A UK Boxer
Cardiomyopathy Update: 9/29/08
In a 9/22/08 email from Bruce Cattanach, there
has been a major effort by the UK Boxer Breed Council Health
Committee these past few years to research and find resolution
for Boxer cardiomyopathy (BCM or ARVC). Based on the
above, the Breed Council has now endorsed a Breeding and Testing
Control scheme produced by the Health Committee.
Cardiomyopathy Update: 1/24/08
I haven’t updated the
heart information on my website in quite some time and want to
share what I have learned over the past several years.
There are a great number of boxers with varying
Before age 5 – This is the age during which Boxer
Cardiomyopathy strikes. Boxers should be 24-hr. holter-monitored for a baseline
between 1.5- 2 years. Depending on the results, retests should
occur every 1-1.5 years. I hear more and more cases of young
After age 5 – Initially, I thought that once
boxers were heart-cleared and turned 5, there was no further
threat. What I have learned is that there are a great many
heart problems all lumped under Cardiomyopathy. As dogs get
older, they can develop clogged arteries and blockages just like
people. Unfortunately, I do not think that “stints” are being
put in dogs. Nor do I know if cholesterol medication is given.
The medication prescribed for boxers doesn’t vary much and
usually begins with Sotalol (Betapace).
If you think the boxer outlook is bad, ask
yourself how many people over age 60 do you know that are taking
some form of heart or cholesterol medication? Yes, some of this
could have been avoided with different diets.
I, for one, have probably been responsible for
clogging some boxer arteries by feeding them liver sausage
and also rich gravies mixed with their dry dog food because I
felt bad giving them the same food everyday. It didn’t help
their pancreatic levels either. So, I admittedly accept the
blame for that.
Conclusion – You should watch your boxers for any
symptoms their entire life and test whenever you feel something
just isn’t “right” with them. If a heart problem is caught
early enough, you may avoid damage to their heart and they may
be able to live a long life on medication.
For those boxers who experience heart problems,
it doesn’t have to be a death sentence.
For those lucky boxers whose hearts never give
them a problem, be thankful!
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