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Boxer Cardiomyopathy

Boxer dog looking at the camera with a confused look


What is Boxer Cardiomyopathy?

Boxer Cardiomyopathy, also referred to as Boxer ARVC, is a genetic disease where the dog has abnormal heart beats that originate from the right ventricle (one of the bottom chambers of the heart). Affected dogs may also have enlargement of the right side of the heart, decreased ability to pump blood forward to the body and congestive heart failure.


  • Irregular heartbeat during routine exam
  • Fainting
  • Coughing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fluid in the abdomen
  • Sudden death

Important Note: All dogs with Boxer cardiomyopathy are at risk of sudden cardiac death.



A genetic test for Boxer cardiomyopathy is available but is not definitive. Other tests for ARVC include:

  • Physical examination
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Holter Monitor
  • Echocardiogram



The cornerstone of treatment for ARVC is anti-arrhythmic therapy via medication. The goals of anti-arrhythmic therapy is to minimize ventricular ectopy, eliminate syncopal episodes, and prevent sudden cardiac death. In order to ensure a definitive diagnosis an echocardiogram is necessary, however they can be expensive ($500 to $600).


Cost to Treat: $500 to $1,000


List of Heart Conditions in Dogs


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