Is your boxer having a surgical procedure or needing to be tranquilized?
There is one drug used in anesthetic protocols that should not be used on the Boxer. That drug is Acepromazine, a tranquilizer that is often used as a preanesthetic agent. In the Boxer, it tends to cause a problem called first-degree heart block, a potentially serious arrhythmia of the heart. It also causes a profound hypo tension (severe lowering of the blood pressure) in many Boxers that are given the drug. Recently on the Veterinary Information Network, a computer network for practicing veterinarians, an announcement was placed in the cardiology section entitled “Acepromazine and Boxers”. This described several adverse reactions to the drug in a very short time span at a Veterinary Teaching Hospital. All the adverse reactions were in Boxers. The reactions included collapse, respiratory arrest, and profound bradycardia (slow heart rate, less than 60 beats per minute). The announcement suggested that acepromazine should not be used in dogs of the Boxer breed because of breed related sensitivity to the drug.
Further warning from a boxer breeder and veterinarian:
This drug is the most commonly prescribed tranquilizer in veterinary medicine. It is also used orally and is prescribed for owners who want to tranquilize their dogs for air travel. I would strongly recommend that Boxer owners avoid the use of this drug, especially when the dog will be unattended and/or unable to receive emergency medical care if it is needed.
– Wendy Wallner, DVM December, 1995
If your vet needs more than your word that you do NOT want your boxer treated with this drug, tell your vet to refer to their “Handbook of Veterinary Drugs”. Every vet has one. Tell them to go to the section on ACEPROMAZINE. In this section (1993ed) they will find this information:
“Prolonged effects of the drug may be seen in older animals. Giant breeds, as well as greyhounds, appear quite sensitive to the clinical effects of the drug, yet terrier breeds appear more resistant. Boxer dogs, on the other hand, are predisposed to hypotensive and bradycardic effects of the drug.”
When you first take your boxer to a vet (or to a new vet), for any kind of treatment have them write in red on the outside of the patient record “NO ACE”. Be firm! If they refuse to do this then I would immediately remove my dog and find another vet.
Don’t be fooled by an uninformed vet…this is a matter of LIFE AND DEATH!
Please heed this warning!