buying a puppy, of any breed, check with the breeder as to the health of the puppy, its
siblings, parents and grandparents. It is not always possible to see the father or
grandparents in person.
researching the lines your puppy comes from, you can help yourself learn more about your
There is still no guarantee as to the general health of an
animal. Just as with humans, animals bodies change as they mature. This is a living
breathing animal, not a used car. So if someone offers you a 1 year guarantee on a puppy,
run away as fast as you can. By breeding healthy stock, a breeder is striving to produce
healthy stock; however, nature sometimes throws a curve ball and oddities appear.
of the most common problems in the Bullmastiff breed are:
Hyperthyroidism - By the time your dog is 2 years
old you should run an annual blood test to make sure everything is functioning normally. Bullmastiffs can have Thyroid issues as they get
older. I have found that if you keep them over
2 then they are healthy. Most Bullies will have a healthy thyroid until they
are 5 or 6. Once that goes under 2,
they need supplementation with Soloxine brand. It
works the best on Bullies.
(i.e. Hip Dysplasia, HOD, OCD, Pano) Hip dysplasia is more than 50% environmentally
caused. DO NOT OVER EXERCISE YOUR PUPPY. Start
with slow walks, and then gradually build up over a year.
If you over exercise your pup you WILL have joint issues! Pano is growing pains and
usually is self limiting and will work itself out. It
is imperative that you contain the puppy and do not go for ANY walks or let it run around
during this time. Also it is advised to put
the pup on a diet lower in protein and fat. Some
vets will prescribe Albon which I will attest to that it works! OCD and HOD are usually
diet oriented and are horribly painful to the animal.
Allergies usually start showing up in a dog by the time they are 18 months old. Usually it is to the local flora and fauna. Some
dogs can eat the same food for a year and then suddenly develop an allergy to a certain
ingredient. I dont feel allergy testing is useful.
You can usually figure out what the causative agent it if you just pay attention to
whelpers & difficulty with breeding
- This breed does not normally whelp puppies naturally and most have to have c-sections. This is imperative to save the mothers life. If the mother has a huge litter she may rupture
internally and then if she tries to deliver naturally, it could kill her. Most breeders
utilize progesterone testing to time the breeding to the right day and articficial
insemination to prevent the passing of bacteria or vd in dogs.
and heart conditions
- Cancer has become the number one killer of our breed as well as other breeds. It is the
same as in humans. Each human or animal carry cancer cells and the immune system needs to
be healthy and strong to fight off these cells. There
is no genetic testing yet for cancer in dogs. Some puppies may have "innocent"
heart murmurs. Usually they are developmental and are benign, and are gone by the
time the pup is 6 months of age. There have been cases of more severe heart problems , but
this is rare. If your puppy has a mild Grade I
murmur. Dont panic. Talk to your breeder and find out what they think you should do.
(i.e. entropion, ectropion, PRA) - There are vets out there that will tell you that your
dog has Eye Entropion. Most of the time they do NOT!!! It is a SCAM to get
more money out of you... If a vet tells you this, consult with your breeder, let them look
at the dog and then they will suggest you go to an EYE SPECIALISTif needed, not someone
who doesn't know that a Bullmastiffs eyes are NOT supposed to look like a Bloodhound's
- Bloat/Torsion is not as big an issue as it was 10 years ago. Most breeders have gone to foods with fewer grains
or no grains. Some have gone to feeding raw
diets. We feed a grain free food. I feel I am doing the best for my dogs and
hopefully extending their life by feeding them healthy food!
Never feed a food with Corn, Soy or Wheat. This may cause your dog to bloat or
torsion. If this happens you have approx 15
minutes to save the dogs life.
- Cruciate injuries are the most common ailment of this breed. This is NOT due to
"Poor Breeding"; it is 99% of the time caused by carelessness. Most of
the time the dog is too fat and the owner tries to over exercise the dog and their bodies
just cannot handle it, or the dog may leap through the air after a ball or frisbee on the
beach, come down and "snap" the knee is history. Owners need to be aware
of WHAT they are doing to their dogs. This is an injury that happens in dogs just like it
happens in kids!
system dysfunction Some
dogs have compromised immune systems, so their vaccines may not protect them or it may
turn their own body against itself. This can be a life threatening occurrence called Auto
Immune Hemolytic Anemia or AIHA. It can happen
shortly after a vaccine. Usually it is fatal. Also
after a vaccine or a spider or insect bite the immune system can crash. Instant veterinarian support is required. Get your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect
it is having a reaction to anything.