Of course every breed has the potential for health problems and Boston Terriers are no exception.  Since many health issues can be inherited, it is very important to research the pedigree behind your puppy and to choose a reputable breeder who's standards include screening the parents prior to breeding for any potential health issues.  Besides the normal health ailments that may affect any breed, your Boston could have the potential for Brachycephalic Syndrome, Patellax Luxation, Hemivertebrae, deafness, cataracts, corneal ulcers, glaucoma, many other eye issues, or any of the following. 

If you suspect something may be wrong with your Boston Terrier, watch and record his/her eating habits (amount & when), is he/she drinking and staying hydrated, is he/she drinking too much, is he/she urinating as normal or are they struggling with very little or too much, and take his/her temperature.  A Boston's normal rectal temperature should be around 100.5-102.5 degrees fahrenheit. 

We also give details on medications, etc on the following pages.  Please see your Vet though if you have any questions or concerns about your Boston!

  • Brachycephalic Syndrome - This is one of the most common health issues to affect Bostons.  Boston's with this condition have trouble breathing due to an excess of soft tissue having formed in their airways.  Three most common types are (1) stenoic nares, (2) everted laryngeal saccules, and (3) elongated soft palate.

  • Eye Conditions - A couple of issues may include cataracts, which is an hereditary condition the Boston Terrier is prone to get.  Cataracts are a degenerative condition that can lead to blindness if not detected and treated.  Common indications are flecks in the eyes.  Juvenile Cataracts is also a genetic condition that can lead to total blindness in dogs less than a year old.  A CERF test or a Genetic Test called JHC (Juvenille Hereditary Cataracts, can determine if they are free from Juvenile Cataracts.  All our parents are JHC cleared!  Corneal Ulcers and Glaucoma are also very common in Bostons.  Due to the protruding eyes of the Boston, they could easily accidentally catch particles in the environment which can cause irritation, lead to infection, and formation of ulcers.  (Click here for more details on making sure your new Boston Baby is JHC cleared!)

  • Degenerative Myelopathy - Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord of dogs.  Dogs that have inherited two defective copies will experience a breakdown of the cells responsible for sending and receiveing signals from the brain.  (Click here for more details on making sure your new Boston is cleared for DM!)

  • Patellar Luxation - Dislocated knee.  Symptoms are lameness, stretching a hind leg in an attempt to "pop" the patella back into place.  If left untreated, may cause cruciate ligament (ACL), cartilage damage, or Arthritis.  Can be verified with an examination and manual manipulation.  (Click here for more details on why you want a Boston to get examined for Patellar Luxation)

  • Hemivertebrae - A genetic disorder that affects many short-nosed breeds that also have scre-tails. 

  • Hip Dysplasia - This is when your Dane has laxity in a hip joint which causes the joint to not fit properly, which in return can be painful.  A good set of Xrays can show you how you Danes hip joints are set.

  • Cranial Cruciate Disease - Similar to ACL injuries in people, but the process by which the tear occurs is different. Unlike in people, who primarily suffer from traumatic ACL injuries, the canine cruciate tears from a degenerative, inflammatory process which weakens the ligament. Tearing of the weakened ligament may or may not be proceeded by a mild traumatic event (e.g. jumping off the couch). (Click here for a very detailed story on Stromboli, the Loving Dane with CCD)

  • Angular Limb Deformity - An angular limb deformity is an abnormally shaped or crooked limb that results from abnormal growth of the bones. Angular limb deformities are most commonly seen in the forearm (radius/ulna), but can also be seen in the lower part of the hind leg (tibia/fibula).  Injury to young, growing bones can result in an angular limb deformity. These injuries can include being hit by a car, stepped on, dropped or getting a limb caught in the doorway. Abnormally shaped bones then put abnormal forces on the joints, which can lead to pain and arthritis. (Click here for more details & to read Jericho's Story)

  • Pyoderma / Impetigo - A bacterial skin infection, usually Staph, which usually afffects puppies since they have a weaker immune system.  It is most commonly recognized by small red or crusty bumps on the belly or, as typically seen in Danes, on the head of the puppy.  These may resemble "pimples".  There may be dry patches of flaky skin or some noted hair loss.  It is VERY common in young Dane pups & it will clear up without any complications. To treat:  Topical Treatment such as Providone Iodine or diluted Betadine twice daily for a week.  Shampoo Treatment with Hibiclens, which can be found at any local pharmacy.  If the rash spreads or doesn't look better after a week , move to Oral Treatment of Cephalexin.  (Click here for more information on Pyoderma and treatment with dosaging)

  • Pyometra - An infection in the uterus.  This is usually a secondary infection that occurs as a result of hormonal changes in the female.  Pyometra usually occurs two to eight weeks after the females last heat cycle.  Symptoms depend on whether the cervix is open or closed.  If the cervix is open, pus or abnormal discharge may drain from the uterus through the vagina to the outside.  Fever, lethargy, anorexia, and depression may also be present.  Excessive licking after the heat cycle, cuddly or distant, and excessive drinking may also occur.  If the cervix is closed, discharge may not be able to drain.  It will collect in the uterus causing the abdomen to distend.  The bacteria releases toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream.  Toxins affect the kidney's ability to retain fluid.  Increased urine production occurs and many dogs drink an excess of water to compensate.  There may be lethargy, weakness, excessive panting, increased thirst, anorexia, distention of the abdomen, vomiting, and fever often to 104 to 106.   X-rays may identify an enlarged uterus if it is a closed cervix.  Treatment:  (1) Spay or (2) Natural Remedy along with some Antibiotics (Click here for more information on the Natural Remedy)
  • Eclampsia - An emergency medical condition where blood calcium levels drop in nursing mothers.  Most often occurs when puppies are 1 to 5 weeks of age.  Symptoms include: Tremors, weakness, stiff limbs, struggling to stand or walk, panting, restlessness, & muscle spasms.
  • Metritis - An inflamed uterine wall.
  • Mastitis - My personal experience with Mastitis to follow...




Sparrows Point, MD             (443) 800-5709