The Boxer is an athletic, shorthaired breed that originated in Germany. These fairly large dogs, weighing on average around 70 pounds (32 kg), are intensely loyal to their owners and make great companions for individuals and families, as well as excellent guard dogs, though they dislike being left alone. Boxers eventually mellow with age, but they remain playful and as active as their health allows.
Should You Purchase Insurance for Your Boxer?
Despite their vigorous and active nature, Boxers have relatively short lifespans, averaging only 10 years, and are especially at risk for several canine illnesses:
- Bloat (gastric dilation volvulus, stomach torsion): the stomachs of these dogs may become distended and actually twist within their bodies as a consequence of excess intestinal gas; symptoms include a bloated abdomen, drooling and unproductive vomiting. Without immediate treatment, usually surgery, a dog stands a good chance of dying.
- Boxer cardiomyopathy: this breed-specific, congenital disease occurs when a dog’s heart fails to pump properly, causing one side of the heart to become enlarged. If left untreated, the result may be congestive heart failure. Symptoms include lethargy and weakness; diagnosis is confirmed by electro- and echocardiography; treatment involves administration of drugs that control the heart’s rhythm. A genetic test is now available, but it has not proved entirely reliable.
- Entropion: this inherited condition causes the eyelids to curl inward rather than outward so that the eyelashes rub against the cornea, resulting pain and infection of the eyes; treatment involves surgically reshaping the malformed eyelids.
- Hip dysplasia: thesedogs may inherit a condition where the hipbone fails to fit correctly into the pelvis. Over time, wear and tear can cause these joints to become inflamed, resulting in pain and restricted movement. The condition can often be reversed with surgery. Owners are urged to ask breeders for confirmation that the hips of the parents are not affected, though this does not guarantee that puppies will not develop dysplasia.
- Hypothyroidism: this condition occurs when a dog’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, resulting in a lack of the necessary hormones that the thyroid produces. Symptoms include hair loss, skin problems, weight gain and lethargy. Blood analysis is used to confirm the presence of the disease; treatment involves daily administration of an artificial hormone to replace what the thyroid no longer produces.
Knowing in advance that their dogs are prone to these and other problems, responsible owners make sure that they will be able to afford treatment for any and all health issues as they arise. Purchasing the right pet health insurance plan is one way to be sure that you will be able to do everything possible to keep your Boxer happy and healthy for as long as possible.
Boxer Dog References