Boxers as a breed have a few health concerns that we work very diligently to breed away from. The most major of these diseases are the two cardiac diseases. Following those we have medium to minor diseases or illnesses which we also screen for:
Sub Aortic Stenosis (SAS) This is a malfunction of one of the heart valves. We test for this after the age of two using a cardiologist and a Doppler machine. We do not breed any boxer that has an aortic flow rate greater than 2.0m/s or any other evidence of SAS.
Arrhythmic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) This is a malfunction of the electrical impulses that make the heart beat properly. We test for this yearly using a Holter monitor and a cardiologist. The report lets us know if there are abnormal heart beats. We will not breed dogs that have failed this test in the opinion of a cardiologist or dogs that do not have a clean test within the last 12 months. Note: The DNA test for this disease DOES NOT clear a dog from ARVC. Research is divided and regular Holters are the most effective way to screen breeding stock at this time.
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) Affects aging dogs in the form of deteriorating nervous function in the hind end. We use a DNA test to screen for the genes that make a dog susceptible to this disease and research pedigrees to look for dogs that actually developed the disease, breeding away from the genes.
Hip & Elbow Dysplasia This is the improper development of the hip or elbow joint. We screen for this with x-rays taken after the age of two which then get analyzed by OFA for grading and certification. Historically, this is not a boxer problem so many older or deceased stud dogs may not have these clearances. We combat this with pedigree research.
Canine Thyroglobulin Autoantibodies (TgAA) This is the presence of thyroid anti-bodies that may indicate future autoimmune problems including but not limited to some cancers and allergies. We use this to measure thyroid health and to steer our breeding decisions towards strong thyroids. Historically, this is not a boxer problem and is considered optional by many breeders. For deceased stud dogs, we rely on pedigree research looking for allergies, cancer, and any auto-immune problems.