This is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor(s) of the skin. It generally strikes younger Boxer dogs with over 50% of cases affecting dogs under the age of 2 years old. Both males and females are prone to this to the same degree.
- The tumor(s) will be round, often raised and firm
- In some cases they will blister
- They do not cause pain and are not sensitive to the touch
- With most Boxer dogs, it is the head, limbs and ears that are affected
This is diagnosed via a physical exam that should include:
- A chemical blood profile
- A complete blood count
- A urinalysis
- An electrolyte panel
- A cytologic examination – With this testing, a small sample of the skin cells with be examined under a microscope
Once it is confirmed that the skin tumor(s) on a Boxer are benign (non-cancerous), the lumps can be removed and this is usually done with a laser. Some veterinarians recommend waiting, since these can sometimes disappear on their own.
The Boxer dog, as with any other dog breed, can have an allergic reaction that presents itself as a rash. This can range from mild to very severe, often affecting quality of life.
Dogs can be allergic to everything from air allergens (trees, pollen, weeds, etc.) just like some people are. Boxers can also be allergic to food or to elements that they come into contact with. No matter what the trigger, the main symptom is often a skin reaction.
In addition, a bite from a single flea can set off a terrible reaction – dogs that are allergic to saliva of fleas can break out in a full body rash before an owner even notices the flea problem.
The rash may affect one area of the body or it may appear all over the dog. Itching is usually intense. Hair loss is common. This can be because the skin is damaged, unable to hold in hair follicles and in some cases, the dog chews
and scratch so much on certain areas, that the fur begins to fall out.
Some Boxers have this so severe that there are patches of bald spots. Skin will look red and irritated. Usually there are bumps, which range from white to red.
Taking Care of a Boxer Dog's Skin & Coat
Not all conditions can be held at bay, however making sure that a Boxer has daily doses of Omega 3 can be helpful, as it works to keep both skin and coat healthy.
Boxers without skin problems should be given a bath every 3 weeks or so. More frequent baths are not recommended unless there is a good reason to do so (the Boxer ran through a muddy field, etc.) as it can dry out the skin, even if high quality products are used. Groom
the coat well, to remove dead hairs, as they can block air circulation.
For those dogs that have developed dry skin issues, baths given every week or so, using a dense oatmeal based shampoo and conditioner can offer some soothing relief.
In some cases, the veterinarian will recommend a prescribed rinse. Sensitive skin should not be rubbed dry. After the Boxer shakes, the coat should be gently patted and then allowed to air dry.
Please remember that serious Boxer dog skin problems such as mange, mites, infection and other must be treated by a veterinarian with prescription medications and cannot be treated at home via supplements and baths.
During the puppy phase and into adolescence, it is not uncommon for a Boxer dog to have some loose skin
. This is normally around the neck area. Do be aware of the area and keep it from staying moist. As he matures, it will tighten up and cling closer to formed muscles.
Seen less frequently with the Boxer breed, but able to affect any canine are the conditions of:
- Follicular dysplasia- This is a disease in which the hair follicles malfunction, causing hair to fall out of the coat.
- Lick granuloma – a condition in which dogs that excessively lick a certain area (often a front limb) will suffer from red irritated skin, itchiness and/or hair loss to the area.
When in doubt about any health issue involving your Boxer dog, please seek diagnosis with an experienced, reputable veterinarian in order to offer your Boxer the fastest route to treatment and relief.