Health Issues in Boxers

In addition, we have written on a number of subjects concerning...
Euro or German Boxers     Health Issues in Boxers     Issues and Opinions
Christmas Puppies     Choosing a Breeder     About our Contract
Ohio Canine Legislation     Housetraining Puppy

Laymani Boxers takes the position that previous OFA test results for Canine Hip Dysplasia in a pedigree are of good value (reference Duke's pedigree), but that new testing may be risky business because of the requirement that the dog be sedated or anesthetized.  Boxers are prone to health failure under anesthesia, and because of that, any procedure requiring sedation or anesthesia should be carefully considered.  Granted, veterinarian examination may be less effective than x-ray, but we feel that it should be our first diagnostic choice, performed regularly and combined with close observation of the Boxer's physical state.  All of the Laymani Boxers are seen by our veterinarian at least twice a year and receive a complete physical examination each time.

Since the earliest symptoms of hip dysplasia often manifest themselves as early as four months to one year, we feel that observation of our adult breeding dogs during play or long walks would easily indicate the presence of pain or gait deterioration.  Our Boxers all participate in full-speed play and in mile-long walks on a regular basis with plenty of gusto.  As of November 2009, Thurman is 8.5 years old and jumps up for kisses with ease, Sissy is 5.5 and romps with our younger Boxers every day, Zena is 5 and can clear a 6-foot fence to play with our grandson, and the rest (Duke, Jazzy, Diana, Sophie, Kali) spend most of the day romping, wrassling, and jetting around our large exercise yard.  Our Boxers are not normally confined in small spaces, so we have ample opportunity to see them freely moving and interacting.

A family history of health problems is, of course, an indicator of future problems.  We have taken great care to examine the available history of each of our adult Boxers.  For instance, Duke, who is now 4, shows robust health, and his Sire, Baby Boomer II, is still out there and actively breeding.  In addition, Duke's lineage shows multiple Champion breeding lines.  Those lines wouldn't have been built on unsound dogs.  A further pedigree indicator of soundness is the number of SOM (Sire of Merit), DOM (Dam of Merit) and LOM (Legion of Merit) awards present.  Those designators are awarded to breeding dogs who birth a number of Champions.  Reference link: American Boxer Club

Further, the data indicates that onset of hip dysplasia may be equally initiated by environmental components as by heredity.  As such, we feed a quality canine food, in addition to NuVet supplements, and watch the overall weight of each of our adults.  Each Laymani Boxer has ready access to padded rest areas and is provided with ample exercise, filtered water, and a heated loafing / sleeping space for cold weather.  We continually attempt to anticipate any environmental concerns and adjust our program to eliminate them.


Your new puppy has probably only received the first of a set of innoculations for some of the most damaging canine diseases.  Those shots convey full resistance after the complete set...around 4 months.  From birth til then, a puppy's immunity is partially derived from Mother's milk and partially from each of the shots, rising and falling in effectiveness throughout that time.  A disease like Canine Parvovirus is highly present in the environment and highly dangerous to your puppy.  Avoid contact with heavily-used dog areas.  Avoid contact with strange dogs and other puppies.  Limit foot traffic into your home.  Clean with bleach/water in a 1:30 ratio where necessary.  Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the ailments and parasites covered by the Companion Animal Health Resource Center.  Then, when you take your puppy for that first veterinarian visit, ask for your vet's recommendations.  

Please note that this is why Laymani Boxers includes a timely veterinarian visit as part of our contract.  That visit will provide you with a much-needed source of information and best protect your puppy.  The bottom line is that your puppy is not "ready to meet the world" until after completing a full set of puppy shots.


We are often questioned about White Boxers.  Although white is a recessive gene, the combinations that throw an abundance of "flash" will also throw a percentage of White or Check Boxers.  Since the American Boxer Club, which writes the breed standard, has been clear about not breeding White Boxers, and since White Boxers may have a greater genetic tendency toward deafness, we do not intentionally breed in that direction.  Because of skin pigmentation, the White Boxer will be sun-sensitive, so shade is always a White Boxer consideration.  Of course, when the genetic lottery does give us a white puppy, we will treat it the same as our other Laymani Boxers.


There is NO scientific evidence to back-up the practice of giving yearly booster shots, so do your homework and study the research findings on the internet. Dogs that have been given a blood titer test can still show full immunity to all vaccines more than 6 years later, so you have the option of having a blood titer test done yearly to check their levels of immunity. Always take your dogs temperature with a rectal thermometer before going to the vets for any shots. If the temp is above 102.5 degrees, cancel your appointment till a later date. To take their temperature insert thermometer 1 to 2 (depending on the size of the animal), and hold in place for 3 minutes.

Link to Companion Animal Health Resource Center from the Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.


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