9 Common Boston Terrier Health Concerns

Boston Terrier Health

Boston Terrier Health Concerns : Boston Terriers are some of the smartest, most playful dogs, all wrapped up in an adorable, pint-size package. These cheerful dogs are sure to steal your heart with their elegant looks and zest for life. However, if you are considering bringing one of these canine pets into your life, it is important to recognize the most common health problems of this breed. Below we share the 5 most common ailments so you can be a prepared pet parent.

Brachycephalic airway syndrome

Boston Terrier Health Concerns : Boston Terriers are known for their characteristic small muzzles. Brachycephalic means “short-headed,” and Boston terriers fall into this classification along with other common breeds such as bulldogs, shih tzus, pugs, and boxers. Unfortunately, this adorable feature comes at a cost – smaller snouts can lead to breathing complications and ultimately brachycephalic airway syndrome. This condition can cause collapsed lungs, gastrointestinal problems, and difficulty breathing during exercise. The syndrome is usually diagnosed by 1-4 years of age and is best managed soon after diagnosis. This condition is treated with surgery, but there are several strategies you can proactively use to protect your pooch. For starters, make sure you’re working with a breeder you can trust. Responsible Boston Terrier breeders should be familiar with your puppy’s genetic history, which will give you a window into how likely this condition may be.

Otherwise, make sure you keep a close eye on your pooch whenever he’s in hot weather or exercising, as these parameters can make breathing difficult. In addition, it is important to keep your Boston Terrier at a healthy weight, as obesity can also worsen symptoms.


Unfortunately, these big-eyed beauties are more prone to developing eye problems like glaucoma. This problem occurs whenever there is an obstruction in the drainage system of the eyeball. The obstruction puts pressure on the eyeball, which eventually leads to damage to the optic nerve. This can be very painful for your Boston Terrier, so you may notice him rubbing or scratching around the area. It is important that your Boston Terrier is kept up to date with medical examinations to keep his eyes in the best possible condition. While eye drops can help soothe the condition, glaucoma can unfortunately lead to blindness.

Ear infection

Boston Terrier Health Concerns : Boston Terriers have huge bat ears that make them sensitive to a wide variety of allergens. This can lead to an onslaught of ear infections, so it’s important to keep your Boston Terrier’s ears as clean as possible. While you’ll want to clean your dog’s ears about every two weeks, make sure you do so after every bath, swim, or contact with water. Watch for excessive scratching or any discharge from the ear area. If infections persist, be sure to talk to your vet to determine the root cause of the problem.

Skin allergies

Along with ear infections, Boston Terriers are also known to have problems with skin allergies. Skin allergies or atopy can be manifested by excessive biting, licking or scratching of the skin. You may also see dry, scaly skin that manifests as dandruff or red, irritated skin on your dog’s belly or skin folds. Skin allergies can be caused by a wide variety of triggers, so it’s best to talk to your vet to rule out the root cause of the problem. Your Boston Terrier may need to go on a specialized diet or get relief with antihistamines.

Patella luxation

Patella luxation, otherwise known as a slipped patella, is a condition that is quite common in small breed dogs. You may notice your Boston Terrier limping, refusing to put weight on his leg, or stopping periodically to stretch his hind legs. This condition can be treated with surgery or physical therapy. However, it is a genetic disease, so prevention of this health problem starts with finding a reputable breeder. As with other dog breeds, Boston Terriers are susceptible to their own subset of health problems. To keep these puppies safe, keep an eye out for their routine medical appointments and watch for any signs of these common health problems. After all, these canine companions are so worthy of our love and care. Enjoy welcoming one of these playful puppies into your life!

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (dry eyes)

Boston Terrier Health Concerns : The last item on our Boston Terrier’s list of eye problems is keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye. Puppies with this condition do not produce enough tears to keep those large eyes moist, leading to itching, soreness and possibly infection. Dry eyes can appear cloudy or dull instead of bright and shiny, and you may notice your puppy squinting or scratching his eyes with this condition. Dry eye is a chronic condition and will require continuous treatment with eye drops or ointments to keep the eyes moist and prevent scratching.


Another attractive feature of our Boston Terrier friends is their dome or rounded head shape. While this can give them that eternal baby face, it can also be due to serious complications such as epilepsy. Epilepsy is a condition where puppies experience seizures with regular frequency. Seizures are abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can cause conscious or unconscious convulsions, foaming at the mouth, or twitching in dogs. Epilepsy in Boston Terriers can be inherited. If your Boston has epilepsy, it usually appears before the dog turns three years old. These dogs usually do well with lifelong anti-seizure medication and a little help from you to keep them safe when seizures occur.


Boston Terriers are very cuddly, sensitive and will come when called. However, you may notice that your new puppy doesn’t always come to you or even look at you when you say his name. It’s probably not because he’s naughty, it might be because he’s deaf. Deafness in one or both ears is another hereditary problem in Boston. If your puppy is having trouble hearing, you should first have him checked by a vet for other causes of deafness, such as a severe ear infection. Deaf dogs can still be great pets, they just need a little extra protection from you. Never take a hearing-impaired dog out of an enclosed area without being on a lead. Make sure you train your deaf dog using hand signals instead of voice commands. Again, using a reputable breeder who has tested for deafness and other hereditary issues can help ensure you get a healthy puppy.


We all love a Boston small tail, especially if it has a bit of corkscrew in it. Unfortunately, this corkscrew shape comes from a defect in the form of vertebrae in the tailbones. Although it looks cute at the end of the spine, some Boston Terriers may have deformed vertebrae or hemivertebrae in other areas of the spine. Depending on the location, these dogs can have nerve dysfunction such as incontinence, hind end wagging, and even paralysis. There isn’t much that can be done to correct a hemivertebra, so it’s imperative that you get your Boston right from the start.

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