(updated March 2006)


Below are my own observations...designed to call attention to some possible causes of Boxer health problems. I have also made some suggestions to help keep your boxer healthy.  My credentials are, a boxer owner for 50 years, competitor and trainer for 20 years and breeder for 10 years.


Dedicated to Merlin, Tiger, Mogul, Maybelline & Buster,
well loved and special, but who died too young.

  I feed a high quality food..Ö it is definitely well worth the small extra cost. Many are opting for the new raw food diets and this is probably good as well, if you have the time to make the food and room for storage.  I feed Eukanuba lamb and rice to the younger and performance dogs or Iams lamb and rice to the older dogs or those with weight problems.  I like to see the outline of the last two ribs on the dog as a guideline for their weight. I also add Buffered Vitamin C 500mg and Vitamin E 400mg. I just put it in their evening meal. Also there is good research on the benefits of brewers yeast and kelp. Make sure your boxer isn't exposed to chemicals in the environment. i.e. cleaning chemicals, yard chemicals and too much internal chemicals.  

   Dogs absorb everything through their paws. Weed and Feed has been found to cause cancer in cats. Why not dogs as well? When you visit dog parks and other parks you donít notice weeds. You donít often see flies, fleas or bees. There is a reason for this. The reason is chemical. They use strong chemicals to eliminate these things from the environment. Cancer in boxers seems to be on the increase.

   If the dog is on heartworm medication make sure it is not year round as it isn't necessary in the winter (depending on the area you live in). If you use Frontline (an internal/topical flea preparation, somewhat safer than some of the others) don't use the long lasting. Three months max and then only give another dose when you see fleas. Better to treat the yard (I use malathion as it has no residual after 36 hours, keep dogs off till after residual has been eliminated) and the house and not use anything on the dog. There are new all natural ways to deal with fleas as well.
No flea collars and no flea treatments on puppies younger than six months.

No Weed and Feed or other lawn chemicals. No access to garden chemicals.

  Research is speculating we are over vaccinating and this is lowering dogs immune system. Never double up on vaccines. I.e. giving rabies and yearly shot at the same time. I donít use kennel cough unless it is required for kenneling purposes.  Get yearly shot on an 18 month schedule. After about the age of five or six discontinue shots, except rabies if you need to license.

   Second hand smoke causes cancer in people ..Ö..Ödogs are susceptible to carcinogens in their environment.

  Thyroid as well as bad teeth may be influencing boxer heart problems. New research is providing this information.

Below is a link to a web page with some interesting new information on the use of bee pollen. I mention this in particular as I believe in the need for antioxidants in the dogs food. I give 400 mg of Vit E capsul and 500 mg buffered Vit C. I have used Kelp in the past and am going to start adding it again along with bee pollen. Link to more information on the use of bee pollen for humans and dogs.

   I am currently taking one of my older bitches to a physical therapist for back wellness. She has no signs of back problems yet, but the physical therapist found some vertebrae that were out of alignment. This is not a traditional kind of physical therapy, as she manipulates like a chiropractor, but it is a gentle manipulation. I will provide more information on request or when I find out if there is a documentable improvement. So far she seems to love it and is bouncing around afterward.

   There is new research on the detrimental affects of early spay and neuter.

    I recommend the animal be allowed to mature to around 11 month age before doing the spay or neuter. Toy breeds may be able to be altered at a somewhat younger age. Breeds that mature slowly like Boxers can wait until around a year. This advice is based on the assumption that you never allow your unattended dogs out of their own private securely fenced enclosure and that you are not keeping another in tact animal. Males, as young as nine months, can impregnate a bitch. Be sure to consult your breeder for their recommendations. 

   Basically we need to boost the immune system of our boxers..Ö.watch what they are exposed to and provide quality food and a quality environment.


      Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. The only experience I have is with my own, friendís and clientís dogs for the past forty years. I belong to a boxer mailing list and the exchange of information is considerable. Some of the above observations come from that source as well as my own experience.


Health Reference AKC Gazette Sept 2005 As an interesting followup to this topic, I would like to suggest reading the "HEALTHY DOG " section of the Sept. AKC Gazette P.22.  The title of the article is "Everything old is new again: trends and traditions in puppy raising".  This article examines the experiences of several long time breeders who have come to the conclusion that the "so-called modern miracles" that began appearing 50 years ago such as processed food, prepackaged foods and the new vaccines and antibiotics, may need to be reconsidered in light of the "potentially negative effects" they are now finding in their breeding programs.  The following is a quote from the Article:  
"For instance, Betty Lewis a breeder and exhibitor of Great Danes for more than 35 years, an AKC judge, a retired veterinary technician, and a holistic animal consultant.has observed the decade-by decade decline of canine health since the 1970's.  Her veterinary experience changed radically from initially treating healthy dogs with accident related trauma to a constant influx of chronic illness.  She witnessed the emergence of allergies, bloat, paneosteitis, diabetes, cancer, heart disease,dental disease, kidney failure,thyroid disease, lupus and other auto immune diseases, inflamatory bowel problems, siezures and temperament issues.  Lewis attributes this epidemic of life-threatening conditions to toxic exposure, citing what she believes to be the culprits including impure water, overuse or misuse of parasite preventative products and vaccines, and diets possibly too high in grain and carbohydrates."

Please, if you disagree with these observations or have research disproving same, donít hesitate to send it my way. I am always eager to learn. And, please do not hold me responsible if you do the above and the outcome is not what you wanted.

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