Dogs are affected by the greatest number of naturally occurring genetic disorders of any non-human species. And many of these conditions seem to appear in specific breeds: Boxers have several genetic disorders with heart and eye diseases being the most common. With careful selection and thorough testing, many genetic disorders can eradicated.
"While some health problems in purebred dogs have been shown to be due to specific genetic mutations, other health problems are thought to result from the selection of animals for breeding according to breed standards," Dr Vicki Adams said (Animal Health Trust).
In aortic stenosis, there is a partial obstruction to the
flow of blood as it leaves the left side of the heart (the left ventricle) through the main blood vessel (the aorta) that carries blood to the rest of the body. Aortic Stenosis is an inherited heart disease.
Cardiomyopathy is a serious inherited disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and doesn't work as well as it should. There may be multiple causes including genetic predisposition and viral infections. The disease occurs most often in Doberman pinscher and Boxer and may result in heart failure and sudden death. The signs usually include exercise intolerance and fainting. Treatment depends on the type of the disease and may include medications or implantable devices.Available health screening tests: echocardiography and Holter monitoring.
A dog's heart with atrial septal defect has an opening in the wall between the right area and the left area of the upper part of the heart. This wall is called septum. As a result, some blood from the left atrim flows through the hole in the septum into the right atrium and increases the total amount of the blood that flows toward the lungs. The increased blood flow from the right side of the heart to the lungs creates a swishing sound, which is known as a heart murmur.
The cornea is the eye's outermost layer. It is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. corneal dystrophy is a condition in which one or more parts of the cornea lose their normal clarity due to a buildup of cloudy material. The disease is inherited, it affects the right and left eyes equally, and is not caused by outside factors, such as injury or diet.
Harderian Gland Prolapse (Cherry Eye). In this condition, the gland of the third eyelid, which produces about one-third of the tear film, prolapses as a pink fleshy mass protruding over the edge of the third eyelid. It can become inflamed and ulcerated.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy - PRA is a collective term comprising a group of hereditary degenerative lesions of the retina (a layer of nervous tissue which covers the back of the eyeball where the sensation of vision occurs.).
Intervertebral Disk Disease is a common back problem in many breeds of dogs, including Beagle. It is manifested by acute pain, loss of movement coordination and paralysis.
Cutaneous Asthenia is an inherited skin disorder characterized by extremely stretchy and fragile skin that tears at the slightest scratch causing scars and wounds.
Hip Dysplasia is a progressive degenerative condition of the pelvic joint that can lead to severe lameness and pain in large breed dogs. It can be very debilitating, but with the help of several ingenious surgical techniques, the function of the leg can be restored-sometimes almost to normal capacity. Dysplasia of the elbow joint is also common.
Bloat, Gastric Dilation Volvulus. Bloating and twisting of a dog's stomach is a serious condition veterinarians call gastric dilation volvulus, or GDV. May be caused by overeating, especially in predisposed breeds, but often there is no underlying cause. A dog with GDV will have a distended abdomen and may appear restless and depressed and have dry heaves.
Dermoid sinus is a cavity (sinus), which connects the skin with the outer covering of the spinal cord in the vertebral canal or other structures in the area. It is commonly found in nasal area, tongue and area around the tail. It is recognized by a tuft of hair protruding from each sinus and is sometimes complicated by infection (swelling and pain). Other common names used to describe a dermoid sinus include dermoid cyst, epidermal inclusion cyst, hair cyst and African cyst.
Histiocytic Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that occurs predominantly in Boxer breed. It causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the large intestine. The inflammation makes the colon empty frequently, causing diarrhea. Ulcers form in places where the inflammation has killed the cells lining the colon; the ulcers bleed and produce pus. Young boxer dogs with relatively mild signs of HUC may respond moderately well to medical and dietary therapy with fair prognosis.
Pyloric Stenosis is a narrowing of the outlet from the stomach to the small intestine (called the pylorus). This condition is caused by a thickening of the muscles of the pylorus. This prevents the stomach from emptying into the small intestine. The cause of the thickening is unknown, although genetic factors may play a role. The condition mostly occurs in Boxer and other brachycephalic breeds (Boston terrier, Pekingese, bulldog, shih tzu and similar "short-nose" breeds).
Malignant histiocytosis is a type of skin cancer. Histiocytoma is a type of benign skin tumor. Histiocytomas look like red, dome-shaped, sparsely haired nodules that appear rapidly. They often are ulcerated, but are non-painful. The most common places of tumor development include the head, neck, especially in young dogs. More rarely, growths may occur on the trunk and feet. Breeds mostly affected are Flat-coated Retrievers, English Bulldogs, Scottish Terriers, Greyhounds, Boxers, and Boston Terriers.
Hypothyroidism a condition that occurs when the dog's body underproduces thyroid hormones causing disruption of the dog metabolism. The disease is most often caused by destruction of the thyroid gland. Signs usually develop during middle age and may include dull, dry coat, laziness, symmetrical hair loss, weight gain and a tendency to seek warm places. The condition is treated with thyroid hormone medication.
Atopy Dermatitis is the predisposition to allergic disease in response to environmental allergens. One of the most common source of allergens causing atopy is the house dust mite. Tree, grass and weed pollens can also cause this disease. Flea allergic dermatitis and parasitic infections such as sarcoptic mange (scabies) and otodectic mange also cause allergic-type reactions.
Congenital deafness is recognised as a problem in many breeds of dog that carry the extreme piebald gene. Such breeds include Dalmatians, White Boxers and White English Bull Terriers. More than 80 breeds of dog have been identified as suffering from congenital deafness (deafness at birth). Inherited deafness is passed down through one or both parents. White Boxers should NOT be bred.
Cryptorchidism is a birth defect in many dog breeds when one or both testes fail to descend normally. The testes (testicles) develop in the abdomen and gradually descend into the scrotum. They should be present there at birth, or shortly after. If they have not descended by the time the dog is adult, he is described as either unilateral chriptochid (when one testis is still retained in the abdomen), or a bilateral chriptochid (when both have not descended). Check with your vet during the time of vaccination.
Demodicosis, also called Demodex mange, is an allergic reaction to Demodex mites. The mites are transferred directly from the mother to the puppies within the first week of life.
Boxer heart testing: all breeding stock should be screened by designated specialists. 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. For detailed information on health screening of Boxers in breeding programs visit American Boxer Club
For more information about feeding recommendations: The Raw Meat diet