The Boxer is a fearless and loyal dog, and a great family pet. They are predisposed to many 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.
Boxers are predisposed to a number of benign and malignant (cancerous) tumors that can affect many different body organs, subsequently showing different symptoms. We can teach you how to monitor for these tumors by running your hands over the skin coat and important organs on a weekly basis, and checking the external lymph nodes for enlargement. We have an In-Home exam checklist to help you perform this exam at home.
Neutering your Boxer at 6 months will go along way to preventing reproductive system tumors. We do all of our neuters by laser, so please visit our web site to learn more about this technique. The laser dramatically reduces post operative pain, swelling, and inflammation.
Heart disease is an important problem. Most heart problems are diagnosed in younger dogs with signs of exercise intolerance and coughing, though heart disease is certainly not the only cause of those signs. Heart diseases are sometimes detected on physical exam using a stethoscope. If your Boxer does not seem to be a energetic as you would expect, tires easily, or seems excessively tired after mild exercise, this needs to be addressed with a cardiac workup.
Boxers are prone to an eye disorder peculiar to the breed. This problem occurs mostly in spayed females and involves ulceration of the cornea that does not respond to treatment. Any time your pet has eye discharge, redness, or is pawing at its eye, an exam should be performed.
Deep-chested breeds like Boxers are predisposed to a condition called gastric dilatation, or bloat. If signs of labored breathing, excessive salivation, or distended abdomen occur, your pet might be experiencing this potentially life-threatening condition, and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Boxers are also prone to herniated discs. Symptoms can vary from a poor appetite and a reluctance to run or jump, to paralysis. They also get arthritis of the spinal cord called spondylosis. This is a painful condition that can be treated to minimize the pain.