The Boston Terrier, a high-spirited,
intelligent dog is the result of cross-breeding
the English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Boxer, and
White Terrier. Nicknamed the American Gentleman
for his kind and gentle disposition, the Boston
terrier, is a smooth, short-coated, compactly
built dog with beautiful colours- red brindle,
black brindle, or black, with white markings.
The Boston Terrier is a relatively
healthy breed requiring little grooming and maintenance,
but it is susceptible to certain hereditary skin
A minor problem affecting its
coat is a gradually spreading baldness that is
sometimes found in female Boston terriers at about
six months of age. It starts around the ears and
moves down to the underside of the neck and the
trunk and then down to the inside of the rear
legs. The skin underlying the areas of hair loss
is usually normal and does not have the signs
of secondary infection.
Allergies could be a possible
underlying cause for hair loss and secondary skin
infections. Boston terriers are listed among the
breeds that are prone to atopy (inhalant allergies).
The most common skin disease
is the Demodectic mange, or red mange, caused
by microscopic Demodex canis mite living in the
hair follicles and within the skin layers of adolescent
puppies or immunodeficient adult Boston Terriers.
It is a genetically inherited defect of the immune
system causing patchy to widespread hair loss
and secondary bacterial skin.
There are three types
of Demodicosis: Localized, Generalized,
Localized Demodicosis usually
causes small patches of red scaly skin and hair
loss mostly on the face, but can occur anywhere
on the body. These lesions are not itchy unless
they get infected and are found in 3-6 months
old puppies passed on by the carrier mother. Mild
cases in puppies normally heal spontaneously and
need no treatment. Demodex is not generally contagious
In Generalized Demodicosis
the skin is very red, with severe hair loss, crusts
and sores, dark pigment, and deep infections accompanied
by fever and loss of appetite. There are two groups
of this type: juvenile onset when the pup is between
3 and 12 months old but recover with or without
treatment and adult onset mostly in dogs over
2 years old which is difficult to cure, but can
usually be controlled.
There is an inherited tendency
to have Generalized Demodicosis so affected animals
should never be bred.
is limited to the paws in adult animals is chronic
and extremely difficult to treat.
Since these mites live in the
hair follicles and in the dermis, deep skin scrapings
are essential for diagnosis. Generalized demodicosis
is treated with antibiotics. 90% of localized
and 30-50% of generalized demodicosis get better
with no treatment. The veterinarian aided by modern
medication can control if not completely cure
Another disease inherited from
the English Terrier and the Bulldog are Mast Cell
Tumors or Mastocytomas in skin tissues These are
raised, button like skin growths with raw pink
surfaces which can be malignant and spread internally.
is another skin disease found in the Boston Terrier
caused by an excess of cortisone-type hormone
in the dog's system. The use of too much cortisone-type
medications, cortisone-containing eye drops or
ear ointments or an over-active tumor of the adrenal
gland or a tumor of the pituitary gland can cause
The signs of Cushing’s
include a thin, poor hair coat, potbelly, increased
water intake and frequent urination. The disease
is very treatable and the changes can be reversed
but if left untreated it can cause diabetes mellitus
or life threatening blood clots.
Their sensitive skin prevents
them from handling both extreme heat and cold.
They should be checked daily – special attention
being paid to their eyes and ears-for any external
parasites such as ticks or mites. Caution should
be taken when considering any medications for
the Boston Terrier as they can be very sensitive
to anesthetics, vaccines, and other drugs.