When 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. 

By researching the lines your puppy comes from, you can help yourself learn more about your future pet.

 There is still no guarantee as to the general health of an animal. Just as with humans, animal’s 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.

Some 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.

Joint problems (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.

Allergy problems –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 don’t feel allergy testing is useful.  You can usually figure out what the causative agent it if you just pay attention to your animal.

Lazy 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 mother’s 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.

Cancer 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. Don’t panic. Talk to your breeder and find out what they think you should do.  

Eye problems (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 eyes!!!

Bloat/gastric torsion - 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 - 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! 

Immune 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.



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