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Health

Health ~ Testing ~ Food & Our Philosophy

Over the years we have embraced a more holistic view of caring for our Boerboels which includes feeding them RAW. The more 'holostic' we become in our own lives as a society, the more we become aware that what we once thought was good for us and our pets is actually causing us and them harm. We have noticed that many issues such as allergies are often completely cleared up with a species appropriate diet. This is a subject that Jennifer researches often and is happy share the information she has.

The purpose of this page is to help potential Boerboel owners to understand the health issues that can and do arise within the breed. It is not a comprehensive list, and the information contained here is a work in progress as we grown in our knowledge. The BB wasn't established until 1983; because it is a fairly new breed, some of the health issues are just now being brought to the surface.

  • Despite what you have read, Boerboels are prone to the same illnesses and diseases as other mastiff type breeds.
  • HD/ED/Bones/Joints/Cartilage ~ Proper food and excercise play a huge role in the development of bones and joints as well as genetics. Dogs that develop these issues can, with proper diet, exercise and supplements, still live happy lives.
  • Entropion ~ the eyelid curls inward. Ectropion ~ the eyelid curls outward. Depending on the severity, these conditions could require surgery.
  • VH ~ Vaginal Hyperplasia
  • Heart Issues ~ there are a number of heart issues that can occur both hereditary and non-hereditary, serious and non-serious
  • Birth Defects ~ some will be prominent at birth and others are internal and may not be noticed until later in a dogs life
  • Cancer ~ I hate to add this, but we are seeing cases of cancer in this breed. Since instances of cancer is soaring in the human population it doesn't seem odd that is also rising in our pets. How much is food and environment? I hope someday we will know.
  • Hypothyroidism ~ many new studies are linking this directly to the break down of the immune system due to immunizations and chemicles that our dogs are exposed to. As a puppy buyer, we will guide you through a holistic approach to vaccinating your dogs.
  • Temperament ~ while this is not necessarily a health issue, it can be a serious problem. Ask a lot of questions in regards to temperament and if at all possible, visit the kennels you are interested in and ask to be introduced to their breeding stock.

Testing

Hip/Elbow x-rays are done on all dogs. While we were set on using PennHip for many years, we have recently decided to not use this method so that our dogs don't have to be sedated. Our x-rays are available to our buyers for those not done through PennHip or OFA. Cardiac: each of our breeding stock has had a complete cardiac evaluation with an echocardiogram and puppies will have cardiac evaluations before being sent home. We do complete blood panels on the dogs which will detect if something is off with the function of major organs.

Food

We have tried many different kibbles over the years and have found that grain allergies are very common in dogs of all breeds. Even with switching to and trying different high quality grain free kibble, it was still a struggle to find something that everyone liked and keep up on the recalls that happen. We ended up switching to a Prey Model Raw diet in 2011 and we are loving it. Many people believe that is costly but we have found it to be more cost effective than a high quality, grain free kibble. While we understand that most people are not accustomed to feeding a RAW diet to their pets, we ask our puppy owners to consider feeding RAW.