It is probably no surprise to you if you are a ‘dog person’ that dogs do get various health issues and that certain breeds have certain health problems. Just because certain health problems are listed with a breed it does not mean that each and every dog in that breed will suffer from a particular health problem, but what the list does give you is a chance to be aware of these issues and act at the very beginning of a problem rather than think the problem will go away on its own accord.
There are several different health problems your boxer dog may encounter. Genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia can cause problems in later life; while there are many other medical problems that can affect boxer dogs. Below, we concentrate on two of the more common health problems in boxer dogs, allergies and cancers.
Allergies come in various forms and can particularly affect boxers as a breed. They could be caused by a certain chemical or ingredient in food, or may be caused by something present in the local environment. Airborne allergies can also affect boxer dogs, and many suffer from seasonal allergies caused by crops, pollens, spores and airborne particles. Some boxers have suffered allergies to grains in their food from corn and wheat products, and from food products made with beet pulp.
The symptoms associated with allergies can lead to several health problems in boxer dogs. Things to look out for are excessive scratching, rubbing up against furniture or rolling on the carpet, or licking of the skin. A dog with an allergy could scratch to the point of creating legions and sores on the skin, opening them up to more potential infections. Some boxers have been known to continually chew at their feet when suffering from an allergy.
Steroids can be used to relieve itching and stop the dog scratching, but the cause of the allergy must be investigated. Antihistamines can be used to treat seasonal and airborne allergies, while a home made diet or a BARF diet may help to relieve food allergies; these diets should contain no additives or grains.
The turned up nose of a boxer also makes their breathing passages susceptible to allergy problems so keep a look out for a runny nose or runny ey
Sadly, it is true that the boxer breed is very susceptible to cancer. It is one of the most common health problems in boxer dogs, especially skin cancer. All white boxers and dogs with patches and streaks of white should be protected from over exposure to sunlight. Too much direct exposure to the sun can cause melanomas and other types of skin cancer to develop, which can quickly spread to the internal organs.
There are several treatments available for skin cancer in a boxer. Radiation treatment, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and holistic medicines are all used in the treatment of cancer in dogs; and treatments have proved far more effective over the last decade. Surgical removal, however, is still thought to be the best method to prevent re-occurrence.
If a boxer has suffered from the worst problem in cancer, he should be monitored in the future for any further problems or re-occurrences.
Health problems in dogs are part and parcel of owning one, but when you know what to look for you have a much better chance of keeping your boxer dog happy and healthy.