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Boxer Health Testing

Health Defects and Testing in the Boxer Breed

As a responsible breeder I am dedicated to doing all that I can to ensure that my Boxers have had the health testing they need in order to produce healthy puppies and live long, happy lives. Below is a list of the common Boxer genetic diseases and the tests that can be performed to determine genetic fitness for breeding. If you have any questions or want more detailed information regarding health testing for Boxers, I would recommend visiting the website of the American Boxer Club.

Defect: Aortic Stenosis/Sub-Aortic Stenonis (AS/SAS) 

AS/SAS is a heart defect which results in a narrowing of the aorta which causes less blood flow. This can result in fainting and sudden death. More info...

Test: Doppler Echocardiogram: an ultrasound of the heart that detects abnormal flow velocities.

Defect: Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) aka Boxer Cardiomyopathy

ARVC is an electrical conduction disorder that causes the heart to beat erratically sometimes. If this happens often, collapse or sudden death can result. More info...

Test: Holter Monitor - a 24-Hour EKG that is used to test for PVCs that should be done yearly.
Test: DNA Test - It can tell which dogs have the gene for ARVC; one-time DNA cheek swab.  The test clearly defines dogs that are Negative (2 copies of Normal gene), those that are Positive Heterozygous (1 copy of mutated gene, 1 copy of normal gene), and those that are Positive Homozygous (2 copies of mutated gene).

Defect: Bloat or Gastric Dilation-Volvus (GDV)

With GDV, the dog's stomach becomes distended with air, twists on itself, and cuts off the blood supply to the heart. This can cause sudden drop in blood pressure and death. To help prevent bloat, slow the dog's speed of eating and restrict its activities directly after eating a meal. More info...

Test: X-rays of stomach and surgery to correct torsion.

Defect: Cancer

Mast cell, lymphoma, and other cancers are prevalent in Boxers. Constantly examine your dog for any lumps or bumps and get regular check-ups. No tests available. More info...

Defect: Corneal Dystrophy AKA Boxer Ulcer

Corneal Dystrophy is an ulcer that results when one or more layers of the cornea are affected.  This can be recurring or become a chronic issue in some dogs. The only way you know your dog has this is if they are afflicted with the ulcers. No test available. More info...

Defect: Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

DM is a slow progressive wasting disease of the hindquarters that affects the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal cord.  DM has 4 progressive stages: 1. Toe dragging or knuckling over; 2. Crossing of the back legs and  mild loss of side-to-side hip control; 3. Moderate to severe loss of side-to-side hip control; 4. Total hind end paralysis. More info...

Test: DNA test - It clearly identifies dogs that are Normal N/N (have 2 normal copies of the gene), those who are Carriers A/N Heterozygous (have 1 normal copy of the gene and 1 mutated copy of the gene), and those who are At Risk A/A Homozygous (have 2 copies of the gene).  Research has shown that all dogs that were confirmed DM had A/A DNA test results; however not all dogs testing as A/A have shown clinical signs of DM. Tests available through OFFA.

Defect: Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint which can lead to osteoarthritis, in which the dog suffers pain with osteoarthritis and can become weak and even lame. More info...

Test: OFA Hips - an X-ray of the pelvic joint.

Defect: Hypothyroidism

An inactive thyroid gland can cause hair loss, obesity, lethargy, and skin problems. Quality of life is reduced due to the symptoms it causes. More info...

Test: OFA Thyroid - a blood test to detect autoimmune thyroiditis.  Only a few places in the country perform this full panel test.
Helpful Links & Resources

American Boxer Club
Canine Genetic Diseases Network
College of Veterinary Medicine

The Hope Center
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

American Kennel Club, Inc (AKC)

American Kennel Club (AKC)

Founded in 1884, the AKC is the largest purebred dog registry in the world. Along with its nearly 5,000 licensed and member clubs and affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership.

Shere Khan Winnix of Winn Creek

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