Aortic Stenosis or Sub Aortic Stenosis- This is a condition in which the aortic valve does not function properly. The more severe forms of the disorder are detectable by auscultation (listening with a stethoscope) of the heart by a specialist. Ideally, this will be done by a veterinary cardiologist. The great majority of general practice veterinarians will not have the careful practice and training needed to detect milder forms of the disease, and so screening by your local vet is NOT considered sufficient. Studies suggest that even the mild forms of the disease can be passed on in a more severe form to any offspring of the dog, so it is important to find even the mild cases. A more objective test, used to confirm the diagnosis suggested by auscultation, is an ultrasound of the heart. This would also ideally be done by a veterinary cardiologist. Veterinary cardiologists are not available in every state in the United States. It is advisable to seek out a specialist in internal medicine if a cardiologist is not available locally. If this disease is not present at one year, it will almost certainly not develop. OFA certificates are available for dogs that pass auscultation after the age of one year.

Boxer Cardiomyopathy - This is a disease in which the heart muscle of the dog deteriorates. In Boxers, it seems to affect the parts of the heart that regulate the heart beat first. Therefore, in contrast to other forms of cardiomyopathy in which a long deterioration in function known as "heart failure" occurs, the first sign of a problem maybe that the heart has a sudden spasm of abnormal beats, resulting in sudden death. The form that Boxers are prone to is particularly difficult to deal with, because as described above, the first symptom may be sudden death, so that by the time the owner suspects a problem, the dog is dead. Also, dogs may not develop the actual disease until well after breeding age, making screening before breeding almost impossible. However, many experts now agree that the best way to detect the disease at the earliest possible stage is to perform a test called a Holter monitor. This test involves recording an EKG for 24 hours, and reviewing for abnormal beats. It is recommended some form of Holter monitor screening be performed annually on any Boxer, starting at a year of age. This will help screen out of the breeding population affected individuals as soon as possible, and will help those who may be affected get the earliest possible treatment. Studies do suggest that early treatment may help prevent further deterioration of the heart.