Auscultation - examining with a stethoscope.
This is an essential part of examining the animals heart and circulation.
Any heart murmurs are identified, timed, localized and graded
(0-6 no half measures!) A careful note of the heart rhythm is also made.
Heart murmurs are a feature of most congenital heart defects CHD and
mitral valve disease. Some common forms of congenital
heart disease include aortic Stenosis (AS), patent ductus arteriousus
(PDA), and pulmonic Stenosis (PS). Abnormal heart rhythms
may occur without murmurs in dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).
It may be difficult for a cardiologist to detect a quiet murmur in a
noisy room or in a dog which fidgets. Some murmurs can increase
or alter at different heart rates like after exercise or excitement.
If a significant murmur is detected the cardiologist may advise the
condition be further investigated. Although all veterinary surgeons
will listen to your dogs heart, breed club schemes use veterinary
cardiologists, vets who have received training, and have passed post-graduate
exams and is able to grade heart murmurs in a way which is
consistent with other cardiologists.
This is always indicated when or if an abnormal heart rhythm is detected.
It is most often used to screen for DCM (dilated Cardiomyopathy) though
it is less sensitive at detecting CDH or MVD.
Echocardiogram (with doppler)
Two dimensional echocardiography allows visualization of a 'slice'
through the heart in real time. It allows measurements to be taken and
compared with normal values for the breed or size of the dog. Severe
CHD, MVD, or DCM are usually evident using these techniques.
How ever, Doppler is also required to confirm the diagnosis of the specific
type of CHD, and to identify mildly affected animals. It will confirm whether
or not there is a significant cause of the heart murmur, or whether it is
'innocent'. In some cases, it is difficult to be certain whether
the dog has mild disease or an innocent murmur.
Doppler will allow the cardiologist to give a prognosis about the severity
of any disease. Veterinary cardiologists normally carry our Doppler
examinations, as this is a very skilled technique which requires
considerable expertise and experience.
You will read and hear much about heart
testing Boxers, the heart testing
scheme has been in use for about thirteen years now, we have always tested our
breeding stock and adhered to breed council guidelines.
However there can be confusion regarding the testing of Boxers so, to
clarify things a little:
The current heart scoring system DOES NOT make allowances for half
marks in heart scoring. You will not see a dog or bitch graded on the
heart list as a 1.5, or 0.5, they are either 0,1, 2,etc. For example,
if there is a shred of doubt when scoring a dog, then a one MUST be
graded as a two, unless the animal is dopplered
(a type of ultra sound scan carried out by a veterinary cardiologist)
in this instance a more accurate figure can be given.
Simplistically, the specific recommendations for breeding are:
All breeding stock should be screened by designated cardiologist.
Those animals which are free of heart murmurs (grade 0) may be
considered free of aortic and pulmonic Stenosis, and are suitable for
breeding purposes. Those animals which have a minor murmur
(grade 1) may be accepted as normal and are suitable for breeding purposes.
Bitches who are scored over a 1, therefore as a grade two, are
considered acceptable as brood bitches providing they are mated to a clear dog,
either a 0 or a 1. Dogs with murmurs of a grade two or louder,
should not be used as stud dogs, except in exceptional circumstances,
then only to a clear bitch.
One of the reasons for this is because a bitch is only able to have a
limited number of puppies in her lifetime, where a dog is potentially
able to sire thousands of puppies. Therefore this is self-limiting.
Genetics is not an exact science (if only it were that simple), we all
know of a 0 being mated to a 0, yet some of the pups may be graded as 2’s,
but, the heart testing scheme is beginning to reduce the problems of heart
disease among our dogs, and by following breed guidelines we as breeders
are now beginning to see the rewards of heart testing our breeding stock
before they are bred from.
Ref: Boxer Breed Council.
In the Boxer, a problem known as first degree heart block, a potentially serious arrythmia of the heart, has been shown to be caused by Acepromazine. In addition, Acepromazine also causes a severe lowering of blood pressure in many Boxers.
adverse reactions from this tranquilizer include: collapse, respiratory
arrest, and a slow heart rate (less than 60 beats per minute) — This
was published on the Veterinary Information Network, entitled
"Acepromazine and Boxers". The announcements suggested that
Acepromazine should not be used in dogs of the Boxer breed because of a
breed-related sensitivity to the drug.
This drug is the most commonly prescribed tranquilizer in veterinary medicine.
It is also used orally and is prescribed for owners who want to tranquilize
their dogs for air travel. I would strongly recommend that Boxer owners
avoid the use of this drug, especially when the dog will be unattended and/or
unable to receive emergency medical care if it is needed.
- Wendy Wallner, DVM December, 1995
"Prolonged effects of the drug may be seen in older animals. Giant breeds, as well as greyhounds, appear quite sensitive to the clinical effects of the drug, yet terrier breeds appear more resistant. Boxer dogs, on the other hand, are predisposed to hypotensive and bradycardic effects of the drug."
you first take your boxer to a vet (or to a new vet), for any kind of treatment
have them write in red on the outside of the patient record "NO ACE". Be
firm! If they refuse to do this then I would immediately remove my dog and
find another vet.
Don't be fooled by an uninformed vet...this is a matter of LIFE AND DEATH!
Boxer has seizure 20 min. after Lidocaine spray is applied to
his feet, and dies of an third seizure 2.5 days later.
Lidocaine is an anesthetic and may have a similar affect on
boxers as Acepromazine does.
Please click on link below to read further
The information below came from Vera Kollar
Tagamet & Benydrl used to shrink mast cell tumors
I am posting this on the request of several boxer breeders
I have spoken to several Boxer owners regarding their Boxers and cancer.
Tagamet and Benadryl was found to shrink mast cell
tumors about (2002) 5 yrs. ago when they shrunk 5 large tumors on
a Boxer. One of these over-the-counter drugs encapsulates
the T1 cancer cells and the other encapsulates the T2 cancer cells.
The Life Extension reference article is located at:
Use spray bottle with half Water and half White Vinegar
and spray it on boxers' itchy feet. When they lick their feet
continuously, the moisture causes fungus to grow
(the rust coloring you see on their toes). You can spray this
on a folded paper towel or soft cloth and carefully clean the
wrinkles on the face and chin taking care not to get any in their eyes.
Tick Removal (Safely)
A School Nurse has written the info below -- good enough to
share -- And it really works!!
Recipe for Skunk Odor
Removal From Your Dog
1/4 cup Baking Soda
1 teaspoon liquid soap
(Dawn Dishwashing Detergent is often recommended, but any dish soap will work)
Rubber or latex gloves
Mix in an open container (bucket or bowl); it will be fizzy, a clue that you
shouldn't try to mix it or store it in a bottle or other closed container.
Thoroughly wet your dog with warm water and then the solution while it is still bubbling. Knead it well into his coat, to chemically alter every bit of the oils on his hair. Be careful to keep the formula out if the dog's eyes, nose and mouth; you can use a sponge to carefully wipe it onto his face. Let the solution stand for 10 minutes before rinsing. Follow the bath with a thorough rinse. Be sure to protect the eyes when rinsing the head. Chances are you will not get all of the smell off of the face and will have to live with that as it wears off. You can try Tricotine Liquid Douche Concentrate or any over-the-counter douche.
After bathing, check your dog's eyes. If they are red and watering, your dog may have taken a direct hit in the face. Skunk spray won't blind the dog, but it's very painful. Contact a vet.