Saturday, August 21, 2010

Boston Terrier Health Issue

Congenital deafness is an inherited health problem sometimes found in Boston Terriers. There is a test that can determine this as a puppy. It is called the BAER test, and here is a list of places to have this tested. A reputable breeder should provide documentation of this test.

Patellar Luxation
The patella, or kneecap, is part of the knee. In patellar luxation, the kneecap pops out of place, either in a medial or lateral position. This occurs in about 3 to 4% of Boston Terriers. Your vet can do a fairly simple exam to see if your dog has normal patellas. This can be done as young as 6 to 8 weeks of age.

Juvenile Cataracts can sometimes occur in Boston Terriers. This generally happens between eight weeks and twelve months of age. This is sometimes visible to the eye, but not always. This initially looks like small white flecks in the eyes which you can easily see when the pupils are dilated. A CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) test can be administered by a veterinary ophthalomologist to be certain. A reputable breeder should provide documentation of this test.

Glaucoma, which is increased pressure in the eye that can lead to blindness, is not something that is checked for at a CERF examination. It affects about 1% of Boston Terriers. Glaucoma comes on fast, and it's vital to recognize symptoms as soon as possible. The symptoms are: 1) A dilated pupil with no pupil response 2) The cornea is also cloudy 3) Blood vessels in the white part of the eyeball are congested

Hip & Elbow Dysplasia
Dysplasia is far more common in large breed dogs, although sometimes smaller breeds like Boston Terriers can be affected. It results from an improper alignment of joints in the hip or elbow. It's a good idea to test your dog if you are planning to breed.