The Boston Terrier is a pleasant pet that craves human companionship. Boston’s are predisposed to certain diseases though, so careful observation of your pets daily routine is important. Any significant change in this routine is cause for an examination. Our web site in the Diseases Section has detailed information on many of the diseases they are prone to.
The shape of their face and breathing passages predisposes them to breathing conditions. Symptoms of coughing, wheezing, or difficult breathing warrant an exam due to these breathing problems. Since they are active dogs they can get heatstroke easily, so always exercise during the cool part of the day and supply plenty of fresh water and a cool environment when not exercising.
Boston’s can also hydrocephalus (swelling in the brain). Symptoms of this disease can be as subtle as a pet that seems slow to learn and is unresponsive, to a pet that has seizures.
They are particularly prone to eye problems. Any sign of squinting, redness to the eye, ocular discharge, or cloudiness, warrants an exam.
They can get a disease called cranial mandibular osteopathy. This effects the bones of the head, especially the jaw. Symptoms include pain around the head or jaw and difficulty in eating.
Boston’s are prone to skin conditions, particularly mange and allergies. These diseases manifest themselves as hair loss or excessive licking or scratching. In addition to mange and allergies, they also get a skin tumor called a mast cell tumor. All skin lumps that persist should be checked to determine if this condition exists.
Boston’s are particularly prone to dental disease. It is important to learn how to brush your pet’s teeth while it is a pup so that you are successful at it when the problem starts to arise later. We have a special kit for this purpose, please have one of our nurses show you the proper technique. We also have a food called t/d (it stands for tartar diet) that is a big help if you cannot brush its teeth.
As your pet gets older yearly exams are needed to identify the accumulation of tartar and treat it before it progresses to more serious complications and we have to remove rotten teeth under anesthesia. As tartar accumulates on the teeth we will perform non-anesthetic dentals (this is not a replacement for brushing) every 6 months and hopefully never have to remove rotten teeth under anesthesia.
Heart disease can also occur as your Boston ages. We will check for heart murmurs with our stethoscope during your yearly examine to diagnose this problem and treat it before the onset of congestive heart failure.