Common health issues
- Corneal dystrophy is weakness in the layers of the cornea. Severely affected dogs are prone to painful corneal erosions and ulcers. Some types of corneal dystrophy result in lipid or cholesterol deposits on the cornea, which are generally painless and do not interfere with vision. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the lesions.
- In subaortic stenosis, there is a partial obstruction to the flow of blood as it leaves the left side of the heart causing the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. This can predispose the dog to arrhythmias, sudden death, heart failure, and infection of the aortic valve. Medical treatment centers on normalizing the heart rate.
- Atopy refers to skin allergies caused by inhaled or contact allergens. Just like us, our dogs can be allergic to pollen, dander, grasses and trees. Their allergies result in itchiness that can be seasonal or year-round. Affected dogs are prone to ear and skin infections. The condition varies in severity but is usually lifelong and often requires constant medical management.
Cervical Vertebral Instability
- Cervical vertebral instability results from instability of the vertebrae in the neck. Chronic compression of the spinal cord leads to weakness in the hind limbs, and if severe, can progress to weakness in the front limbs, as well. Cervical vertebral instability can be managed medically if it is mild, but often requires extensive surgery and physical therapy to correct.
Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or bloat)
- GDV describes a condition whereby a dog's stomach becomes dilated with air and then, while dilated, twists over on itself, effectively sealing the stomach. The most common sign of bloat is a firm, distended stomach, especially if it seems to occur rapidly. GDV is one of the true life-threatening emergencies in dogs and many cases require emergency surgery.
- Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a cardiac condition that Boxers are prone to develop. In this adult onset disease, cardiac muscle responsible for pumping the heart is replaced with fatty tissue, leading to dysfunction of the heart, arrhythmias, and congestive heart failure. Medical treatment centers on normalizing the heart rate and rhythm.