Anybody familiar with Boxers?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by stafinois, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mayberry
    Home Page:
    In discussions in a Facebook group last night, somebody revealed where they got their pet Boxer from. Both of the pup's parents were tested for degenerative myelopathy. But, the sire was genetically afflicted, and the mother a carrier. The one pup that is in the OFA database so far is genetically afflicted. I was horrified that the breeding was done, as you can guess.

    A Boxer BYB was included in the discussion last night, and her lousy health guarantee was subject to ridicule (one highlight is that jumping on/off furniture causes luxating patellas). I went out looking for a breeder that has a better guarantee. The first one I came to was a breeder that had a litter between two DM carriers advertised.

    Is this common practice in Boxers? Are they all carriers and this must be done? I don't see many old Boxers. Are they counting on them all dying of cancer before developing DM symptoms?

    I'm kind of horrified.
     
  2. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    several
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Home Page:
    Sadly, that could be the case. 8-10 seems to be the general life expectancy of Boxers. There are also a lot of health issues to consider and I know hearts are a huge concern. Many of the Boxers, even well bred ones I have known end up with some kind of heart problem at some point in their life. Many of these dogs were previously screened and found to have normal hearts. Cancer is also pretty common in them. AFAIK the DM test can be questionable in terms of just what it means. I could be wrong but I think genetically effected dogs may or may not end up actually developing DM. My guess would be that DM is something many breeders are testing for but it's not high on their priority list right now, since it generally affects old dogs. The heart issues can affect them at any age and it's not uncommon for them to cause sudden death in a seemingly healthy dog :( Also if a large number of Boxers are testing carrier or genetically affected, it' not that easy to just remove them all from the gene pool. Especially for something that may or may not ever cause them a problem.
     
  3. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mayberry
    Home Page:
    I knew about the heart disease, and of course the cancer. Like I said, I've not seen many old Boxers. We saw mostly BYB dogs at my various clinics and didn't see heart problems as often, but tons of cancer.
     
  4. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    9,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    This is why I didn't get a boxer when I got Logan. I adore boxers, but it's SO hard to find a healthy one. Gavroche was a stray and hasn't been tested for stuff, so it is a bit scary wondering what might happen as he ages. The fact that he's 5 now terrifies me as well.

    We see a LOT of boxers die young at work. Heart problems and lymphoma seem to be the top 2 causes of early death.
     
  5. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mayberry
    Home Page:
    Yes, lymphoma. And mast cell after mast cell until finally admitting that you've lost the battle.

    I love Boxers, but the health issues terrify me.
     
  6. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My boss is a Boxer breeder, in the breed for 40 some years. She breeds rarely. That said her last dog she just lost was 12. She tends to have long living dogs compared to most breeders.

    She will not breed a DM affected dog. She will breed a carrier but only to a clear and the puppies are tested for being carriers. She said this is due to the smaller gene pool from which she breeds. She is very line specific and her dogs, knock on wood, tend to not get cancers like other lines.

    I emailed her this morning and asked her about the DM thing as well as sent her that breeders link. She simply said, BYB.
     
  7. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,903
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 puppers & 40+ Betta Splendens Fish
    Location:
    Northern California
    I don't know much about Boxer breeding practices.... but I will say, the most horrific, severe tumors I've ever seen on dogs have ALL been on Boxers. :( I'll think the dog is 13, and I'll look on their sheet and they're 6 or 7! Very sad. I knew a nice white Boxer who was covered in tumors at age 6 and barely walked, it was heart-breaking. She had one between her front legs that was the size of a grapefruit and would bleed. It came back right after being removed. I would look into working Boxer breeders, as the few that I've met who were super healthy and well put together were from working European lines.
     
  8. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mayberry
    Home Page:

    It wasn't the same breeder. You probably figured it out because the link I posted on Facebook didn't test anything.
     
  9. Red Chrome

    Red Chrome New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah, I did figure it out after I emailed her. lol

    If your friend has a Boxer and would like to learn more about the breed. My boss said I would give her email address to the lady or you etc.
     
  10. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Keep in mind too that the degenerative myelopathy test isn't as straightforward as, say, the MDR1 test. It's difficult to really interpret how significant the results are. Aleron is correct that testing genetically positive doesn't necessarily correlate with a dog ever showing signs of DM. A lot of people had high hopes for that test, but unfortunately it hasn't yet quite panned out. It's not even really all that useful diagnostically. :(
     
  11. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    3,415
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    fiver
    Location:
    B-ville
    Home Page:
    The tests can be wonderful but just like with the PRA test developed for ESS, there's going to be some room for error and learning.

    My Bailey tested genetically affected (meaning, she has two copies of the gene) 5 years ago. She had a CERF exam for the first time since 8 weeks old that same year. Her CERF showed no signs of PRA. She also had CERFs in 2008, 2010, and 2011. All three of those showed that she was still unafflicted with the disease. Her next CERF is in two weeks so I guess we'll see what it shows then.

    The dog may be genotypically affected with a disease, but nobody knows when (or if) the dog will actually become phenotypically afflicted. The most valuable information we've actually gotten from this test is how old the dogs are when they start to show signs (or if they even do).
     
  12. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mayberry
    Home Page:

    I wondered if that was another issue. When the Ataxia test finally came about for AmStafs, it was discovered that there were many dogs genetically afflicted that were non-symptomatic. I assume that this is the case with the DM test rather than dogs testing negative and then developing it.

    Out of curiosity, is it more diagnostically accurate in other breeds? Are other breeds more likely to develop symptoms if they are genetically afflicted?
     
  13. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Yes exactly. A dog who tests as genetically positive may never develop any symptoms. It's useful to rule OUT degenerative myelopathy - say, in a dog with appropriate symptoms, a negative/negative test is useful to say that's NOT the cause. But it's not as simple as positive = affected, negative = unaffected. Which is unfortunate, that's the Goldilocks everyone would like to have.

    As far as I know, no, although it's been awhile since I've looked into it. For awhile, the lab that developed the test was testing any dog for free so they must have data on all sorts of different breeds and I'm sure they would share any breed related information they had.
     
  14. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    3,415
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    fiver
    Location:
    B-ville
    Home Page:
    I typed out a post about affected vs afflicted terminology and was going to link to a site I like but I can't find it so now I'm doubting whether it's just a "springer PRA" difference or whether the difference I tried to explain below is actually true. Sassafrass?!

    Just because I saw it... afflicted refers to phenotypically displaying the disease (PRA blindness, DM paralysis, etc) whereas affected refers to the genotype (genes transmitted from parent to offspring).
     
  15. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Honestly, this is lazy and imprecise but in everyday conversation I tend to use them interchangeably. *blush*

    But technically your terminology is correct, as I understand it.
     
  16. stafinois

    stafinois Professional Nerd

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,617
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mayberry
    Home Page:
    In AmStafs the responsible breeders are taking care to breed the carriers to clears to ensure no pups are born with two copies of the ataxia gene. In theory, one could breed a dog that is genetically positive for ataxia to a clear, get a litter of carriers, breed those to clears, then keep the clears and be able to linebreed on the original ataxic dog with no fear of producing the disease.

    How prevalent is DM in Boxers? Is it at the point were clear dogs are uncommon?
     
  17. Ratboy

    Ratboy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    A friend of mine had 4 Boxers die before the age of 8. Two of cancer, one of heart failure, and the other one from an ischemic bowel. One day he was fine, the next, he had to be put down. A Boxer mix I would think about taking, but a purebred? No way. The breeders need to rethink what they are doing and to stop breeding dogs with known issues.
     
  18. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    several
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Home Page:
    It's not really as easy as that when problems are wide spread throughout the breed.
     
  19. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog, 1 guinea pig, 1 hamster, 1 American toad, 1
    Location:
    Illinois
    Well when cancer doesn't appear until say 7-8 years old, and most dogs are bred (for their own health and sake) between 2-6, things get a little complicated. You can't run a test for the "cancer gene" and as we've discussed, even things you CAN test for can be so widespread that to eliminate every dog with said gene would leave with you a whole other host of problems from such a small gene pool.

    I would venture a guess that even the best Boxer breeders (who place a heavy emphasis on health) have produced and will continue to produce, dogs that die of cancer.
     

Share This Page