Boston Terrier (Medium Risk Brachycephalic Breed)
The Boston Terrier is actually not a Terrier at all. It is said to be descended from Bulldogs and French Bulldogs crossed with other breeds. Boston Terriers are commonly accepted to be amongst the worst affected Brachycephalic breeds for BOAS, but compared to the Bulldog, French Bulldog & Pugs there appears to be some wider variation and not all dogs within the breed are affected to the same degree. We class it amongst the Medium risk breeds for our purposes but some individuals are definitely High risk.
It is not a breed we have seen common issues with and this may come down to their relatively stress free nature as compared to some bulldog breeds. Stress is a major contributing factor, along with heat, in the incidence of a Brachycephalic animal suffering Airway obstruction and any Boston Terrier that is prone to stress or anxiety due to separation from owner, meeting new people, being caged etc should be considered at high risk during any form of transport even if they are typically relatively heat tolerant.
Along with BOAS Boston terriers also share other common health problems such as hemivertebrae, many eye issues and allergies with the bulldog breeds. One of their loved features, the dome or rounded head shape is also known to give them a higher incidence of severe complications like epilepsy.
Health issues common to Boston Terriers are:
- Brachycephalic obstructed Airways Syndrome including:
- Stenotic nares
- Long soft palates (extending unnaturally into the larynx)
- Swollen laryngeal saccules (further occluding the windpipe)
- Swollen tonsils (restricting the room for these dogs to breathe)
- Thickened palates (restricting the room for these dogs to breathe)
- Hypertophic intranasal and caudal aberrant Turbinates
- Hypoplastic tracheas
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) (associated with a corkscrew tail)
- Eye Issues (A variety of issues and more susceptible to Eye injury)
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Heart Conditions (more common as they age)
- Ear Infections and Deafness
- Epilepsy / seizures / Brain Disorders (Associated with skull shape)
A few other issues, unrelated to Brachycephally that may plague Boston Terriers are dental diseases, heart failure, cancer, and arthritis. While these complications aren’t necessarily heritable in Bostons, they seem more common because these pups tend to enjoy a longer life, up to 15 years which is unusual for most high risk Brachy breeds.
As a transporter our priority is the safety of your dog while it is with us. Even for those with lower BOAS risk, in any situation where Boston Terriers become anxious or are stressed for any reason, including due to any other unrelated health issue even mild BOAS will cause more difficulty breathing leading to low oxygenation and increased body temperature. This will dangerously exacerbate every problem.
Additionally as Boston Terriers age or if they are overweight they tend to be less tolerant of heat and may have a range of chronic health issues.
We have no restrictions on the transport of puppies under 6 months of age but all Boston Terriers above that age will only be booked for transport following completion of our “Brachycephalic Information & Consent Form” and a conversation with our Customer consultants regarding the risks for your particular pet. We will make transport decisions as best we can based on the information provided by the owners but if your pet is considered to be at risk we may not be prepared to transport them on our more common express services.
Please visit our Brachycephalic Breed Policy page for full details
Our Premium services, while more expensive, are better suited to the transport of higher risk dogs including those needing additional attention, regular medications etc. The driver always has less animals (Max 8 at a time) to care for, time for more frequent stops, and all animals are in the van where the driver can hear their breathing, and talk to them at all times.