Common health issues of the English Mastiff

What are the diseases of the Mastiff? What pathologies can this dog breed considered to be among the largest in the world suffer from? Let’s find out together.

In this article, we will learn about the diseases of the Mastiff, a dog breed of English origin.

Taking care of them is a priority and a duty, which guarantees a long life together and a healthy home environment.

However, it is important to know how to recognize the pathologies promptly in order to avoid the worst.

So let’s see what diseases can affect this giant dog breed.

Diseases of the Mastiff

The Mastiff is an imposing breed of dog with a gigantic and muscular size but not for this reason immune from health problems.

The Mastiff, as mentioned, has a powerful body structure, with a large bone structure and incredible muscle power.

It measures between 70 and 83 cm at the withers and weighs about 90 kg. Its considerable size suggests keeping it in the garden, but it must be remembered that it needs human company.

This breed, although so vigorous and with a molosser size, is prone to pathologies such as: obesity, allergies, hypothyroidism, entropion, ectropion, retinal atrophy, heart problems, gastric torsion and hip dysplasia.

Furthermore, like all other breeds, it can be the victim of pathologies common in dogs.

So let’s see specifically what are the diseases of the Mastiff and the common ones that affect all dogs.


The Mastiff has a tendency to be lazy partly due to its size and partly due to its character and consequently, if it is not fed in the right way, it accumulates weight.

For this reason, a suitable, high-quality diet must be administered to avoid obesity problems in dogs.

In addition, it needs daily physical exercise and it is essential to provide them with various games that allow them to exercise.

Skin allergies

The allergic dog is itchy and often chews on its paws, rubs its face on carpets or furniture, or scratches its sides and abdomen.

However, in order to solve the problem it is necessary to identify the triggering cause of the allergy in the dog.

Experts recommend topical therapy with shampoo or spray, which is particularly important to avoid bacterial or fungal infections that exacerbate itching.

Sometimes, it is sufficient to apply or spray the cortisone on the affected area, in combination with the vaccine.


Hypothyroidism in dogs occurs when the thyroid glands are underactive and do not produce enough thyroid hormone. These glands are found in the throat below the larynx.

This disorder can be congenital or acquired and develops between 4 and 10 years of age.

It progresses rather slowly and the multiple symptoms are often interpreted as consequences of the animal’s normal physiological aging process.

Treatment consists of daily oral administration of levothyroxine sodium (a synthetic analogue of T4) to the dog.

Of which one to two daily administrations of the drug are provided.


Entropion in dogs is a hereditary condition caused by an abnormal shape of the eyelid.

It consists of an abnormal position of the eyelid edge, which is “rolled” inwards.

It mainly affects young dogs under one year old, but it can also be caused by a spasm of the eyelids following painful eye diseases (“spastic entropion”).

Fortunately, the problem can be resolved surgically by removing a thin strip of skin just below or above the affected eyelid.


Ectropion in dogs occurs when the edge of the eyelid moves outward, leaving the inside of the eyelid exposed.

Ectropion is divided into primary and secondary, the cause of primary ectropion lies in the development and growth of the dog and the genetic component plays an important role.

Secondary ectropion is usually due to: trauma, infection, corneal ulcers, paralysis of the facial nerves, sudden weight loss and loss of muscle tone around the eyes.

Again, surgery is required to treat the condition .

Retinal atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is an inherited disease that leads to blindness.

This disease can manifest itself in the dog’s adulthood but also at a young age.

A slowing of the progression is possible, through the use of drugs or antioxidant substances and vitamins for the nerve degeneration of the retina.

Usually an adult dog is able to adapt better to their new life as a blind man, while the puppy has some difficulty in approaching their life as a blind man.

Heart problems

There are two main types of heart disease : one that affects the heart valve and the other the heart muscle.

The two heart diseases in dogs are:

  • chronic valvular disease : a leaky heart valve reduces the amount of blood that can be pumped around the body;
  • myocardial disease : In this condition, weakness or thickening of the heart muscle causes the heart to pump less efficiently.

Dogs with both types can be kept in check through nutrition, exercise and, if necessary, medication.

Gastric torsion

Gastric torsion in dogs usually occurs in medium-large sized dogs.

This is condition that prevents the stomach from emptying its contents.

This is due to a lack of strength in the ligaments that hold the stomach, causing it to twist.

This condition can occur when the dog makes any sudden movement immediately after meals.

There is no treatment, but it can be avoided by feeding the dog more meals and trying to avoid exercise immediately after eating.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia occurs when the femur seats completely incorrectly in the hip socket of the animal.

This condition leads to a limp and severe pain in the animal.

Although, the symptoms vary depending on the stage of the disease and the age of the dog. In the most serious cases it is possible to intervene surgically.

Other diseases

In addition to these pathologies just described, the Mastiff can be the victim of diseases common to all dogs.

In addition to various forms of cancer, the most dangerous disease that can affect dogs is rabies.

Parvovirus, which affects both the intestine and bone marrow with vomiting, diarrhea and severe anemia.

Leptospirosis can be spread through the bite of an infected rodent or from an environment contaminated with its urine.

Distemper is a viral disease that produces strong digestive, respiratory, intestinal and nervous problems: it can lead to death if the dog is not vaccinated. It is a typical pathology of puppies.

Finally, parasitic diseases caused by parasitic organisms that damage the intestine, heart and skin.

They are: leishmaniasis, giardia, filaria, erlichia, therefore mange, also known as scabies.

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