Health of the Neapolitan Mastiff
This breed is definately not for the faint of heart. The Neapolitan Mastiff shares many of the same conditions as other large molosser breeds and then some.
The most common eye ailment of the Neapolitan Mastiff is Cherry Eye, the gland of the third eyelid swells and pops out and looks like a cherry. Many vet's will insist on tacking down the gland - THIS DOES NOT WORK FOR THE MASTINI. It must be removed if it does not recede on its own.
DILATED CARDIO MYOPATHY
Since no studies on our breed have been performed we don't know how truly prevalent DCM is in our breed but consensus amongst owners and breeders is that it is prevalent. DCM is a heart disease resulting in right or left side enlargement. The cause of DCM is unknown it seems to be either genetic or results from Taurine deficiency or a genetic predisposition for Taurine deficiency or diet induced.
Bloating means that the stomach is filling or full of gas\air. The stomach becomes very unstable and can twist on itself causing torsion which leads to death. Call the Vet immediately. Bloating is a life threatening emergency.
Demodex caused by a small mite that the immune system becomesall dogs have but when the immune system is comprised the mite population overpowers. Symptoms include; Hair loss with redness and rash like\ pimples\pustules. Demodex comes in two forms; Localized and Generalized. Localized usually occurs at puppyhood and self resolves. Generalized tends to not self resolve and needs treatment. Treatment options vary depending on severity, usually antibiotics are needed for secondary bacterial infections. All treatment options should be discussed with your vet, below are some common treatment options:
~Ivomec given orally and on a daily basis usually resolves demodex within 29 days and will usually require treatment for 52 days.
Panosteitis - Also known as "pano" or "growing pains" usually seen between 3 and 15 months of age, most common in male puppies. Signs are intermittent lameness from moderate to severe, limping on different limbs at different times. Most pano resolves on its own, you can treat symptoms with an anti-inflammatory Deramaxx or the like (Note: NSAIDS can have awful side effects) and provide lots of rest. A high quality joint supplement is also recommended; FluidFlex, SynFlex or Glycoflex.
Hip Dysplasia - As with all giant breeds of dogs hip function is of great importance. Unfortunately, after over 30 years of research no genetic marker has been identified for hip dysplasia. That is not to say that we don't agree with hip screening for breeding stock, we support breeders screening their stock with either OFA or Pennhip or via a private radiologist and orthopedic specialist but with the Neapolitan Mastiff we must look at form and function in conjunction with conventional testing. The Neapolitan has "looser hips" than other breeds and too often is mis-diagnosed as having HD when in fact it is not. Until more research is done in this area, we would encourage puppy owners to maintain a close relationship with their breeder to discuss any diagnosis and treatment options.