Roxie Rhoades

Roxie: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie


Rox had been with us almost a year when she got sick: She began having abdominal pain severe enough she could hardly walk. We’re still not certain whether it was bad dog food or if she ate something else she should not have. Testing showed her pancreas was enlarged. During her recovery from pancreatitis, Rox decided she had had her fill of being sick and lying about. So she attempted to return to her previous level of activity. She fell while jumping from the floor to the bed.

Cauda Equina

Another trip to the vet revealed that Rox had cauda equina. The fall had not caused the condition, it had worsened a congenital skeletal abnormality. Cauda equina is basically an under-developed vertabra where the spinal column meets the pelvis. The symptoms include pain in the low back or hind-quarters, muscle weakness and instability in the hind legs. Any of these can cause an abnormal gait, or an abnormal gait can be an early warning sign. After several months of physical therapy, Rox was almost as good as new.

Cardiac Abnormality

Rox passed on January 12, 2010 of an arrhythmia. While Boxers are "prone" to cardiac problems, Rox's poor breeding teased out a ton of issues.

Pure Bred Dogs and Poor Health

Are pure bred dogs really less hardy than mutts? While all pure bred dogs seem to have breed specific problems, most of this seems to be due to inbreeding. Mutts are assumed to have less issues with inbreeding, but no-one really bothers to track their pedigrees. Any heavily inbred line of "mutts" would likely develop problems just as pure breeds do. The best thing dog owners can do is to avoid in-breeding. So take responsibility for your dog: If you cannot keep it secured at all times, have it spayed or neutered. This is vital for any dog that has health issues.

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