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Neapolitan Mastiff Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Neapolitan Mastiff

Start your Neapolitan Mastiff off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.

Jump down to this list of
Neapolitan Mastiff Health Problems

Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Neapolitan Mastiff puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Neo lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet... [read more]

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Neapolitan Mastiff are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Neapolitan Mastiff will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Neapolitan Mastiff puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Neapolitan Mastiff be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Mastiff? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Neo suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]

Neapolitan Mastiff

Complete list of Neapolitan Mastiff health problems

Most serious diseases in Neos

Two serious diseases that claim the lives of many Neapolitan Mastiffs are cancer, and heart disease (specifically, cardiomyopathy).

As with all deep-chested breeds, Neapolitan Mastiffs are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Orthopedic diseases in Neapolitan Mastiffs

This breed has an appalling rate of hip dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of nearly 200 Neapolitan Mastiffs and found 51% dysplastic – the 5th WORST RATE of all breeds.

Their elbow joints can also be malformed, with over 36% of the breed affected by elbow dysplasia.

Finally, Neapolitan Mastiffs are prone to tearing the cruciate ligament in their hind legs.

As you might expect, hip and elbow dyplasia and torn ligaments cause lameness and pain and often require expensive surgery. Thousands of dollars.

Young  Mastiffs are susceptible to a syndrome called panosteitis , which causes pain and lameness. Fortunately it is usually self-limiting.

Eye diseases in Neapolitan Mastiffs

Eye diseases that occur regularly are cherry eye , and eyelid abnormalities where the eyelid is improperly curled (either rolling in toward the eyeball or rolling away from the eyeball).

Thyroid disease in Neapolitan Mastiffs

Hypothyroidism is common in giant breeds. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 14% of Neapolitan Mastiffs have low thyroid levels.

Skin and coat issues in Neapolitan Mastiffs

Chronic allergies cause itchy skin that can lead to bacterial infections, made worse by the folds of wrinkled skin that provide a dark, moist hiding place for bacteria and yeast. You need to keep the wrinkleds clean and dry on this breed, which is a challenge given how much they slobber!

All of the mastiff breeds, when young, are prone to demodectic mange.

Older mastiffs, because of their great weight, are prone to developing elbow hygroma, a fluid-filled lump that develops over the bony elbow that acts as a pressure point whenever they lie on hard surfaces. Provide your Neapolitan Mastiff with a soft cushy bed that protects his elbows.

Even with his short coat, the Neapolitan Mastiff tolerates cold weather better than he does the heat. It's a combination of his dark coat absorbing heat plus is limited ability to "pant out" that built-up heat throughout his giant body. Be forewarned: Neos have died from heatstroke.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Neapolitan Mastiff in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.