in stool or bleeding from the mouth or nose. If these symptoms are visible, the owner should visit the vet as soon as possible.
Your Boxer Dog & Cancer
Once diagnosed with cancer, a dog is expected to live on an average from 2-12 months depending on the chemotherapy. As mentioned earlier, Boxers are more prone to certain types of cancer than other breeds. Because of this, it is important to work with your breeder to find out if cancer runs in the family.
Unfortunately, cancer does not have one singular cause. So, the best way to prevent this health problem in your Boxer is to simply take care of their overall health. This means making sure they get regular exercise, are eating a healthy and balanced diet, and that their grooming and bathing needs are taken care of.
Specific Types of Cancer Boxers Are Prone To
While Boxer dogs can develop almost all forms of cancer, two types are the most likely. As mentioned earlier, it is vital to know if your Boxer’s bloodline puts them at greater risk for these cancers. As you probably know, early detection is vital when dealing with cancer.
Hemangiosarcoma is a type of cancer which mostly cannot be treated. It is impossible to detect it early. Most of the Boxers die before the treatment starts. If hemangiosarcoma is detected, most Boxers cannot survive more than 5-6 months. In most cases, the spleen damages first. Tumors likely start in the spleen then proceeds to different body organs like heart, liver, kidney and some other vital organs. If by chance the tumor is detected in early conditions, then it can be treated by removal of tumor through surgery or chemotherapy.
Lymphosarcoma is another type of cancer in Boxers. In this type of cancer the Lymphocytes (type of white blood cells) produce in the body will be abnormal. Because of this, early detection is very easy in cases of lymphosarcoma. In addition, this type of cancer can easily treated by chemotherapy of Boxer and this treatment for lymphosarcoma has very high recovery rate.
Seborrhea is a disease in which the skin of the Boxers becomes oily and flaky. It can also cause itching. Generally, this is a disease that comes from either bathing your Boxer too much or too little, both of which are damaging to their skin. Keeping up with your Boxer’s cleanliness is vital to preventing this disease. If your Boxer does develop Seborrhea, however, it can easily be cured by using a special type of shampoo. Your vet should be able to provide this shampoo for you and your Boxer.
Degenerative Myelopathy is a disease which occurs in the spinal cord and it is incurable. Generally, your Boxer will not feel pain from this health problem. However, is still a very severe disease which causes weakness in the legs and can even lead to paralysis. Some symptoms of this disease are difficulty in walking and jumping, a loss of muscle mass, or an inability to walk on their back legs.
There is no proper medicine for this disease. However, keeping your Boxer’s joints healthy is a good way to prevent this issue. Make sure that your Boxer’s dog food contains the recommended amounts of calcium and phosphorous in order to help them build strong bones and joints.
Allergies in Boxers
Boxers are also faced with several allergies, mainly skin allergies. These allergies can be caused by different things like detergents, dust, certain smells, smoke and some other unfavorable environmental conditions. These allergies can also come from food, especially if your Boxer’s food contains a lot of grains.
If you notice your Boxer is developing allergies, it can be difficult to know exactly what is causing them. However, here are some general rules regarding allergies:
- A regularly upset stomach is typically caused by a grain allergy.
- Skin allergies can come from detergents, dyes, or shampoos interacting with your Boxer’s skin
- Runny nose or wet eyes are usually the result of some sort of smell or excess dust or smoke in your home
Because allergies can be caused by a wide variety of issues, solving them is not always easy. However, our friends over at Dogallergycure have a fantastic guide if you need addition information.
Acne is a common problem for the Boxers. Pimples will generally form if your Boxer’s coat is trapping in too much dirt or sweat, both of which can be prevented by regular bathing and fur trimmings. While pimples on their own are not a big deal for your Boxer, they can easily become infected if your Boxer scratches or bites at them. For treatment, a gel that contains benzoyl peroxide is recommended to cure your Boxer’s acne.
Ear infections are another common health problem for the Boxers. It is caused by various types of bacteria and yeast that can build up in the ears. There are some symptoms such as head shaking or rubbing of ears, as well as redness or soreness of the ears. As with acne, the best way to prevent ear infections is to make sure your Boxers ears are cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria from building up.
Preventing Boxer Dog Health Problems
All the above health problems can damage your Boxer’s health, as well as their overall happiness. As an owner, you must be aware of these health issues so that you can spot symptoms from the moment they start. An owner should study and read about these diseases and infections to prevent a heartbreaking situation in the years to come after. It is a great responsibility to own a dog, especially a Boxer which is at a higher risk of developing health problems than other breeds. Now, let’s talk about some ways that owners can prevent these health problems in their Boxers.
- Taking Care Of Your Boxer’s Ears
There are several ways to take care of a dog’s ears. It is the responsibility of the owner to check the ears of its dog on daily basis. When checking your Boxer’s ears, keep an eye out for redness, sores, or the buildup of ear wax. If something looks out of the ordinary, it is a good idea to look deeper into the issue.
- Regularly Walk & Exercise Your Boxer
Boxers, more so than other dog breeds, need exercise in order to stay healthy. Not only does exercise help them breakdown food (And get vital nutrients), it also helps to keep their bones and muscles strong enough to last their lifetime. Regular exercise is the best way to prevent many of the joint and bone problems mentioned above.
- Provide a High Quality Dog Food For Your Boxer
Arguably the most important step in taking care of your Boxer’s health is to make sure that they have a high-quality dog food. As I’m sure we all know, you are what you eat, and your Boxer dog is no exception! Low-quality dog food has been linked to a number of diseases, especially to certain kinds of cancers. In addition, bad dog food can also cause stomach issues. In order for your Boxer’s body to function normally, they need a variety of nutrients.
- Protect Your Boxer from Hot Temperatures
In summer season, the owner must take care of its Boxer and make sure that the ground where the Boxer will stands should not be too hot which might burn their pads and cause damage. When walking or running, owners should set the time early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature is not at the peak or the weather is moderate and is suitable for a walk.
- Taking Care of your Boxer’s Coat.
Taking care of the coat is also necessary. You should bath your Boxer at least once a week and should brush their coats daily. During the bath, you should use special shampoos that can provide nourishment and moisture to the body. Taking care of the coat in such a way that it won’t be dry or rough will help your Boxer greatly.
How To Deal With Your Boxer Health Problems
At the end of the day, there is no way to prevent all boxer dog health problems that may develop in your Boxers lifetime. However, you can put your Boxer at lower risk for developing these problems by simply caring for their overall health. Remember, Boxers are a dog breed that need plenty of exercise and a high quality, high protein dog food. In addition, you must keep up with their grooming and bathing needs to help prevent these issues.