Common Boxer Dog Health Problems

Boxers are popular dog breeds and they are chosen by owners due to the personality and the appearance of the pet. When getting a dog you must also consider the possible boxer dog health problems. These health problems arise due to the lack of enough exercise or a poor diet but may also be inherited. The most common boxer health issues include heart problems, blood coagulation problems, digestive diseases or corneal ulcers.

Cardiac Problems

The most common heart problems that affect boxers are the aortic stenosis (which is a problem with the aortic valve) arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy.

Heart diseases may be indicated by exercise intolerance, coughing after exercising, fainting or sudden collapse but may show no sign at all.

Stenosis can be severe or milder; dogs with severe stenosis may require medication and the prognosis is poor; however, if the stenosis is mild, the dog can live a normal life.

Some of these conditions may be prevented with a suitable diet, regular exercise or other preventive measures. For example, Acepromazine can cause arrhythmia in boxers, so avoiding this medication can prevent the occurrence of this cardiac problem.

Blood Coagulation Problems

Boxers may be affected by blood clotting problems such as:

  • Factor II deficiency which causes the blood not to clot
  • Factor IV deficiency, which is actually a deficiency in the production of the prothrombin, which coagulates the blood; this condition will cause frequent nose bleeds that will be difficult to stop

These conditions can be controlled with medication.

Digestive Diseases

Boxers can be affected by digestive diseases such as colitis, pancreatitis and pyloric stenosis (a hereditary defect that causes the stomach opening to be too small and this will interfere with the normal digestion process).

Boxers may also have bloat or gastric torsion which is a condition that causes the stomach to twist, resulting in sudden swelling and pain. The condition can be fatal, so the dog must be brought to the vet immediately. Symptoms of gastric torsion include excessive salivation, confusion, panting, whining, agitation, clear vomiting, foam at the mouth and swelling of the abdomen.

Brain Tumors

Brain tumors are more common in certain dog breeds including boxers. Brain tumors may be difficult to detect, but as the disease advances you should be able to detect certain signs such as lack of coordination, confusion, walking in circles or behavioral changes.


Boxers are susceptible to deafness and studies have shown that white boxers are more exposed to this condition. The deafness may be partial or affect both ears and will be irreversible.

You can detect if your pet is deaf if he no longer responds to your verbal commands or other noises.

Deafness in boxers typically occurs when the dog is older (starting from the age of 8).

Corneal Ulcers

The corneal ulcer also known as corneal dystrophy is common in boxers and is a genetic disease. The condition may affect one or several corneal layers. Typically, both eyes will be affected and the condition will occur after the age of 7 or 8.

The ulcers are visible and they can cause pain in the dog.