The program was started in September, 1993, in response to concerns from members, breeders and the veterinary profession regarding the incidence of heart problems in the breed.
Mr. Lionel Bleakley was initially the administrator of this programe and kept excellant records of all Boxers tested, but the administrator now will be the current serving President of the Club, which is where all forms should be sent.
The program was based upon the program in operation in the United Kingdom, but with some differences:
To date the test for over 800 Boxers has been recorded. Although this is not a totally accurate indication of the extent of the problem (because some breeders/owners were reluctant to submit positive results for recording) it was sufficiently indicative to entice the club to review the breeding recommendation to exclude positives, and to move to a more precise and rewarding control program.
- The program was designed as a screening program although the Boxers were heart scored the testing was not restricted to "cardiologists" (of which there were none in Australia)
- The program incorporated identification (by photograph) of the Boxer - lack of identification was considered to be an unacceptable weakness in the UK procedure.
- Initially the club recommended that Boxers which were scored over 2 would not be bred with and positive scores of 1 or 2 would only be bred to a clear Boxer. This latitude was allowed on the recommendation of the Victorian Canine Association of Hereditary Diseases Committee and the rationale was that breeding should not be restrictive until the extent of the problem was known.
The Screening program has impacted upon those breeders not associated with the Club, some which are commonly referred to as "backyarders". The Club has publicised the Screening Program to the extent that buyers now commonly ask the breeders to show proof that the parents of the puppies offered for sale have been heart screened.
WHAT TO DO TO GET YOUR BOXER HEART TESTED UNDER THE HEART SCREENING PROGRAM ?
- NB: Your dog must be microchipped for indentification!
- Obtain a Heart Screening Form and complete the details in Section A.. (form obtainable from Secretary or download from site see below)
- Take the Form and Boxer to your Vet where your vet must clearly sign, date and print the grading (from 0/6) on the form.
- Upon completion forward the form to the President of the Boxer Club.
Your details will then be photocopied, added to the
current Heart Scheme List and numbered, thereafter both the original endorsed
form will be returned to you for your information. Please note
if using the Litter Service you are required to provide the number allocated
to you on your form.
Please Note: You do not have to be a member of the Boxer Association of
Victoria to obtain a Heart Test Form. The form can be printed out for your convenience :
CLICK HERE for Heart Test Form page and printable version of the form. > > >
Should you require any further information in relation to this program
please ring 9740 8788