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Gingival Hyperplasia and Boxers Teeth

What is it? And why is it important for me to know?
Let's start with "what is it?"  Gingival Hyperplasia (also known as Fibromatous Periodontal Hyperplasia) are firm, non-painful swellings or lesions attached to the gingiva.   Basically the gum line looks like little tumors that grow slowly and start to surround and sometimes cover the teeth.  When this happens, gingivitis may occur or a for another form of periodontal disease may begin to occur (even if you are brushing).  At times, the dogs eating habits will change and it may be harder for them to chew solid dog food. Eventually, it will need to be removed. boxer teeth Why is it important for me to know?There is a familial inheritance reported in the boxer.  What this means- boxers are very likely to develop it. The good news is there is a treatment.  The bad news is it requires the boxer to be put under anesthesia/sedative for the procedure to take place.  Please make sure that the veterinarian does not administer Acepromazine.  Boxers have a sensitivity to the this drug. TREATMENT: Gingivoplasty is performed to re-establish normal height and contour of the gingival margin.  Basically they carefully cut it off and re-contour the gum line. Since this is an operation, a soft diet is required for 5-10 days post-operation.  Most veterinarians prescribe a pain killer for the first few days and a oral hygiene type of solution to help with healing. daisyOn a personal note, we are experiencing this very issue with our Daisy girl.  I brush my boxers teeth 1-2 times a week.  I was now instructed to brush them every day.  My veterinarian believes that she may have inherited the trait.  She will be going through her surgery this summer (2014).  When I asked about how dangerous the surgery is, my veterinarian's reply was "it is routine surgery that is often done but it is a somewhat painful for the patient, imagine you had all your wisdom teeth removed at once- it's the same kind of pain and post-op treatment."  Of course, once she is through the surgery I will report back with an update. Update: Daisy went through her surgery on July 8th.  She did amazing.  A few days later, her gums looked like they were healing nicely.  Approximately 10 days after surgery, as I was brushing her teeth her mouth started to bleed terribly.  When I took a closer look, behind her bottom right canine tooth was a large gaping hole that was bleeding.  Immediately I took her to the vet.  She had developed an infection and was given antibiotics.  She did not heal or get better from the antibiotics.  Following the antibiotics her gums became extremely swollen and began to bleed (see below pic where her gums are holding her lips open).  All of this happened very quickly (within a few weeks).


Additional stronger antibiotics were prescribed and the vet felt  that her bottom right canine was "dead" and causing the infection.  A second surgery was scheduled on August 19th to remove the canine.  After discussing her surgery and reviewing the x-ray with the vet, Daisy had developed a very severe bone infection (Osteomyelitis) that basically ate away her jawbone (see below x-ray where white jawbone ends and then continues on backside).  During surgery 4 teeth (the canine, incisor, and 2 front teeth) were removed (basically they pretty much fell out of her mouth).  The vet believes this infection was a complication from the 1st surgery.  He took a tissue culture to test it for a super-bug and a biopsy to check for cancer.   In the meantime, she is on a 4 quadrant antibiotic therapy to try and combat the infection (along with pain medications.  At this time she can only eat wet food and has lost 11 pounds. picresized_th_1408633213_DaisyRusso The biopsy came back positive for cancer, specifically Squamous Cell Carcinoma.  We are heartbroken for our girl. Click here to learn more about this type of cancer, in the meantime please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.   Now it's your turn, have you experienced this with your boxer?  We'd love to hear your stories!  Email: Did you like this article?  If so, please go back to and 'like' or 'share' the article -OR- pin the article on Pinterest!

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9 Responses to Gingival Hyperplasia and Boxers Teeth

  1. Kelli March 1, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    Hi, this is very helpful thanks! …I am loving your site.

  2. Barb Stephens August 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Our sweet Annie who is also a white boxer and looks EXACTLY like your Daisy had this exact surgery this summer. No complications. Sorry to hear about Daisy. I hope she is doing better!! Will keep her in my prayers!!! y

  3. Carolee September 26, 2014 at 3:30 am #

    Our Daisy is having this surgery a week from tomorrow. I am so sorry for your girl’s journey, this is the last thing you would have expected from a “routine” surgery.

  4. Tara October 4, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    So sorry to hear about Daisy. I hope she recovers well. I found a large mass on my boxer’s gums yesterday. I’ve been doing some research and it seems to resemble gingival Hyperplasia. I’m hoping to find a natural cure for this issue as your story has got me a bit worried. Not sure if I want to put my 9 year old through another surgery — she’s already had several surgeries to remove Mast Cell Tumors.

    • Ronda September 20, 2017 at 2:26 am #

      I’m scared to ask but how is your daisy doing? I have 2 9 e
      year old Boxer Girls and one is having issues with her gums. I came across this article doing some research on it.

      • Daisy October 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

        Alive and well 😉

    • Eugenia December 29, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

      How did your dog do with the gum issues, did you find a natural remedy, I have a 9 year old that had a toe amputated and I’m scare to put her through surgery that can be prevented.
      Please tell me about your dog.

      • Daisy January 7, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

        The surgery went fine. However, they opened Pandora’s box and she was later diagnosed with gingival hyperplasia. Of course this was unique to her and she’s alive and well after natural remrdies. Good luck. Let us know what you decide and how your boxer is doing.

  5. Mackie Braden November 20, 2017 at 3:11 pm #

    My 11 year old neutered male, Casey, had this surgery a year ago completely w/o complications. Almost immediately the gums began
    Intruding over his upper and lower incisors and small molars.
    Im not inclined to subject him to a long procedure unless there’s no alternative.

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