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9 Most Common Boston Terrier Health Problems

Boston Terriers are a small, muscular, and compact breed with predominantly white and black coats. 

This dog is a perfect addition to any home— they’re loving companions that are happy to do anything as long as they’re by their parents’ side.

Those cute looks aren’t free!

While everybody loves the cute smushed faces that dogs like the Boston Terrier and Frenchie have, it, unfortunately, predisposes them to many breathing issues and health problems.

But Boston Terriers’ health issues don’t just stop at breathing issues— there’s a long list of common health issues that any Boston Terrier owner should be well aware of so that they can spot the early signs & get effective treatment ASAP (the earlier you treat most of these things, the better their prognosis)

Table of Contents

  1. Breathing Issues
  2. Heart Problems
  3. Joint Problems
  4. Eye Problems
  5. Skin Problems
  6. Allergies
  7. Periodontal Disease
  8. Cushing’s Disease
  9. Epilepsy
  10. Boston Terrier Health Tips

1. Breathing Issues

Boston Terriers are prone to breathing problems due to their flat faces (also known as a brachycephalic breed).

Their short face causes abnormality in the dog’s upper respiratory system resulting in a partial resistance or obstruction in the larynx and nose.

Furthermore, the short nose leads to abundant soft tissues in the short bones that compromise breathing.

1.1 Stenotic nares 

Stenotic nares are one of the most common breathing problems for Boston Terriers— it’s a condition in which the dog’s nostrils are “pinched” or too narrow for healthy airflow.

A genetic condition

It’s a genetic condition (present at birth) common in flat-faced breeds such as the Boston Terrier, Pug, Shih Tzu, and all kinds of Bulldogs like the Frenchie.

Easily treatable with surgery

Stenotic nares are routinely treated by a surgical operation that enlarges the nostrils.

This is usually done at a young age, though it’s important to note that stenotic nares may not cause issues until later in their life— if your vet thinks surgery is needed on your Boston Terrier’s nostrils, it’s best to get it out of the way.

1.2 Everted Laryngeal Saccules

The dog may develop everted laryngeal saccules when the windpipe or trachea narrows, causing breathing difficulties.

The severity of the breathing condition will depend on how narrow the trachea or windpipe becomes, which might further cause huge health issues.

1.3 Elongated Soft Palate 

Most brachycephalic dogs, including the Boston Terriers, suffer from the elongated soft palate disease.

The disease results from the elongation of the soft palate, the posterior portion of the mouth’s roof, which acts as a separator between the nasal passage and the oral cavity.

2. Heart Problems

Most Boston Terriers suffer from various heart diseases.

Statistics reveal that these conditions account for almost half the Boston Terrier deaths.

Deformed valves and heart failure are the most common cardiac issues found in Boston Terriers.

Genetics are to blame

Most deformed valves or valve deterioration cases are genetic or hereditary

Most dogs have this condition from birth, where the early diagnosis will enhance a successful medication therapy to reduce the degeneration and increase the animal’s life span.

Besides the generation connection between the health condition, biological hazards can also predispose the animal to heart problems.

These hazards affect the heart cells by stretching, leaking, causing pressure problems, and electrical mishaps.

3. Joint Problems

Besides the compact and adorable bodies, this dog breed has various bone and joint disorders, like hemivertebrae, luxating patella, etc.

Luxating patella is a common joint problem in Boston Terriers during their lifespan.

The condition is common in small dog breeds, like Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs, and is characterized by slipped kneecaps that cause an abnormal walk or movement.

But why are Boston Terriers affected by so many joint problems?

The Boston Terrier’s physical appearance and bone structures predispose it to many bone & joint conditions. The small legs add more pressure and stress to the dog’s hip joint when walking. The pressure or force results in various bone and joint degeneration problems.

4. Eye Issues 

Experts reveal that various factors like environmental hazards and genetic factors, like prominent eye shape, result in multiple eye issues. Below are the common Boston Terrier eye issues:

4.1 Cataracts 

It’s an inherited condition in Boston Terriers, common in dogs below six weeks. The main symptom of cataracts is a cloudy film on the eye lens of young dogs. The cloudy-appearance results in the prevention of lights reaching the retina.

4.2 Glaucoma

Glaucoma is damage or malformation of the dog’s eye leading to blockage of the eyeball drainage system or area. Once the fluid builds up in the huge part of the dog’s eye, it results in optic nerve damage. The damage occurs due to the increase in ocular pressure.

4.3 Cherry eye

It’s a common condition among most Boston Terriers. This condition affects the dog’s third eyelid on one or both corners of the dog’s eye, leading to vision difficulties if you leave it untreated.

4d. Dry eyes 

Tears or fluids are essential to enhance proper eyesight.

However, genetic factors or exposure to various hazardous factors may lead to dry eyes in the Boson cataracts, causing seeing complications or strenuous vision.

5. Skin Issues (Atopic Dermatitis)

Atopic dermatitis is common among many dog breeds, including the Boston Terriers. It’s a common skin allergy among this dog breed. This type of allergy comes from different cleaning materials, pollen, and food allergies. These predisposing factors cause dermatitis, which is the inflammation of the dog’s skin. 

Skin allergies cause anxiousness for the dog, making it have excessive chewing, scratching, and licking of the skin. Besides the anxiety, the animal may destroy its coat and fur while overstretching or licking. The scratches result in the dog’s ugly and displeasing skin, fur, and coat. This condition can lead to various secondary skin diseases, hair loss, and thickening of the skin tissues.

6. Allergies 

As human beings, Boston Terriers are prone to various allergies. Different things, like food, medication, pollen, etc., trigger allergies in this dog breed.

Experts reveal that feeding your pet with pork, turkey, horse, chicken, and beef meat triggers various allergic reactions. The sensitive stomach and the numerous intestinal gas make this dog breed vulnerable to food allergies. 

Changing the diet and avoiding the above meats or sources of food will be essential to preventing food allergies.

Furthermore, fleas, bacteria, content, and inhalants can also trigger various allergic reactions in the animal’s body.

Inhalant allergies might result in constant sneezing, runny nose, and allergic rhinitis. 

7. Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is one of the most common Boston Terrier health problems. It’s one of this dog breed’s most chronic health issues. 

Experts reveal that this disease or chronic dental issue affects almost 80% of the most dog breeds before attaining two years. 

The disease results in various dental conditions or issues which make your dog unhealthy and deteriorate its quality of life. 

The common periodontal issues among Boston Terrier disease include gum infections, tooth decay, and tartar build-up in the mouth, which may result in an infection. 

8. Cushing’s Disease 

Cushing’s disease is a common dog disease that’s prone among the Boston Terriers.

Excess hormone creation in the adrenal or pituitary gland is the leading cause of this condition in this dog species.

You can diagnose your dog as having Cushing’s disease by checking the water drinking and urination frequency. 

Dogs with this condition tend to drink a lot of water, pant more than normal frequency, have hair, and have increased urination.

Furthermore, dogs with the Cushing disease develop a potbelly or enlarged stomach. Most dogs aren’t born with the condition but develop as they grow (around 9 or 11 years old).

9. Epilepsy 

Epilepsy is another common condition among the Boston Terrier dog species. It’s a condition or disease that the dogs inherit from their parents or preceding generation.

The disorder causes seizures or shocks in the dog species. Besides the bone structure, an underlying issue in the dog’s brain may trigger seizures in the dog.

Vets reveal that some conditions or factors may increase the frequency of seizures and epilepsy. 

Tips to Keep Your Boston Terrier Healthy

Boston terriers are prone to numerous health factors, where some are hereditary and result from predisposition to various environmental factors.

However, adopting tips and practices to keep your dogs healthy will be vital. Besides keeping your dogs healthy, these tips will prolong your pet’s lifespan and increase their quality of life.

Here are some lifestyle tips to keep your Boston Terrier happy & healthy for years to come:

  • Provide your pet with a healthy diet according to age, weight, or body size at the right time.
  • Include training and exercise in the dog’s routine activities to keep it active, healthy, and happy. However, avoid over-exercising it to prevent stress and breathing difficulties.
  • Consider proper grooming practices to keep the pet clean and free from disease-causing microorganisms.
  • Socialize and train your dog as soon as possible. Early training helps prevent the dog from developing various bad behaviors, like aggressiveness, disobedience, etc.
  • Visit your vet regularly for a routine check-up, evaluation, and early diagnosis of various conditions or diseases.
  • Provide your pet with the much-needed attention, as the dog requires attention from family members to prevent psychological disorders or conditions.
  • Use a proper harness to keep your dog happy and healthy.


Boston Terriers are some of the best pets you can add to your family.

It’s important to acknowledge that Boston Terriers are predisposed to some health issues though so that you can prepare for any unexpected health issues that may arise.

With a healthy lifestyle and frequent checkups at the vet, there’s no reason why your Boston Terrier can’t live a long & happy life!