The first Boerboel was bred in South Africa in the mid-1600s. These Mastiff-like dogs protect and guard the early Dutch settlers and their farms. Boerboels, generally, are healthy dogs that live an average of 10 to 12 years. However, they also have common health issues, some of which are hereditary and some are environmental.
As a Boerboel buyer, knowing these common health issues can help you choose a better and healthier puppy such as puppies from Elite Boerboel Breeder. Here are the most common Boerboel breed health issues that you should take note of:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
This defect is a result of an incorrectly developed hip and elbow joints, which usually means a shallow hip or elbow socket. Hip and elbow dysplasia can cause damage to the cartilage and arthritis. The dog’s joint will become unstable, which can also cause pain and limping with symptoms getting worse as the dog age. This condition can only be diagnosed through x-ray by a licensed veterinarian.
Hip dysplasia can be caused by two factors:
- Genetics – The defect can be inherited through their polygenic genes. Risks for this defect can also increase if both parents are also diagnosed with hip dysplasia.
- Environmental – The defect can be caused by poor upbringing within the first two years of the dog. Conditions such as malnutrition and overworking of the joints can increase the risks of hip dysplasia.
Look for a Boerboel puppy with complete papers and x-ray results. Also, proper exercise and nutrition should be observed during the first 18 months of your puppy.
This defect causes the lower eyelid to either turn outward and increase tear flow or turn inward and cause eye chafing. Entropion/ectropion is an inheritable defect, and if you think your puppy is affected, immediately visit the nearest veterinary for eye examinations.
Look for breeders that test their dogs of these defects, and ask for eye examination results.
- Vaginal Hyperplasia
Vaginal hyperplasia is a defect that causes the vaginal tissues to strongly react to estrogen, especially during the female dog’s heat. The vagina can emerge and swell from the vulva, resembling a tongue protruding from its genitals. This defect is also inheritable. Affected dogs should be immediately taken to the nearest veterinary.
Ask to see the vet examination results for this kind of defect. Only get a puppy from a mother that was tested free of vaginal hyperplasia.
This disease is caused by Demodex mites – these mites are commonly found on dogs but are usually harmless. They can only cause trouble if the dog’s immune system has been compromised, leaving the mites free to multiply unhindered. Demodicosis can only be diagnosed by a skin scraping test done by a licensed veterinarian.
Symptoms of demodicosis are:
- Bald spots
- Severe itching
Demodicosis is categorized as:
- Local – This form of demodicosis mostly occurs in younger dogs under one year of age. It can appear as bald spots in the face and in the front legs.
- General – This form of demodicosis can affect dogs of all ages and will affect larger areas of the dog’s body.
When buying a Boerboel puppy, carefully check both of the parents for symptoms of demodicosis. A suspected demodicosis from parents and other siblings can be a sure sign of an affected puppy.
Boerboels are known to have a wide variety of hereditary allergies from different types of food products, pollen, and mites. However, even if the parents are allergy-free, they can still produce affected litters. Allergies can only be determined by a licensed veterinarian by doing tests such as skin scrapings and blood sampling.
Here are some symptoms of allergies:
- Bald spots
If the puppy develops any kind of allergy under your care, whether it is environmental or hereditary, you should immediately contact a veterinarian and ask for advice.
Look for symptoms of allergies on the parents and siblings of the puppy. If you suspect an affected litter, you should consider other breeders.
- Patellar Luxation
Patellar luxation is caused by an incorrectly developed kneecap that can either move inwards or outwards. The disorder can cause mild to severe pain, depending on the severity of the luxation. Diagnosis of patellar luxation can be made through a physical examination by a licensed veterinarian.
Symptoms of patellar luxation are:
- Weak legs
- Leg pains
Patellar luxation can be caused by a number of different reasons such as:
- Congenital – The patellar luxation is present during birth.
- Developmental – The disorder develops as the dog ages.
- Trauma – The patellar luxation is caused by accident or injury.
It’s best to check for symptoms of patellar luxation in both parents and litter. Don’t buy any puppy from any affected litter.
It’s essential to get a healthy Boerboel dog that will give you joy and companionship for the years to come, as we all know how saddening it is to see our pets in pain. Use this article as a guide whenever you decide to adopt a dog of this breed.