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Hi,
I am new here as a member. I have read the forum before and found many of the articles and information very helpful and in one case cured my current boxers bloody diarrhea that had been going on for months. So I am thankful for the information. I wanted to let other boxer owners know what I went thru recently. I have been reading lately a lot about grain free dog food and it relationship with cardiomyopathy. I recently experienced this in a horrific way. Today is two years now since I had to put my precious girl Koko to sleep due to cardiomyopathy she was my daughter in every way and I loved her so much I feel her loss everyday. My nightmare began two years ago when Koko was younger she was having some food allergy problems so I switched to grain free thinking that was better when she was 5 she started having some fainting episodes and she had an echocardiogram which was normal but it was found she had developed an autoimmune disease I had never heard of it required thousands of dollars in medication and a blood transfusion but she recovered well and we had two more good years. Then she started fainting again back for another echocardiogram this time it was cardiomyopathy and I was devastated it was very hard watching her go down with this and to ultimately put her down. I still had a three year old male boxer here and I kept telling myself at least I still had him. One month after Koko died Jaxson began coughing and I was worried the Vet thought he had picked some virus up. Then he fainted and my heart dropped into my shoes went rushing to the Vet and a echo later found out he had cardiomyopathy too I was beyond devastated and I had to watch my precious boy go thru the same thing so within 6 months I had lost both of my dogs. I cannot believe this is a coincidence at all and I am feel terrible because I didn't know there was a problem with grain free foods and I feel terrible because I fed it to them and I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I have two new dogs now a female Kodie who is 1 and a male Mack who is 6 months old they come from
parents that were heart screened and tested so I hope I will never have to go thru that again and there is no more grain free anything in my house. I hope no one else will have to go thru what I did I wouldn't wish that on anyone who loves their dogs.
 

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I am sorry for the loss of your two previous dogs. Unfortunately boxers are prone to dcm . It is good you purchased your new dogs from a more reputable breeder that does health testing on the parents prior to breeding. I wouldn't beat myself up about grain free being the cause as it still has not been determined although there does seem to be a link. I've read thats its more the protein source. If the manufacturer is using more legumes than actually meat protein, they are leaning on this being the cause. For now I too would stay clear of grain free and go back to the ol big dog food manufacturers like Purina, Royal Canin. We worry about our boy though he hasn't had grain free food but his parents weren't health tested so there may be eventual problems. He is turning 5 next month so we will be watching him carefully. He actually belongs to my daughter and I tell her how important it is to keep him healthy by walking him and seeing he has proper exercise but she has gotten lazy and so is he. (two peas in a pod). He has put on weight which isn't good for him. Good luck with your new pups, and I hope you will share some photos.
 

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Sorry to hear about your previous 2 boxers and good luck with the new pups.


Just kind of want to expand on what Linda mentioned. The grain free warning is so early that there is no proof it causes DCM. They haven't found the correlation yet if there is one. Some theories are the use of legumes and taurine levels, but the absence of grain isn't the cause.

Out of of approximately 77 million dogs in the US there were 560 dogs that were reported as DCM possibly linked to diet. They don't even know what the base line is, so these cases could just be reported more, not that there is an actual increase in cases.

Another interesting thing is Europe has not seen any increase. They have slightly different guidelines on food so that is another possible theory.

Boxers are genetically predisposed to DCM which is an unfortunate trait of the breed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thank you

Thank you for your kind words they mean a lot to me. I am feeding Royal Canin boxer right now it is recommended by my Vet so I am going with that and so far my dogs are doing well. I think its important too to make sure you get dogs from health tested parents although I know there is no guarantee even with this that it won't happen. I walk my kids everyday and then they get some more time to run and play crazy time (without Mom attached to the leash) I took my other dogs with me all the time as well we just enjoyed being together. I started walking with my previous dogs 2 miles everyday sometimes we go on trails sometimes its open fields and they keep me active. They expect to go every morning and I found it keeps me honest about walking everyday good for them and me. I found when I didn't have dogs to walk I wasn't as honest about getting my walking time in. Again I don't know for sure it was the grain free that did it but its awful suspicious my dogs were not related either. My female dog had no previous heart issue but I don't know her parents backgrounds they were not health tested my male however when he went down with DCM I contacted the woman I got him from and she then had his parents tested and his father was positive for DCM and sister (littermate) as well. But the thing is they are still doing well they are not fed grain free. I will be interested in finding out what the problem is the food by the way I was feeding was high in legumes second ingredient was lentils Not sure how to upload photos yet since I am new here. My current dogs have the same sire and both dams are health tested for cardio and DM as well.
 

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The way I upload photos is I use the paperclip that is in the top line of the message box. After you click the paper clip, go to the left and click Choose File, if you are using a computer you just select from where they are saved on your computer then you click the upload button and wait a couple seconds for it to say its uploaded.:cheers:

I just wanted to throw that information out there because I don't think you should beat yourself up over something the FDA isn't even sure of yet. I'm sure you did the best for your dogs and it was just an unfortunate trait with these guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
pictures of my fur kids

I think this is how you put photos on, these are my current dogs the fawn is my girl Kodie she is a year old and the brindle is my boy Mack he is 6mos. old here. 0621190727-00.jpg

0804190749-00.jpg
 

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Sorry for the loss of your first two boxers.
Kodie and Mack are adorable. I hope they both have long and healthy lives!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks

I hope they do to I think I have been thru enough pain for now. Those were some of the worst times of my life I don't think I have ever cried that much. My new kids are a challenge we tend to forget how much work puppies are and how active young dogs are. This is the first time I have had two young dogs at once. I hope these dogs live out normal lives and there are no problems!
 

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Your pups are beauties! WE all do the best we can for our dogs, sometimes we are fed misinformation or it was something unknown at the time or just ol genetics. I was searching for a 2nd boxer, I ended up with a standard poodle. LOL So now one of each. Both are sweet but the boxer is actually more laid back. I couldn't find a heath tested boxer within my range of distance. I thought my daughter would be moving with the boxer and I wanted another large dog to walk with before I am any older and training gets more difficult. So that my story LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I know what you mean about wanting someone to walk with you and I too wanted to get these dogs trained before my knees gave out! Once you get thru to them and they get thru the crazies of puppy hood I find they are really easy to deal with Kodie and Mack are still pretty active. I meant for my other dogs to probably be the last boxers I get but well you know what happened there. I enjoy being with my dogs so much and when we walk early in the mornings that is the best time in my whole day we love to just be in the woods and enjoy being together its a simple as that. There were no health tested boxers around me either but I did some looking online and was able to contact a breeder in a neighboring state and she had a pet nanny to deliver them so it worked out well they were in the car about 5 hours but they both traveled well and the woman who brought them was very kind and seemed to be putting the dogs well being first. I had to pay more for the health tested dogs but when I look back at this last thing I had to deal with the cost was much much more. I hope these guys will prove to be healthy so far they are doing pretty well. Your boxer is beautiful.
 

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Thank you for sharing your experience Luvmyboxers6. I am so sorry for the loss of you 2 precious boxers. I'm glad you opened your heart and home up to 2 more beautiful boxers.

Thank you Lindar51 and Matt74 for posting the information you shared. The statistics are very interesting.
 

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[email protected] Thankyou. Yes each of my dogs are my last ones too. lol But I'm getting old and my legs aren't so good anymore. I still enjoy walking however the last 6 m months have been difficult. My intention is as soon as it cools down I will begin short walks again and hopefully get up to at least 2-3 miles a day. I hope your pups have a long healthy life. I agree its worth it to buy more for a dog whose has generations of health tested parents. Its no guarantee but if you figure in all the vets costs, training and time you put in and finally get your dog to be the companion and partner you want it to be you don't want to lose them because someone decided to breed cute puppy #1 to cute puppy #2. without any past health knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you so much Lindar51 I am so looking forward to the fall weather coming! Both me and the dogs just hate this hot humid weather!! I ache a little more in the winter time but I enjoy being out so much more. I still walk everyday even when its cold. I got some really nice coats for the dogs because they get cold too they are the horse blanket style and they are made by Foggy Mountain dog coats they are nylon outside so stuff slides off of them like burrs and stickers and they have fur type lining inside and they buckle securely so they don't slide around when the crazies take place and you can wash them and hang them to dry. I went thru a lot of coats that just didn't fit right because of their shoulders and deep chest but these work well they are pricey but I have had them thru my other dogs and my new dogs will wear them this winter they actually love their coats once they get used to them. My young male has never had a coat on yet so we will see about that! I have a picture of Kodie wearing hers last year. Oh and what you said about people breeding cute puppy to cute puppy when I first got Kodie I had a cable guy come to my house to fix the cable first he was making over Kodie and saying how much he liked boxers then he started to tell me how to stop her from jumping up he was saying you just grab them by the legs and hurt them I told him to keep his hands off my dog!! And then he said he breeds boxers he said he had a male that had DM and he had been breeding him until the dog could no longer stand. I told him he was why so many unknowing people ended up with their hearts broken and wallets drained! What a horrible man! When you look at ads for boxers just see how many of them actually mention health testing not many. If you ask they usually say "I have never had a problem"
 

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[email protected] love that coat. I will google them later. Don't really need coats here but if there nylon I would think it would help keep rain off too. Yes I too had a "cable guy" he saw my poodle and said his wife breeds labradoodles, then he asked if mine was neutered and when I said yes he said oh too bad. As if I would even consider breeding him. I just let it go . . I think an awful lot of people just breed their dogs to make a few $. There is no long term commitment to the better the breed.
 
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