Boxer dogs are one unique breed with a lovable and clownish personality, making them easily one of my favorite dog breeds to date! Unfortunately, while they are such devoted dog breeds, they are also one of the breeds most susceptible to cancer. There is a pretty high cancer rate in the breed, which is caused by genetic predispositions.
With that being said, it has people wondering, “how long do Boxers live with cancer?” While I’m not saying that the disease and short lifespan is inevitable, it’s best to stay prepared for what may come. So if you want to learn more about cancer in boxers and their lifespan if they do have it, read on.
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How Long Do Boxers Live With Cancer?
Cancer is a serious disease that affects humans and animals. Unfortunately, with Boxer dog breeds, the risk is high, with studies of up to 38.5% of Boxers developing a form of cancer in their lifetime. With that being said, if your Boxer were to develop the disease, how long can they live for?
This is actually a tricky question, with the answer depending on various factors, specifically on the type of cancer and treatment given. There are different types of cancers in Boxers to learn about, such as:
When a boxer has been diagnosed with this type of cancer, it’s unfortunately too late, as cancer has spread all around the body. The life expectancy after diagnosis may be as short as two months.
In the early stages, there are only very few or subtle symptoms. While treatment is tumor removal, even if possible and successful, it only extends his lifespan by a short while, but it isn’t a complete cure.
Lymphoma in Boxers
Around 25% of boxers may develop lymphoma, which is cancer of their lymphocytes. The symptoms include swelling of the lymph nodes, as well as weight and appetite loss, breathing issues, fever, among others.
There will be a tissue biopsy as well with other tests to make the diagnosis. Treatment includes chemotherapy, with the prognosis depending on how far along the cancer is. Some boxers can live a normal life span, while others may succumb within weeks to months.
Boxers actually lead all other dog breeds when it came to the development of brain tumors. Formally named gliomas, these are tumors which start in their brain’s glial cells, killing nearby brain tissue as it grows. Some tumors grow slowly, while others are aggressive.
When diagnosed with a brain tumor, there will be a biopsy. Removing it is difficult, as it can affect brain tissue around the tumor. Treatment consists of medications and radiation therapy, which can control the side effects. With treatment. the boxer can survive about a year or so.
Mast Cell Tumor
Boxers are more prone to mast cell tumors which appear on the skin. It’s known as mastocytoma, which affects your boxer’s connective tissue.
These tumors look like lumps on or under the skin which may change size. They are graded on a scale between 1 to 3 based on different factors, such as its size, location, and inflammation. Though less common compared to the other cancer types, fortunately, it’s treatable!
Treatment is to surgically remove the tumor and followed by chemotherapy. Its prognosis would depend if the tumor spread to different areas.
Causes and Symptoms of Cancer
It’s important to know the causes and symptoms of cancer in boxers so you’re able to watch out for warning signs and also do what you can to prevent it. There are various causes of cancer in Boxers besides it being a genetic predisposition, such as:
- Environmental elements such as secondhand smoking
- Random mutation of cells without explanation
- Injuries which may lead to bone cancer
- Nasal cancer from sniffing chemicals on the ground
These are the symptoms you must watch out for:
- Bumps or lumps under your dog’s skin, which the dog may feel sensitivity on
- Rapid weight loss first noticed on their rib area
- Change in bowel movements, such as diarrhea or increased bowel movement
- Energy levels decrease
- Swelling around teeth
- Changes in moles your dog had
- Cold-like symptoms like coughing, nasal discharge, or sneezing
- For those with brain tumors, they may experience difficulty in walking, impaired eyesight, or facial paralysis
Learn more about dog cancer here:
Wrapping It Up
Having a boxer with cancer can be a bit of a worrying experience. However, if you’re prepared and backed up with studies on how to prevent it and what to do, then you’ll be able to help give your boxer their best life despite the disease. All it takes is proper care and all the love they need.
I hope that this article answered your question, “how long do boxers live with cancer?” Now that you’re familiar with cancer in dogs, learn more about ways to prevent it now!