There are several health problems that commonly occur in Bullmastiff breed. This article is supposed to help you recognize some of them in the early stages when they are easier to treat. If you keep a good eye on your dog you might be able to notice the early symptoms of some of these conditions and report them to your vet so that they don’t get the chance to progress into a serious issue.
Bullmastiffs often suffer from allergies which can be caused by different things such as environmental particles that the dog inhales such as pollen, by something in the dog’s food that doesn’t suit him or by fleas. The symptoms you should look out for are red and irritated skin, bald patches of skin, dog continuously scratching, unpleasant odors emanating from the dog’s ears, or if the dog’s nose is constantly running and his eyes become watery. You might try to determine the cause of the allergy yourself – try changing the dog’s food, the shampoo you are using when grooming him or the mat he sleeps on. But it is much quicker and safer to bring him to a vet. Curing allergies can sometimes be as simple as removing the irritant, but in some cases the dog will need to get allergy shots.
Bloat is one of the more serious conditions that con occur in Bullmastiffs. It is common for most of the larger breeds, and can often be fatal if immediate action is not taken. It is a build-up of gasses in the dog’s stomach that results in obstructing the blood flow to important organs. It often occurs if the dog eats too fast, or if he is taken out for exercise soon after he has finished his meal. Some suspect that feeding the dog some soy-based products can also make it more likely that the bloat will develop. You should suspect bloat if you notice that your dog is nervously pacing, that his abdomen is swollen and that he is unsuccessfully trying to vomit. If you notice these signs call the vet immediately as the bloat progress very quickly.
Bullmastiffs are also quite susceptible to developing progressive retinal atrophy. This a hereditary disorder characterized by the stunted development of retinas, in which case the condition will usually start developing when the dog is 2 months old, or by retinas starting to deteriorate early n dog’s life – after he is one year old. It first manifests itself by the dog’s inability to see in the darkened areas. Over time it leads to blindness, and, sadly, for now there is no way to treat this condition. There are tests that will show you if you dog is suffering from it.
Another eye problem that is common, not just for Bullmastiff but for almost all dog breeds is entropion. It is characterized by an ingrown eyelid and can, in time, cause serious damage to the dog’s eye, up to the point of him losing the sight in the afflicted eye. Luckily it is easy to notice – it is usually the lower eyelid that is affected, and there are surgical solutions available.