Healthy mastiff dogs
Mastiff dogs are powerfully built animals with a muscular frame. They have a short, straight, course coat. These dogs have healthy well spaced teeth. When a Mastiff dog isn’t feeling well they tend to make every effort to keep up a normal appearance. An owner would need to pay close attention to and very observant to pick up the signs that their Mastiff is sick.
Since these dogs are massive they are prone to certain health problems that can be quite serious and even life-threatening. Some of these health problems are genetic. Other health issues are related to environmental factors such as the amount of food the dog eats to the type of exercise he gets.
Since dogs are creatures of habit, pay attention to any unusual changes in your dog. Some of the signs that your Mastiff dog may not be healthy are lack of appetite, not wanting to go out for its regular walk, and low energy level. These are a few signs that you should take your pet to see a veterinarian. Some other indications of health problems include excessive consumption of water, weight gain or loss, bad breath, bleeding gums, excessive urination, or his coat is dull and dry. Get to know what’s normal for your mastiff. You may want to keep a journal of habits and examine him weekly for changes.
To have a healthy Mastiff dog avoid obesity. Not only does obesity put stress on the bones and joints, it also puts stress on the dog’s heart, kidneys, liver, as well as other organs. A well balanced diet and plenty of exercise can ensure that your Mastiff is not obese.
Like other large breeds of dog, Mastiffs have a higher risk of having cardiomyopathy. The cause is unknown, however veterinary researchers believe that it is a genetic problem. It is hard to detect without an ultrasound, but if found early can be controlled with medication. Have your dog checked annually and be sure that a vet takes a cardiac ultrasound exam to be sure of a healthy heart.
Another common inherited problem Mastiff dogs have include orthopedic issues. They have been known to have hip dysplasia which is a deformity of the hip. Sometimes hip dysplasia in puppies can be influenced by diet and activity. In severe cases, surgery is needed. They can also experience a joint disease called osteochondritis dissecans which is a defect or degeneration of the cartilage of the shoulders, knees, and elbows.
Cancer is becoming more widespread among Mastiffs as it is in all breeds. Breast cancer is the most common, however, the risk can be substantially reduced by spaying a female before she goes into heat the first time. Usually, most forms of cancer is found older dogs. If you find a lump or bump on your Mastiff dog, take it seriously.
Mastiffs can be prone to ear infections because they have floppy ears. If your pet frequently shakes or scratches at his head and ears, or if the ears smell or there is a discharge, he probably has an ear infection. You can help prevent ear infections by keeping his ears clean and dry.
These are just some of the common problems found in Mastiff dogs. A healthy Mastiff dog is a sight to behold! As an owner you can contribute to his good health through excellent nutrition, daily exercise, and regular veterinary exams.