Boston Terrier Health Problems Every Boston Parent Should Know About

  • Last Updated: December 20, 2021
Boston Terrier Health

The Boston Terrier is friendly and outgoing, but like any other dog breed there are certain health problems that Boston Terriers are at risk for. Understanding your Boston Terrier’s health risks will help you be a better Boston parent and make sure they get the care they need. Here are four common Boston Terrier health issues:

Boston Terrier Eye Problems

Eye problems and vision loss can impact a Boston Terrier’s eyesight. Some of the most common eye conditions in Boston Terrier’s include: Cherry Eye, Cataracts, Glaucoma, and keratoconjunctivita sicca. Read on to learn more about KCS and how it impacts a Boston Terrier:

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or KCS in Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers are prone to dry eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Dogs with KCS are unable to produce the same amount of tears as other dogs, leading to extreme dry eyes. Boston Terriers with KSC will have dull eyes, squint frequently, and may have a thick discharge coming out of their eyes. Luckily KCS is a treatable eye condition that can be managed with an eye ointment that will need to be applied daily. 

Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
drag bag for paralyzed dog
Walkin’ Drag Bag

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s Disease is more common in Boston Terriers than in any other dog breed. There are two common causes of Cushing’s Disease: a tumor on the pituitary gland or a tumor on the adrenal gland that causes excess hormones to be created. Dogs with Cushing’s Disease will drink a lot of water, urinate more frequently, pant a lot, experience hair loss, and many Boston Terrier’s will develop a pot belly when they have Cushing’s Disease. This isn’t a disease that dogs are born with, they often develop it as they age usually around 9 or 11 years old.


The Boston Terrier breed is at high risk for spinal deformities such as hemivertebrae. Dogs diagnosed with hemivertebrae are at an increased risk of spinal cord damage and spinal instability their entire life including spinal disc ruptures. A slipped disc can cause paralysis and mobility loss in Boston Terriers. Managing your Boston Terrier’s weight and keeping an eye out for back problems is important to keeping them active and their back healthy. Additionally, physiotherapy and regular veterinary care is important for a dog’s dealing with back issues. A paralyzed dog can also benefit from a Boston Terrier wheelchair to keep your dog active as they heal. 

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Brachycephalic syndrome is also known as respiratory distress syndrome. Due to the shape of their face and nose Boston Terriers, like all Brachycephalic breeds, are prone to breathing problems. Signs of brachycephalic syndrome include: heavy breathing, coughing, and even fainting. Due to their excessive breathing, the Boston Terrier is also at risk for some other health problems. Some of these include: aspirating their food which can lead to pneumonia as well as developing heat stroke easily.

Understanding Boston Terrier Mobility Loss

There are a range of canine mobility conditions that impact the Boston Terrier and their ability to walk. Degenerative myelopathy is a spinal disease that impacts a Boston’s ability to walk or stand up unassisted. DM is a progressive condition that starts in a dog’s back legs and worsens over time. Although there is no cure for degenerative myelopathy a dog wheelchair can greatly improve a Boston’s quality of life. A Boston Terrier wheelchair allows your dog to exercise, play, and get outside easily to to the bathroom. Other spinal conditions that can cause mobility problems in Boston’s include: IVDD, herniated discs, and spinal nerve damage.

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