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Health Information

Torn Knee TPLO

A few years back one of my boxers tore her knee and our vet recommended TPLO surgery. Upon checking on this type on injury I have discovered that this may not always be necessary. Please click on the link to read more on this.


Important Health Test Before You Breed

Below you will find a list of disease and what should be done to prevent these diseases in any breeders lines. A good breeder will do what is best for the Boxers in their breeding program. This in no way can prevent any puppy from having one or more of these problems. Even with all the testing given and  precautions that can be taken it will be impossible for all  puppies to go  through out their entire lives without any health issues.  Even with testing there are no 100 % guarantees.

Boxer cardiomyopathy is an electrical conduction disorder which causes the heart to beat erratically (to have an arrhythmia) some of the time and can result in weakness, collapse or sudden death. These arrhythmias are difficult to detect with any certainty by listening to the heart with a stethoscope, unless they are very frequent thus the first sign of the disease may be fatal. Cardiomyopathy is a genetically inheritable condition with devastating results. Because a dog cannot be cleared of cardiomyopathy by a routine veterinary examination and the disease may not show itself until after a dog reaches breeding age, it is important that all breeding stock are properly screened for this disease. Boxer cardiomyopathy is a distinct disease from the dilated cardiomyopathy common in some other breeds. Other names for BCM are Boxer Arrythmic Cardiomyopathy (BAC), Familial Ventricular Arrhythmia (FVA) and Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

***Holter Monitor: A 24-hour EKG (electrocardiogram) that tests for the presence of PVCs (Premature Ventricular Contractions). This test screens for Boxer Arrythmic Cardiomyopathy.   Boxers should be monitored yearly. 

Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is an inheritable malformation of the hip joint leading to osteoarthritis. The hip joint is a ball and socket joint, where the top of the thigh bone (femur) fits into a socket in the pelvis. The bones are held in place by ligaments. Hip dysplasia occurs when the socket is poorly formed or the ligaments are loose, enabling the ball of the femur to subluxate � to slide part way out of its socket. Over time this causes degeneration of the joint (osteoarthritis) and the dog suffers pain and becomes weak and lame in the hind end. Hip dysplasia is a progressive disease, meaning that it becomes worse with time.

***Here is a list of thing that can also cause Hip Dysplasia or make it worse : excess weight, excess or prolonged exercise before maturity, a fast growth rate, and high-calorie or supplemented diets.  Knowing the pedigree so that Hip Dysplasia is something that will not be a concern with future lines.

Hypothyroidism describes an inactive thyroid gland which can be responsible for such conditions as epilepsy, alopecia or hair loss, obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma and other skin conditions. While not considered life threatening, the quality of life for a dog suffering from hypothyroidism is much reduced.

***   It is recommended that a full thyroid panel be completed before breeding  boxers.

 Full Thyroid Panel Studies include:

  • T3

  • T4

  • Free T4

  • T3 Autoantibodies

  • T4 Autoantibodies

  • TSH Level

  • Thyroglobulin Autoantibodies

  • Free T3


These studies are done at

  • Antech Diagnostic

**Antech has updated the resulting format to be compliant with the most resent Orthopedic Foundation for Animals Thyroid Registry Throglobulin Autoantibody requirements.

Demodectic Mange

Demodectic mange. The demodex mite lives on the skin of all dogs, and is passed to puppies by their dam. In healthy dogs, this mite causes no problems. However, demodectic mange can occur when a dog has a weakened or compromised immune system. The American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology passed a resolution in 1983 suggesting that all dogs that develop generalized demodex should be neutered or spayed as there is a genetic link to the development of generalized demodectic mange.

Demodectic mange can occur in localized form, which is characterized by a few spots that do not itch. These patches usually appear on head, neck and fore limbs. Ninety percent of those puppies that develop localized demodex will heal on their own. Ten percent of those puppies will go on to have generalised demodex.

**** Check to be sure this is not in any of the Boxers lines.  A defective  immature immune system can cause Demodectic Mange to go from localized to generalized. This means it will be a hereditary disease to be inherited by future puppies and passed on.



Cancer. Boxers are particularly prone to the development of mast cell tumors, lymphoma and brain tumors. White boxers should be protected from the sun as they are liable to develop skin cancer if allowed to burn.

***** I wish I could say their was a test for cancer. At this time there is not.  In knowing the pedigree of your boxer you can research and see if cancer is showing up in your lines. We wish just like everyone else that we could predict where cancer might pop up but we can't.

Bloat is a very serious condition that occurs when the stomach becomes distended with air, and then twists on itself while dilated. This interferes with the blood supply digestive organs, blocks the passage of food, thus leading to worse bloat. The distended stomach impedes the normal return of blood to the heart, causing a decrease in blood pressure and drastically reduced cardiac output. Blood/oxygen-deprived tissues start to die, releasing toxins into the blood stream which among other adverse effects, cause serious disturbances in heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias). Dogs affected by bloat can die within hours.

Dogs most susceptible to bloat are the large, deep-chested breeds, in whom the stomach appears to be more mobile within the abdomen. Risk factors are: hereditary predisposition, over-eating (large meals), rapid eating, raised feeders, pre-moistening of dry food preserved with citric acid, feeding dry food with a fat in the top four ingredients. The risk of bloat increases with age. Feeding a food with a rendered meat ingredient, inclusive of bone, in the first four ingredients decreases the risk of bloat.

The Purdue veterinary research team, who conducted a research study in 2000 into the risk factors associated with bloat concluded these are the things you can do to help prevent bloat:

***The strongest recommendation to prevent bloat should be to not breed a dog that has a relative that has had bloat.
***Do not raise the feeding dish.
****SLOW the dog's speed of eating.


Allergies. Boxers are rather prone to allergies, which can be environmental or food related. These often translate into itchy, scaly and sometimes infected skin. Boxers do not tend to do well on foods that have a high grain content, particularly those including corn, wheat or beet pulp.

****A Boxer should have nice shiny, sleek coats. This is a sign of healthy skin.



Deafness. About 13% of white boxers are deaf, due to their lack of pigmentation and suppression of blood supply to the cochlea (inner ear).   

* This also includes the colored Boxer.*

Their hearing should be tested before they leave. White Boxers should be treated the same as the colored boxers with lots of love. Deaf Boxers are just as smart and loving as the Boxer with normal hearing.

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