Lower Urinary Tract Disorders in Boxer Dogs
World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress Proceedings, 2018
B. Gerber
Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland

Lower Urinary Tract Disorders in Boxer Dogs

Is there an association between urinary tract infection in young Boxer dogs and early chronic renal failure?

Chronic kidney disease occurring in young Boxer dogs was first considered to be renal dysplasia (Lucke et al. 1980). However, later histologic examinations of kidneys of young dogs including one Boxer dog suffering from chronic kidney disease reviled lesions that did not have all the typical features of renal dysplasia (Peeters et al. 2000). In a subsequent study of 37 Boxer dogs with juvenile nephropathy, the histologic picture was mostly not consistent with renal dysplasia (Chandler et al. 2007). The nephropathy occurred at the age of 4 months to seven years. Twenty-nine of the dogs were female and eight were male. It was discussed if the lesions seen were caused by one disease or by different diseases.

Interestingly urine culture was positive in 30% of the dogs. Even later seven Boxer dogs were described with renal lesions with a similar appearance as those of people suffering from vesico-ureteral reflux causing a so called reflux nephropathy (Kolbjornsen et al. 2008). The kidney lesions were compatible with chronic pyelonephritis with severe cortical atrophy and fibrosis.

Six of the seven dogs were related. If the dogs really suffered from vesico-ureteral reflux is not clear. Of young children with urinary tract infections about 30–45% suffer from vesico-ureteral reflux (Lellig et al. 2017). If there is a relation between the early onset of kidney disease in Boxer dogs and vesico-ureteral reflux or urinary tract infection is not known; however, urinary tract infections in young female Boxer dogs seem to be common.


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2.  Kolbjørnsen O, Heggelund M, Jansen JH. End-stage kidney disease probably due to reflux nephropathy with segmental hypoplasia (Ask-Upmark kidney) in young Boxer dogs in Norway. A retrospective study. Vet Pathol. 2008;45(4):467–474.

3.  Lellig E, Apfelbeck M, Straub J, Karl A, Tritschler S, Stief CG, Riccabona M. Harnwegsinfekte bei Kindern. Urologe A. 2017;56(2):247–262.

4.  Lucke VM, Kelly DF, Darke PG, Gaskell CJ. Chronic renal failure in young dogs - possible renal dysplasia. J Small Anim Pract. 1980;21(3):169–181.

5.  Peeters D, Clercx C, Michiels L, Desmecht D, Snaps F, Henroteaux M, Day MJ. Juvenile nephropathy in a Boxer, a Rottweiler, a Collie, and an Irish Wolfhound. Aust Vet J. 2000;78(3):162–165.


Speaker Information
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B. Gerber
Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine
Vetsuisse Faculty
University of Zürich
Zürich, Switzerland

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