Perhaps the most prevalent health problems in Boxers today are heart problems and cancer. Many advances have been made in veterinary science in the last decade, making these diseases more manageable than ever before, but they are still very dangerous to our breed. There are many excellent websites dealing with these issues. A few are listed below, and we will add to the list as we learn of other useful sites. By looking at this list, one would think that the Boxer is riddled with health problems... don't be put off! We just believe that anyone contemplating adding a Boxer to the family should be familiar with the possibilities...
There is one drug commonly used in anesthetic protocols that should not be used in the Boxer. The drug is Acepromazine, a tranquilizer, which is often used as a preanesthetic agent. In the Boxer, it tends to cause a problem called first degree heart block, a potentially serious arrhythmia of the heart. It also causes a profound hypotension (severe lowering of the blood pressure) in many Boxers that receive the drug.
Recently, on the Veterinary Information Network, a computer network for practicing veterinarians, an announcement was placed in the cardiology section entitled "Acepromazine and Boxers." This described several adverse reactions to the drug in a very short time span at a veterinary teaching hospital. All the adverse reactions were in Boxers. The reactions included collapse, respiratory arrest, and profound bradycardia (slow heart rate, less than 60 beats per minute).The announcement suggested that Acepromazine should not be used in dogs of the Boxer breed because of a breed related sensitivity to the drug.
This drug is the most commonly prescribed tranquilizer in veterinary medicine. It is also used orally and is prescribed for owners who want to tranquilize their dogs for air or car travel. I would strongly recommend that Boxer owners avoid the use of this drug, especially when the dog will be unattended and/or unable to receive emergency medical care if it is needed.
Boxer Cardiomyopathy provides a description of this deadly disease, it's diagnosis and treatment.
Cancer in Pets general information.
White Boxer Pages provides a wealth of information about white boxers.
Can My Dog Eat That? is a guide to safe and healthy foods and treats.
The Senior Dogs Project provides great information about older dogs.
Cushing’s Syndrome provides an excellent description of the disease, it's causes and treatments.
Urinary Incontinence is an article writen by Dr. Wendy Wallner, DVM.
Household Medications for Pets identifies what household medications are safe.
Obesity in Pets shares what is considered obese and the consequences of obesity in dogs.
Underweight Pets Satin Ball Recipe!
Many tick-borne illnesses are extremely dangerous and can be fatal, both to humans and dogs. Dog should be treated with tick repellent and any ticks that are found should be removed immediately. Tick-borne diseases are notoriously difficult to diagnose, and prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to successful recovery. If you find a tick on your dog, watch the site of the bite carefully and be familiar with symptoms to note.
Fleas can actually be the carriers of extremely serious diseases, such as the plague . For most pet owners, however, the major concern is that the flea will infect the dog with tapeworms or cause the dog to have (often severe) allergic reactions. Even if the dog does not have flea allergies , fleas are terribly uncomfortable for the animal, and can easily be controlled these days by topical treatments. Flea dips can be very dangerous to dogs, and are no longer recommended as the treatment of choice. MTBR currently uses Advantage Multi.
Dogs can get several type of intestinal worms (most commonly roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms), which can do serious damage if not treated. Although they can sometimes be seen in the dog’s stool, this is not always the case. Usually, worms are diagnosed when your veterinarian finds worm eggs in a stool sample. Because of the damage intestinal worms can do, it is important to have your dog checked at least annually (more often, if your dog has been diagnosed with worms already). Do not ever use over-the-counter dewormers that are found in pet stores! Without knowing exactly what worms your dog may have, you may be giving your dog an unnecessary, or even dangerous, treatment. Most common symptoms of worms are weight loss, hair thinning, dry hair, diarrhea or vomiting. Always consult your vetif you suspect your dog may have worms. Canine Worms: Watch Out for Worms
Giardia is now common in most areas of the country, except dry regions. Areas with heavy wild mammal populations are especially at risk. Dogs (and humans) can pick up giardia in contaminated streams, or even on moist ground that has been contaminated. It can be extremely difficult to diagnose accurately, but fortunately, the treatment is not dangerous, and can be given without definitive diagnosis if all else fails. Symptoms are continuing diarrhea, often bloody or with mucus, and abdominal pain. Managing Giardia in the Carrier Dog
Fairly common in puppies, coccidia are picked up from contaminated ground. They are detected in fecal samples. Animals with coccidia usually have watery diarrhea, sometimes bloody. If not treated, coccidiosis can be fatal to a young puppy, through dehydration.
There are a number of products on the market today that eliminate odors, rather than simply masking them. Most are enzyme products – they work because the enzymes literally “eat” the organic matter that produces the odors. Most are fairly expensive, but quite effective. They will lose effectiveness rapidly once the enzymes are mixed with liquid, whether you mix them yourself or whether they come in liquid form. Other products use citrus oils. They can be effective, also, but leave behind a strong citrus odor. The aroma of orange can be quite pleasant, but with some of these products, it can be overpowering. Besides, why advertise to anyone entering your home that you are trying to eliminate an odor problem? For years a favorite has been Odormute Powder. It is available at most pet stores and on Amazon, is quite inexpensive, and is extremely effective. After being mixed with warm water, it can be used directly on the pet, on carpets, upholstery, concrete runs – any surface that retains organic odors (urine, feces, “doggy” smell, “rolling in rotting stinky animal” smell, etc.). Like other enzyme products, it loses effectiveness once it has been mixed, so don’t mix more than you are planning to use immediately. The manufacturer claims that the powder has a shelf life of up to five years, when stored properly. It also claims to work on skunk odor (and it does), but the skunk odor recipe (below) is far better. Odormute does not have an odor of its own, so no one need know you had a problem to begin with.
Sooner or later, many pets encounter skunks. Here’s a foolproof way to eliminate the skunk odor safely. This recipe chemically neutralizes the oils that produce the noxious oder of skunk spray. It does not mask the smell; it eliminates it.1 Quart Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
2 TBS. Liquid Dish Detergent
It should be used immediately after mixing, while it is still foaming. Soak the dog’s coat, and do not rinse out. Care should be taken not to get it into the eyes. Do NOT attempt to save any of this mixture that you do not use immediately. Because of the combination, it will build up tremendous pressure in any closed container, with risk of explosion.
One boxer owner recommends using a product called “Waterbabies SPF45,” which is sold for use on children. Also,Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock has been mentioned as effective.
Make your own orthopedic bed
Most doggie homes have at least one old, worn-out dog bed – you know, the kind that is stuffed with cedar shavings, or hollofill, or foam. It has gotten mashed down to the point where it has little or no fluff left, and Rover is getting older and arthritic, and really would like something a lot more comfortable. Here’s how you can make Rover a bed or two for about $6.00 per bed, using that old zippered bed cover…Buy a foam waffle mattress cover at Walmart (@ $7.50), and one bag of polyester pillow stuffing for each bed you plan to make. The waffle mattress cover will be enough to make three dog beds, once it is cut into appropriate sizes. Now, remove the original stuffing, and wash the zippered cover. Place the cover on top of the waffle mattress cover and cut a piece that will fit inside the zippered cover. Place the cut piece inside a large plastic garbage bag, pour the bag of polyester fill on top of it, then fold the open end of the garbage bag under and duct tape it closed. Place the bag with the new ‘innards’ into the zippered cover, and zip it back up. The cover can still be removed to be washed.
Voila! You have an orthopedic bed that is comparable in comfort to the ones you would pay $39 and up for in the catalogs.