Bullmastiffs are 60% mastiff and 40% bulldog and were bred by 19th century gamekeepers to stop poachers on estates. These giant canines are known for being heavy-boned with a large wrinkled forehead and droopy ears to go with their droopy jowls. As with many large breeds, bullmastiffs require some extra care, especially because of these characteristic traits.
Common health problems in Bullmastiffs include cancer and issues in their bones, skin, eyes, and intestines. They generally tend to present as bone and ligament issues due to their heavy-boned skeleton and skin problems due to their especially wrinkly skin.
Read on to learn more about a bullmastiff’s common health problems, how owners can reduce the chances their pet will suffer these ailments, and steps owners may want to consider to help offset costs associated with keeping their bullmastiff happy and healthy. Read More Below...
Disclaimer: The information in this article is neither medical advice nor intended to imply your bullmastiff will suffer from any of these issues. Every dog is different so it’s important to always consult your veterinarian for a professional diagnosis when your dog is ill or injured.
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Because of their large size and dense bodies, orthopedic issues are not uncommon in bullmastiffs. Here are a few issues that may cause your bullmastiff to limp. Rest is your first best option, but you must visit your veterinarian if you are unsure or the limping continues or worsens.
While cancer is a leading cause of death in most older dogs, bullmastiffs can suffer from some early-onset cancers. They can be expensive to treat because they either require longer term medicines or surgical intervention. Primarily, these cancers are:
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Because bullmastiffs were bred with bulldogs, not only are they sturdy and strong, but they also have lots of extra skin. This can lead to some common skin issues for your dog.
Larger breeds often have deep, narrow chests, and bullmastiffs certainly fit that description. While this allows their chest to take in lots of oxygen, giving them a very high cardiovascular capacity, it can also cause some unwanted issues, namely gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) or more commonly known as bloat. The deeper the chest, the more room the dog’s stomach has to move around. With bloat, the stomach actually turns inside out.
Learn more about bloat from this helpful article of ours.
This is life-threatening so getting to an emergency veterinary hospital right away is critical. Discuss with your vet if gastropexy may be an option to avoid this happening to your dog. In this procedure, the veterinarian will surgically tack the stomach down to not flip over on itself.
Below is a chart of some of the more common health issues for bullmastiffs and an estimated cost of the veterinarian fees you may be charged to diagnose and treat them. Keep in mind these fees are from a teaching hospital, so prices will likely be higher if you go to a privately owned veterinary hospital. And as expected, emergency procedures fees can be significantly higher.
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Bringing a bullmastiff into your home is exciting, especially when you understand the characteristics and health considerations of this breed. Educating yourself on this can help you make the best first steps to increase your bullmastiff's chances of living a long and healthy life.
Of course, there are no guarantees your dog will never get sick or injured and illness and injury can be both emotionally and financially difficult. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do to relieve the emotional pain, but there are ways to help reduce the financial burden by investing in pet insurance.
If you’re considering a bullmastiff, given their tendencies to suffer from certain health issues that can be expensive to treat, this is an option that may be worth investigation. In researching your choices, you may find a pet insurance comparison chart is a helpful tool especially to make note of any issues, ailments or genetic conditions that may not be covered.