logo One of the first things the MBHA did was conduct a survey of local Boxer owners, breeders, and exhibitors. The purpose of the survey was to assess their views on Boxer heart health issues - from the willingness of breeders to screen their stock for heart condtions to their understanding of those conditions, as well as the prevalence of the diseases in their breeding program. The survey also asked for input on the commonly perceived health issues facing the breed.

Although this was a small and informal survey, the results are telling. For the following questions, participants were asked to rate a statement on a scale of 1 - 5, 1 being "Strongly Disagree," 3 being "No Opinion," and 5 being "Strongly Agree." 100% of respondents answered all of these questions; the average of all responses is listed.

It is important to Doppler (cardiac ultrasound) all breeding stock 4.36
It is important to Holter (24-hour EKG) all breeding stock 4.55
I would use a Holter if it was easily available 4.82
I understand what Aortic or Sub-Aortic Stenosis is 4.45
I understand what Boxer Arrythmic Cardiomyopathy is 4.55

The next set of questions were either Yes/No or fill-in. 100% of respondents answered the Yes/No questions.
Have you ever owned a Boxer diagnosed with AS, SAS, or BAC? 45% Yes
If yes, how many? Average 1.4
Have you ever produced a Boxer diagnosed with AS, SAS, or BAC? 18% yes
If yes, how many? Average 2

The final question was, "What do you feel are the biggest health issues facing the breed today?" 100% of respondents answered the question. The answers were as follows:

  • Heart (including answers specifying AS/BAC and answers of just "heart") - 43%
  • Cancer - 26%
  • Degenerative Myelopathy ("Down in rear") - 9%
  • Thyroid - 6%
  • Gastrointestinal/intestinal disorders - 6%
  • Allergies - 3%
Other comments included:
  • (Regarding heart) Problems found out too late, not enough info given to breeders
  • processed dog food
  • (Lack of) open communication between breeders
  • Backstabbing among breeders
  • (Lack of) genetic markers for heart condition and cancer
  • Delayed onset of heart diseases past normal breeding age
We appreciate the time everyone took to participate in this survey, and feel it has given direction to the development of the MBHA. We plan to have more surveys in the future, so please check back for updates.

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