Boxer Cardiomyopathy 101

What is Boxer Cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is most frequently characterized by an irregular heartbeat.

Fainting or even abrupt heart failure may take place, and a few patients may develop congestive heart failure.

Cardiomyopathy is specific to the Boxer breed.

It has a tendency to happen in dogs that are no less than 2 years old, even though symptoms in dogs as young as 6 months have been documented.

Simultaneously, a few patients do not show symptoms till they are older than 10 years.

Cardiomyopathy Prevalence

In 1997, Dr. Kate Meurs started a comprehensive study on boxer cardiomyopathy for the American Boxer Club.

Of the 188 mature boxers that Dr. Meurs examined, thirty-one (16.5%) had been detected to suffer from fainting spells.

According to the UK Kennel Club cardiac related issues are responsible for almost 7% of Boxer deaths.

Symptoms and Types

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fainting
  • Coughing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen
  • Sudden death

Cause

Boxer cardiomyopathy is a genetic disease handed down in an autosomal dominant pattern.

In 2009, a group led by Dr. Kathryn Meurs at Washington State University reported that they had recognized one genetic abnormality related with Boxer cardiomyopathy, nevertheless as of 2012 there is still controversy over the relevance of the discovery.

Diagnosis

A genetic test for Boxer cardiomyopathy is now available on the market.

The genetic test is not yet recognized as a definitive test and extra diagnostic testing goes on to be critical to characterize the phenotype, and to assist immediate therapeutic interventions:

  • Physical examination
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Holter monitor
  • Echocardiogram

Treatment

The very first thing your vet may attempt to achieve is normalization of the heartbeat and cure the symptoms.

Preventing the sudden death that frequently happens with these cases will certainly be the major issue.

Treatment is complex when there are no apparent symptoms, and the medication generally recommended to deal with the condition brings on cardiac arrhythmias rather than minimizing them.

It is going to be up to your vet to figure out whether or not antiarrhythmic drugs are advised.

Leave Your Feedback

If you’re Boxer was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy leave a comment with your experience or any advises you may want to give to other Boxer owners.

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