Golden retrievers and boxers are known to have high rates of cancer (50 and 44 percent of deaths, respectively), but the researchers found that the Bouvier des Flandres breed actually has a higher death rate from cancer (47 percent) than the boxer.While we all hope that our boxer is one of the lucky ones, we should familiarize ourselves with the warning signs of cancer in our dogs:
- Bumps or lumps - Bumps or lumps that you can feel under the dog's skin that you never noticed before - the dog may show a sensitivity when these are touched. It is recommended to routinely check for this...And this is best done after or during a bath when fur is wet and you can more easily slide your fingers around the body to check.
- Rapid weight loss - Visible weight loss will usually first be noticed around the Boxer dog's rib area...If your dog was of a normal weight and then suddenly you are noticing that the rib cage is noticeable, this is the time to take action and have him or her tested for any potential issues that may or may not be related to cancer.
- Change in elimination habits - A Boxer dog may have decreased or increased bowel movements or continual diarrhea. While you do not need to inspect every bowel movement, it is recommended to take note at least once a week - Not just for this issue, but for possible worms, undigested food that will let you know that food is not being absorbed as it should, etc... Feces should be of a soft consistency, not runny and not dry/cracked. It can let you know that your dog is eating a well balanced meal.
- Decreased energy level - a Boxer dog will become tired and weak. He or she will not want to exercise or play as usual. They may be reluctant to take their normal scheduled walk. He or she may retreat more often to their bed to rest or to sleep.
- Cold-like symptoms - such as sneezing or coughing
- Changes in the shape, texture or size of a mole that the dog has always had - Usually noticed on the Boxer dog's stomach.
- Swelling around a tooth can be a sign of canine mouth cancer - This can cause them to show discomfort when eating....and/or have the need to chew on something that relieves the pain
- Brain tumors (the Boxer dog is more prone to this than any other dog breed) will show symptoms of: difficulty walking, facial paralysis and/or impaired sight (even blindness if not caught in time)