The Complete Guide to Owning an Italian Mastiff

italian mastiff mother and puppy

Italian Mastiff Overview

The Italian Mastiff, also known as Cane Corso, is a mastiff breed from Italy, as indicated by its name. It’s a powerful, complex dog with specific needs. To begin with, it’s a giant breed that can weigh up to 120 pounds. People used it for hunting large wildlife and protecting property. It has a gigantic head; a long, rectangular body; and a black, gray, fawn, or red coat. The Italian Mastiff is a working dog that requires a great deal of mental and physical activity.

The Italian Mastiff is a working dog who thrives on completing a task. This ancient Italian dog breed is meant to protect land and hunt large animals such as wild boars. The powerful and energetic Italian Mastiff puppy is suitable for experienced dog owners with big, securely enclosed yards. They’ll almost certainly need their owners to assign them a duty, otherwise, they’ll find their own ways to pass time — most likely by engaging in harmful activities. This breed may be right for you if you can provide enough space, exercise, and training for your Italian Mastiff puppy.

Your Italian Mastiff puppy will need about two hours of exercise daily or every other day. This routine should include a few longer, brisk walks (or perhaps a jog), as well as some time to play off-leash somewhere safe. They’ll also enjoy the opportunity to participate in numerous brief training sessions throughout the day. The Italian Mastiff puppy likes to indulge in activities in which they have to concentrate. Thus, they enjoy playing puzzle games.

What Makes the Italian Mastiff Special?

The Italian Mastiff is not a wise option if you are an inexperienced dog owner if you are a first-time dog owner or have only had breeds like Retrievers, Spaniels, or Toy breeds. This dog is big, strong, intelligent, active, and bossy. It requires a lot of socialization, training, and exercise to be an excellent partner. An owner who can guide an Italian Mastiff with toughness and consistency, without force or cruelty, is required. Although not very outspoken, the Italian Mastiff is devoted to its family. They’ll want to be close to you but aren’t overly picky about attention or physical affection. Though the Italian Mastiff puppy is not particularly interactive, they do like “talking” to their owners with “woo woo woo” sounds, snorts, and other vocalizations. Honestly, how cute is that?!

The importance of early and frequent socializing cannot be overstated. Take your Italian Mastiff to puppy kindergarten, introduce it to family and acquaintances, and organize visits to local shops and companies to continue socializing them throughout their life. This way, they’ll be able to distinguish between what is acceptable and what is genuinely dangerous.

However, no amount of socialization can persuade them to be kind to anyone other than their family. The Italian Mastiff is mainly a guard dog, and they’re serious about this job.

Begin teaching your Italian Mastiff puppy as soon as you bring it home while still a young pup. This breed responds well to a “nothing in life is free” approach that requires puppies to “work” for all they get by performing a command before obtaining meals, toys, treats, or play. Taking an Italian Mastiff to puppy school and then introductory obedience class is usually an excellent idea, especially if you’re dealing with a trainer who understands the Italian Mastiff perspective.

What Makes Italian Mastiffs Unique

The Italian Mastiff puppy is an active dog who loves getting engaged in tasks, varying from on-leash jogging to regular training activities. Expect it to walk or jog at least a mile per day, plus 20 minutes of training practice. It’s not only terrible to leave an Italian Mastiff tethered in the yard with little to no attention, but it can also lead to destructive behavior.

The Italian Mastiff puppy has a short coat in black, light and dark gray, light and dark fawn, and red colors. A brindle pattern can appear in any of these colors, consisting of uneven streaks of bright and dark hues. The Italian Mastiff puppy has a silky, shedding coat. Brush it at least once a week to eliminate dead hair and maintain the condition of his skin and coat. The ears of an Italian Mastiff can be cropped or uncropped. Clean the ears, trim the nails as needed, and bathe the Italian Mastiff when it’s soiled. Adopt one now!

italian mastiff puppy laying on blue blanket

History of The Italian Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff and the Italian Mastiff are two mastiff-like breeds from Italy. Both breeds are descendants of Roman combat dogs. To the Neo’s “howitzer,” the Italian Mastiff may be considered “light artillery.” It worked as a farmhand, flock protector, property and family guardian, and hunting dog when the Roman empire fell. It hunted especially significant and dangerous game such as wild boar.

The Italian Mastiff, a working dog, are descendants of Roman combat dogs, the canis pugnaces. According to Italian Mastiff historian Michael S. Ertaskiran, these dogs descended from the original mollosians, the enormous dogs of the ancient Greek state of Epirus, which was located in Albania.

During the Macedonian battles, Roman troops returned with the canines to their homes and began breeding them, resulting in two distinct warriors: the lighter Italian Mastiff and the Neapolitan. These canine troops were said to be courageous. Many were used as piriferi, dogs who dashed past enemy lines while carrying buckets of flaming oil. We can track down the origins of the Italian Mastiff to ancient times in Italy. The molossus, a mastiff-type dog that is now extinct, is an ancestor of the Cane Corso and other mastiff-type canines. The Italian Mastiff puppy has served as a guard dog, a battle dog, and a capable hunter of varied game throughout history.

The Italian Mastiff took care of everything, even some challenging animal-husbandry duties. For example, when sows give birth, they’re known to hide in thickets and, like all mothers, become ferociously protective of their offspring. The Italian Mastiff’s job was to grip the sow’s snout or ear and distract her, allowing the farmer to slip in and gather the piglets.

The Italian Mastiff’s fall was accelerated by industrialization, and it was practically extinguished during World Wars I and II. As a result, only a few Italian Mastiff puppies remained in rural areas of southern Italy by the 1970s. Dr. Paolo Breber became interested in the breed after Giovanni Bonnetti, who recalled the dogs from his childhood, brought them to his notice in 1973.

Bieber bought several of the Italian Mastiff puppies and started a breeding program the following year, which sparked interest from others after they were featured in a magazine article. By 1996, the Federation Cynologique Internationale had recognized the breed.

Some of these Italian Mastiffs had been brought to the United States at that time. In 1993, the International Italian Mastiff Federation was founded in the United States, and more of them were imported from Italy. In 2003, the ICCF decided to apply to the American Kennel Club for breed registration and changed its name to the Italian Mastiff Association of America. The breed was recognized in 2010 and now ranks 51st among AKC-registered dogs.

Italian Mastiff Intelligence

The Italian Mastiff has a dominant disposition and is inherently strong-willed. Because of these features, it’s such a great protector of its family and home. However, if the owner can’t establish their place as pack leader and control this behavior, the Italian Mastiff puppy’s natural urge to take command might be problematic. While it’s devoted to its family, including the children, it will attempt to rule the roost. Therefore, anyone selecting this breed should be confident in their ability to set boundaries since an Italian Mastiff will undoubtedly test them.

The Italian Mastiff puppy is a breed with a high level of intelligence. This dog breed necessitates a specific household and people to care for it properly. They’ll put you to the test to see how far they can push you and how much they can get away with. As a potential owner, you should consider whether you can maintain consistency and firmness. It’s recommended that an owner follow a “nothing is free” philosophy to verify that your Italian Mastiff puppy understands the order before receiving any form of reward. They require strong leadership and boundaries or else they’ll want to take control of the home. It’s essential to teach these exceptionally intelligent canines to follow the rules early and ensure that all family members know the regulations.

Cognitive Health of The Italian Mastiff Puppy

Cognitive health  — the capacity to think, understand, and recall clearly — is crucial in daily life. But, overall brain health includes more than just mental wellness.

The Italian Mastiff puppy is a giant breed that lives for 9 to 12 years on average. This is decent longevity for such a large breed, but it’s essential to remember that these Italian Mastiffs might suffer from health conditions that shorten their lives. The Italian Mastiff puppy is an exceptionally clever dog who requires regular, lifetime training from a responsible owner.

According to studies, many behaviors associated with intelligence have been observed in the Italian Mastiff puppy. They have exceptional memory skills and can read and respond to human body language like gesturing and pointing, and they understand human vocal commands. This indicates that the Italian Mastiff Puppy has a theory of mind, i.e., cognitive health.

The Italian Mastiff puppy is devoted to their family and develops strong bonds with their owners. They can be left alone for four to eight hours if given lots of attention and daily exercise.

The brain of adult Italian Mastiff is atrophic, which means the cells die. This is likely to affect brain function. In addition, small strokes and other forms of injury may play a role in cognitive deterioration in the Italian Mastiff puppy.

Signs and Symptoms

Lacking enough physical and mental stimulation, the Italian Mastiff puppy could become destructive or develop undesirable habits. If they’re not given direction, they’ll behave on intuition, treating everything beyond their family unit and territory as a prospective danger.

Impairment can take many forms, such as gazing aimlessly at walls or floors, becoming trapped in corners or behind furniture, or wandering to the wrong side of the door. In addition, abnormal interactions with familiar people or pets are possible. Aggression, irritation, or a shift in social interaction frequency could be signs of this, as well.

Changes in the sleep cycle: This could include more sleeping during the day and more difficulty sleeping through the night. Urinating or defecating in previously clean areas, decreased signaling to the owner when they need to go out, or urinating inside immediately after coming in from outside are all examples of house soiling.

Reduced activity, more time spent relaxing, and more repetitive behaviors such as pacing, wandering, and walking in circles are possibilities. In addition, anxiety connected with specific people, places, or situations might cause changes in the activity.

Learning difficulties/memory loss can include taking a long time or not being able to learn new tasks or tricks and having trouble performing previously taught chores or tricks.

italian mastiff running through the grass

Treatment and Prevention

Italian Mastiff owners owe it to their dogs to be honest and firm about standards for training. That includes establishing boundaries as early as puppyhood. In addition, the importance of regular exercise and mental stimulation can’t be overstated. The standard Italian Mastiff requires at least three daily walks or other outdoor activities totaling an hour, though this varies depending on the dog.

Mental stimulation, or “job,” is crucial to an Italian Mastiff’s well-being. According to many trainers, mental exercise can consume energy even more efficiently than physical activity. Italian Mastiffs were raised to do activities for their family. They require clear boundaries and routine tasks to avoid becoming rebellious and even destructive with behaviors such as pawing, jumping, and alerting at inappropriate moments.

Crate training should commence as soon as possible, as it will get more difficult as the Italian Mastiff grows older. It’s necessary to begin socialization early and maintain it all their lives. In a calm and controlled manner, introduce your Italian Mastiff puppy to as many people, noises, settings, and everyday items as possible.

It’s also a good idea to make your home more accessible and safe for your senior Italian Mastiff. Your older dog can benefit from night lights to help him travel in the dark. Potty pads near doors provide a location for your Italian Mastiff puppy to relieve themselves if they can’t wait until you get home or wake up. Orthopedic foam beds (with changeable coverings) can help your Italian Mastiff have a better night’s sleep.

Stress in the Italian Mastiff Puppy

According to studies, the Italian Mastiff puppy is incredibly attuned to humans. They’ll frequently replicate their emotions in heightened situations — something every dog lover who’s seen an excited or sad pet intuitively understands.

The Italian Mastiff puppy is devoted to their family and will develop strong bonds with their owners. They can be trusted alone for four to eight hours if given lots of attention and daily exercise.

Researchers from Linköping University in Sweden wanted to know how long-term stress affects a human’s canine friend. Is there any effect on the puppy if they’re constantly worried? They found that the conclusion is, by far, yes.

Lina Roth, a senior lecturer, and her colleagues examined the cortisol level in the hair of 58 dogs and their owners in a study published in 2019 — a test that permitted them to record the levels of stress hormones each encountered over time. Border Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs — herding dogs bred to be extremely patient with humans — were used in this study. Their owners were interviewed about various personality traits in both themselves and their puppies. What did they discover?

The cortisol levels discovered in the hair of both breeds were similar to those seen in humans and reflected the results of the human personality study. To put it another way, the way dogs feel throughout time corresponds to how their owners feel. Roth told, “We were genuinely shocked how much they seemed to affect one other.”

Signs and Symptoms

Many dog owners notice that their Italian Mastiff puppy has been stressed-out or is acting differently. The Italian Mastiff puppy appreciates schedules and rules. They want to know when things will happen and how they’re expected to perform. Their internal clocks tell them when it’s time to get up and go to bed, when they’ll be fed, and when they’ll have a daily stroll. When these schedules alter, it can be stressful.

When your Italian Mastiff puppy freezes or stiffens, it’s generally because they’re worried about what they’ve seen. This is commonly referred to as “submission” in a training environment; however, modern Italian Mastiff puppy training procedures tell us that it’s shutting down. As a result, both you and your Italian Mastiff puppy could be at grave risk. It’s a sign that the Italian Mastiff puppy is worried and won’t handle the situation and that the next step could be a bite.

Pacing back and forth indicates that something is bothering them, and the Italian Mastiff can’t relax. It might not be a significant concern if this happens only during mealtimes or for brief periods. Observing when your Italian Mastiff puppy engages in this activity can provide you with insights as to what is causing them fear.

The pacing might be an indication of dementia in senior Italian Mastiffs. If you see this in your older dog, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

italian mastiff laying in front of black background

Treatment and Prevention

Establishing a solid set of acceptable actions and directions with your entire family will assist in preventing inconsistencies in training and help with some behavioral issues.

Make a list of basic instructions and abide by them. This also includes the use of the exact phrases in several commands. When your Italian Mastiff puppy leaps or climbs onto furniture, for example, instructing it to “get down” can be confusing because “down” also indicates “to lie down.”

The easiest method to soothe your Italian Mastiff puppy is to figure out what’s bothering them and then remove the source of tension. Next, engage with a professional instructor or your vet to help them become less reactive to the trigger.

It can sometimes be as simple as enclosing a space where your dog can eat while no one is around to bother them. Alternatively, you may teach your children to properly respect your Italian Mastiff puppy. For example, suppose you know your pet feels anxious around specific events, such as a car trip or fireworks on the Fourth of July. In that case, you can do certain things to help them relax. You can help calm them down by a reassuring touch, walking them away from what’s making them anxious, or simply distracting them from the trigger.

Anxiety in The Italian Mastiff Puppy

The Italian Mastiff puppy, like people, suffers from anxiety. It’s a normal and healthy emotion, even though it’s unpleasant. Dog anxiety impacts all kinds, although it manifests differently in each one. Although all dogs experience anxiety occasionally, if excessive levels of worry are not addressed, they might develop an anxiety disorder. In addition, if left untreated, its anxiety can extend to behavioral and other problems.

Loud sounds, unfamiliar people or animals, visual triggers like hats or umbrellas, unusual or odd locations, or specific scenarios like the vet’s office or car rides — fear-related anxiety might be triggered by any of the above, as well as grass or wood flooring. Although some Italian Mastiff puppies may simply have quick reactions to these stimuli, they may significantly impact stressed Italian Mastiff puppies.

Older Italian Mastiffs suffer from age-related anxiety, which has been linked to cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). Memory, learning, perception, and awareness begin to deteriorate in Italian Mastiffs with CDS, comparable to the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Senior dogs are understandably confused and anxious as a result of this.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs may arise due to one-time anxiety-inducing situations, but any of them might become persistent, leading to more significant problems. Aggression is, without a doubt, the most hazardous indication of Italian Mastiff anxiety. This aggressiveness might be directed explicitly or implicitly based on the circumstances. When an Italian Mastiff puppy acts violently against people or other animals, this is known as direct aggression. Indirect aggressiveness occurs when a person stands between the Italian Mastiff and the cause of its aggression, such as another dog, which can be just as dangerous. Even if the pet cannot injure people, aggressive actions such as growling or barking can be unpleasant for both humans and canines.

Anxiety often manifests itself in urinating and defecating in the household. Though they are house trained, anxious Italian Mastiffs frequently build their anxiety to the extent that they pee or poop in the home. This is inconvenient for owners and can damage property, as well as necessitating an unpleasant cleanup.

Anxiety often leads to destructive actions. Physical damage to entry and exit points, such as doorways and windows, is typical. Still, an Italian Mastiff puppy in a state of high anxiety is also at risk of injuring themselves. Breaking out of dog cages, windows, or even doors can result in severe accidents and costly veterinary treatment.

two italian mastiff dogs laying on boulders

Treatment and Prevention

To address an Italian Mastiff puppy’s anxiety, owners can utilize various training methods. Counterconditioning is one method. The goal of counterconditioning is to modify your Italian Mastiff’s response to the anxiety-inducing stimuli by substituting a more desired behavior, such as sitting or focusing on the owner, instead of the anxious or aggressive behavior.

The initial phase in the rehabilitation program is to identify each circumstance trigger or encounter that could cause a problem in order to implement a preventive program. Preventing further stress and frustration through repeated exposure and acquiring knowledge ensures protection. It restricts further damage to the household or harm to the Italian Mastiff puppy.

Desensitization is another kind of training. Exposure to fear regularly and rewarding positive conduct can go a long way toward reducing anxiety.

CBD is a chemical present in cannabis and hemp that has been discovered to effectively treat a variety of health concerns in both dogs and humans. For example, CBD oil has been claimed to effectively treat anxiety by Italian Mastiff puppy owners.

It’s worth noting, however, that while many humans use CBD oil to relieve anxiety, there is presently no scientific evidence on how CBD oil affects Italian Mastiffs. As a result, if you’re thinking about using CBD oil to treat your Italian Mastiff’s anxiety, you should talk to your veterinarian first.

Allergies in the Italian Mastiff Puppy

Allergies are a body’s immune system’s misdirected reaction to external chemicals. There are many distinct categories of allergies. Skin, food allergies, and environmental allergens prove problematic for the Italian Mastiff puppy. To make this situation worse, the indications of all of these allergies often overlap.

Allergies in an Italian Mastiff puppy are possible. Their allergies can range from moderate to severe, and various allergies impact the Italian Mastiff puppy. Because they have a high pain threshold and are not complainers, an Italian Mastiff puppy’s allergies may be more challenging to detect. However, your Italian Mastiff’s skin redness, inflammation, and frequent discomfort may be signs of an allergic reaction.

It can be time-consuming and challenging to pinpoint your Italian Mastiff’s allergies. Mild allergies are not uncommonly misdiagnosed. On the other hand, mild and severe allergies pose a distinct obstacle to keeping your Italian Mastiff healthy.

Allergies are the immune system’s hypersensitive and harmful responses to external allergens such as pollen and certain foods. Allergies in an Italian Mastiff puppy are incredibly similar to allergies in humans. However, allergies in an Italian Mastiff puppy sometimes go unnoticed because they cannot communicate their discomfort, and they are known for their toughness. As a caring owner, it’s critical to be aware of warning signs and what to look out for.

Signs and Symptoms

The Italian Mastiff puppy is prone to skin problems, particularly allergies, which can progress to pyoderma, impacting one out of every four Italian Mastiff puppies. A bacterial skin infection is known as pyoderma. pyoderma is also known as impetigo, and it affects puppies in particular.

Papules or pustules appear on the skin and are typically associated with pyoderma. In humans, these lesions are often mistaken for pimples. They’re usually red and elevated, with a pus-filled white center.

The following are some of the most prevalent allergy signs and symptoms in an Italian Mastiff puppy:

Abnormal scratching, biting or licking the skin, watery eyes, paw chewing, nasal discharge, recurrent ear infections, diarrhea, vomiting, sneezing, and breathing troubles (extremely significant symptom!).

Other symptoms are rough circular crusts, dry or flaky skin, hair loss (more significant than typical shedding), and itching. In addition, the coat of short-haired breeds like the Italian Mastiff puppy may stand up in places, like hives, and may even appear “moth-eaten” due to patchy hair loss.

italian mastiff laying on the grass

Treatment and Prevention

If you have any worries about your Italian Mastiff puppy’s behavior or recognize any of the signs listed, the very first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. There are a few measures you can take to help your Italian Mastiff’s immune system and reduce the severity of allergies. Omega fatty acids can play a significant role in your Italian Mastiff puppy’s diet and can help reduce inflammation. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in studies to help puppies avoid developing allergies. Because Italian Mastiffs do not create Omegas on their own, you should research the best ways to complement your dog’s diet. Fish oil is also a good source of Omegas for your dog.

Coconut oil can also be used as a treatment. It treats eczema, flea allergies, contact dermatitis, and itchy skin, reducing allergic reactions and improving skin health. It creates smooth, glossy coats. When applied topically, it also disinfects cuts and stimulates wound healing, and prevents and treats yeast and fungal diseases, including Candida. It also helps the healing of cuts, dry skin, bug bites, and stings. Digestion and nutrient absorption are also aided by coconut oil. Coconut oil can also treat digestive diseases like inflammatory bowel syndrome and colitis.

Immunotherapy aims to raise an Italian Mastiff puppy’s resistance to allergens. Several veterinary dermatologists and allergists recommend it as a therapy option. The development of an allergy vaccine (allergy shot) requires the selection of specific allergens for each Italian Mastiff. The allergens are chosen by comparing the test findings to the most common allergens at the time of year when the Italian Mastiff puppy is exhibiting symptoms. Immunotherapy comes in the form of injections or allergy drops. To undergo allergy injections, the Italian Mastiff must be accommodating or compliant, otherwise, it can get difficult. You may have to deliver some doses yourself if injections are used. Most owners learn to administer allergy injections exceptionally effectively with the help of a capable friend or veterinary staff member.

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Gut Health of The Italian Mastiff Puppy

Gut health is essential and responsible for the ingestion and assimilation of nutrients. Thus, it aids all other systems and organs, including the immune system, circulatory system, and brain. The gut may even help fight against some cancers and autoimmune illnesses in your Italian Mastiff puppy.

The Italian Mastiff puppy, like humans, is a unique individual, requiring different amounts of food. It depends on how active your puppy is. The type of dog food you buy is significant as well; the better the dog food, the more it will nourish your Italian Mastiff puppy, and the less you’ll have to pour into its bowl.

Rather than leaving food available all the time, measure your Italian Mastiff puppy’s food and feed it twice a day to keep it in good form. Give it the eye and hands-on tests if you’re unsure if your Italian Mastiff is obese.

Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV), commonly known as bloat, occurs when an Italian Mastiff’s stomach twists and fills with air or fluid. Bloat is a very frequently occurring gut health problem in the Italian Mastiff puppy. GDV starts with “simple bloat.” When your pet’s stomach is overburdened with gas or food, it expands excessively, causing bloat. Bloating isn’t a life-threatening problem, and it could go away by itself.

If the Italian Mastiff’s condition worsens, the stomach may twist, cutting off blood flow from the rest of the body. This condition is called Gastric Dilation Volvulus. This condition is to be taken seriously — immediately rush the suffering Italian Mastiff to an emergency veterinarian.

Leaky gut syndrome, often known in medical terms as “gut hyperpermeability,” is a condition in which a dog’s gut lining fails to function correctly, allowing food particles and poisons to “leak” into their circulation. Leaky gut in the Italian Mastiff puppy is caused by dysbiosis, an imbalance of gut microbes. Overgrowth ensues when the stomach does not create enough healthy bacteria to balance the harmful bacteria. When a leaky gut condition isn’t treated, the immune system becomes overworked, and instead of fighting external molecules, it fights itself, resulting in inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

italian mastiff laying on a rug

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of obesity include increased weight, no or barely visible waistline, the ribcage is not palpable, excessive body fat, abdominal distension, lack of movement, lethargy, and breathing problems.

The symptoms of gastric dilation volvulus in Italian Mastiff puppies include panting, pacing, abdominal swelling, drooling excessively, the inability to stand, dry heaving, and abdominal discomfort. In addition, bloating, pain in the abdomen, infections of the bladder, weight gain or loss, and diarrhea are common symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.

Treatment and Prevention

The at-home treatment you can give your Italian Mastiff puppy for obesity is planning a diet and doing some overall life changes. Start with meal tracking. One of the most critical aspects of any human weight-loss program is keeping a food diary. Do it for your Italian Mastiff puppy. Using a measuring cup, keep track of how much you’re feeding.

Establish a routine. Put up a mealtime routine if you free-feed and leave food out all day. Place the food on the table for a set amount of time, such as 15 minutes, and then pick up any food that the Italian Mastiff puppy leaves. Try to limit between-meal snacks. In addition to their regular chow, dogs consume a lot of calories. Those calories build up over time. Determine the source of the extra treats and track how many the Italian Mastiff receives.

Opt for low-calorie snacks. Many store-bought treats, mainly biscuits, can be high in calories. However, fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, carrots, green beans, and apple slices, will make your Italian Mastiff puppy just as pleased.

Gastric dilation volvulus in Italian Mastiff puppy is a dangerous health condition and requires surgery for treatment, although you can prevent it. Since it starts with bloating, you can avoid it by avoiding bloating in your puppies. Some at-home remedies for bloating include providing dogs with smaller, more frequent meals rather than one big meal and using elevated dog bowls. Restricting your Italian Mastiff from consuming a lot of water at once can also help. Since an Italian Mastiff puppy is prone to bloating, allowing your dog to exercise hard after a meal is not a good idea.

Cutting off mental stress and decreasing exercise can be starters to treat your Italian Mastiff puppy’s leaky gut syndrome. Remove lectins and inflammatory foods from its diet and add probiotics as they will help your Italian Mastiff’s digestive bacterial flora return to normal. You should give hypoallergenic meals and snacks to your Italian Mastiff.

Keeping the gut health of your Italian Mastiff puppy in shape will help your pet stay happy and away from other problems as well.

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Eye Health of the Italian Mastiff Puppy

Large breed dogs, in general, are more prone to eye disorders than smaller canines. The Italian Mastiff breed suffers from specific eye disorders like its mastiff kin. Young Italian Mastiff puppies can be bothered by irregular eyelids. Still, owners must monitor their health and look for eye infections because they have a very high pain threshold and rarely moan or cry. The most prevalent eye issues are glandular hypertrophy (cherry eye), entropion, and ectropion.

Cherry eye is a condition in which the nictitating membrane gland thickens, slips out of its appropriate position, and protrudes beyond the membrane’s edge. “Cherry eye” comes from the ensuing red, swollen lump adjacent to the lower eyelid. It’s also possible to see a pus-filled discharge. The nictitating membrane gland is frequently displaced, even if the swelling goes down for a short time.

Because this gland is crucial for the production of tears, your veterinarian will try to save it if at all feasible. The gland is usually sewn to the connective tissue around the eye’s periphery or covered with the surrounding mucous membrane. The excision of only part of the gland is generally avoided. Cherry-eyed Italian Mastiffs tend to have a higher risk of developing dry eye later in life, especially if the gland is removed.

Entropion is the inward bending of the eyelid’s margins, causing the eyelashes and hair to rub against the eye surface. In Italian Mastiff puppies, it is the most common inherited eyelid defect. It may also occur due to scarring and involuntary winking caused by pain in the eye or surrounding area. The irritation of the conjunctiva and cornea is caused by the turning in of eyelashes or facial hairs. Long-term entropion can result in scarring, unusual coloration, and the development of slow-healing corneal ulcers.

Ectropion is a turned-out, loose eyelid edge, often with a big notch or “crack” in the eyelid. Ectropion in one eyelid can be caused by scars on the eyelid or facial nerve paralysis. Ectropion may also cause long-term or recurrent conjunctivitis. In addition, environmental irritants and subsequent bacterial infections may lead to inflammation of the conjunctiva.

italian mastiff laying in the hay

Signs and Symptoms

The red, swollen lump in the corner of the Italian Mastiff puppy’s eye, which might emerge quickly, is the most visible indication of cherry eye. Cherry eye is a condition that can worsen swiftly. Your Italian Mastiff puppy may rub or paw at their eye, causing infection or bleeding. A medical appointment is required if you observe a red bulge in your Italian Mastiff’s eye. Other symptoms include tear gland enlargement, a drooping third eyelid, and the appearance of an oval lump. Massaging the bulge will cause it to turn crimson and become itchy and unpleasant. Due to a lack of lubricant, the eye might become dry. Swelling around the eye is possible. If there is a secondary infection, there may be a pus-filled discharge.

Common symptoms of entropion include excessive weeping and watery eyes. There may be blood or pus in the eye or discharge. Inside the eyelid rolled inward, irritation of the eyes and skin thickening around the eyes are also symptoms. The puppy might also face difficulty opening its eyes and seem partially opened.

A “sagging” or “rolling outward” lower eyelid is one of the clinical indicators of ectropion. Along the eyelid edge, a thick mucoid discharge frequently forms. In addition, the conjunctiva and eyelids may seem reddish or irritated. If the eye becomes painful, the Italian Mastiff puppy may rub or paw at it.

Treatment and Prevention

Cherry eye is usually often treated with surgery. However, your veterinarian may suggest a treatment strategy that targets the inflammation first in specific circumstances and when discovered early. Evaluating your pet quickly may provide you and your veterinarian with more treatment options, either in addition to or instead of surgery.

For the non-surgical treatment of entropion, you can use lubricants for the eyes. Artificial tears and eye ointments help moisten and preserve your Italian Mastiff’s cornea. Another method used is to tape the skin. To prevent the eyelid of your Italian Mastiff puppy from turning in, use special transparent skin tape. Rolling the skin surrounding the dog’s eyes outwards a few times a day can help avoid inherited entropion. The skin will extend away from the eyeball as a result.

Ectropion in Italian Mastiff puppies does not always necessitate surgical intervention. However, in cases where blink function is normal, an ocular lubricant may be advised to protect the eye tissues from any environmental debris.

Since eye problems are common among Italian Mastiff puppies, it’s essential to observe your Italian Mastiff puppy’s eyes now and then to ensure proper health and on-time diagnosis and treatment.

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Ear Health of The Italian Mastiff Puppy

Ear infections are pretty uncomfortable for your Italian Mastiff puppy and can be caused by an overgrowth of hair in the ear canals or an accumulation of earwax. Allergies affect Mastiffs frequently, causing itching and irritation in the ears and elsewhere. Early recognition leads to less agony for the puppy. If you observe it scratching or shaking its head, a foul odor coming from its ears, or if its ears seem uncomfortable to the touch, it might be having an ear infection.

Otitis externa, or infection of the external ear canal, and otitis media, or inflammation of the middle ear, are the two forms of ear infections. Otitis media is caused by infection spreading from the external ear canal to the middle ear.

Ear mite infestation is another issue that Italian Mastiff puppies confront. Your Italian Mastiff’s ear canal may have become infested with Otodectes cynotis, causing it to shake and scratch its head. The Latin name for the bug is “dog’s ear beggar.” These tiny critters live on the wax and oils in your dog’s ears, which is a good description of what they do. First, they cause itching in the Italian Mastiff puppy, causing them to scratch.

italian mastiff laying in a grass field

Signs and Symptoms

Your Italian Mastiff puppy will be pretty unhappy if it gets an ear infection. Your dog will shake its head or scratch his ears to express dissatisfaction. The ears will often become red and inflamed, with an unpleasant odor and maybe a black or yellowish discharge. A continuous tilting of your pet’s head could indicate a middle ear infection. Aside from a buildup of wax and discharge in the ear canal, some dogs show no signs of ear infection. On the other hand, ear infections can cause severe discomfort in dogs, with symptoms such as head shaking, scratching at the affected ear, dark discharge, odor, redness and swelling of the ear canal, pain, itching, and crusting or scabs in the ears.

The scratching of your Italian Mastiff puppy’s head may be the first sign of an ear mite infestation. A discharge of a dark, granular reddish-brown color is another symptom. The discharge is usually made of dried blood and the color resembles coffee grounds. Inflammation, wounds, and infections are all things that can happen to your Italian Mastiff. Scratching the ear can lead to infections and sores. The most common sign of a mite infestation is a scab or abrasion at the base of the ear, which is created by a dog scratching with his hind leg nails. Bacteria can infect exposed wounds and cause infection. In severe infestations, ear mites can spread to other parts of the dog’s body.

Treatment and Prevention

Keeping your Italian Mastiff puppy’s ear clean is essential to treat and prevent ear infections. The correct way to clean the ear is to fill the vertical ear canal with a cleaning solution and massage it outside. The milking movement aids in the removal of material by breaking it up and bringing it to the surface. After that, clean out the canal with absorbent gauze (paper towels or cotton can leave irritating fibers behind).

Cleaning the folds on your dog’s ear flap with cotton-tipped sticks is a good idea, but don’t use them in his ear canal.

If your dog’s ear is difficult to clean or has a lot of packed material, see your veterinarian. It could be necessary to flush it. Veterinarians utilize flexible catheters to spray saline deep into the canal to eliminate the collected debris. This procedure may necessitate the use of anesthesia in some dogs.

Ear mites can also be treated using a proper cleaning regimen for your Italian Mastiff puppy, followed by the application of antibacterial topical creams.  Coconut oil can help soothe irritated ears and can also be used to clear debris. Oil can also choke mites.

Ear health of an Italian Mastiff puppy is an essential aspect of its overall well-being. Cleanliness plays a significant role in keeping the ears in good shape.

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Immune Health of The Italian Mastiff Puppy

The immune system is responsible for the development of cancer. At all stages of carcinogenesis and immune surveillance, immune system cells play a role. Surgical removal is usually the preferred approach for removing some cancers, and chemotherapy is used for treating other cancers. Early detection of cancer is critical, and for that, it is recommended to do periodic diagnostic tests and look for lumps and bumps when your pet is examined.

The Italian Mastiff puppy is just like any other dog regarding cancer. There are five types of cancers that an Italian Mastiff puppy is prone to: mast cell tumors, melanoma, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. The most frequent bone tumor in dogs is osteosarcoma. In their middle years, it usually affects giant breeds such as your Mastiff.

The Italian Mastiff puppy is susceptible to the same bacterial and viral illnesses, such as parvo, rabies, and distemper, that affect all dogs.

italian mastiff puppy

Signs and Symptoms

Unusual swellings, lumps, or bumps that remain or become larger are all indicators of cancer. Sores that refuse to heal, weight loss, appetite loss, and discharge from any body entrances, such as the nostrils, mouth, or anus are some other indications of immune health issues.

Contact with infected feces spreads parvovirus. Diarrhea and vomiting are the most common signs of parvovirus. Rabies is spread by infected animals biting humans or other animals. Seizures, paralysis, aggression, and a lack of coordination are all symptoms that might occur. Coming into contact with the secretions of an infected dog’s nose causes distemper. Side effects such as pneumonia and seizures are prevalent.

Treatment and Care

To improve the immune health of your Italian Mastiff puppy, you can make several lifestyle changes. A high-quality organic diet can help boost your dog’s immunity. Grains also contribute to making dogs prone to allergies. Adding probiotic supplements to your Italian Mastiff puppy’s diet aids in the good health of the intestines. A good, whole meal should also contain mineral and vitamin supplements.

Although you may not be able to control what your dog encounters in public places, use only natural, non-toxic products on or near your home and pets whenever possible. Fortunately, there are numerous safe and efficient alternatives available.

Dogs are social and emotional beings who require daily interaction, exercise, and play to maintain their health and lifespan. Being alone for long periods, such as through illness, relocation, divorce, or the arrival of new human or furry house members, can have physical and mental consequences. Ensure your Italian Mastiff is not under stress to ensure good immune health.

Omega 3 fatty acids boost the immune system, reducing inflammation (a precursor to many diseases), supporting the heart and kidneys, and inhibiting tumor growth when added to the regular diet.

The production of free radicals is a prevalent cause of inflammation in all cells, tissues, and organs. These are produced naturally as part of the body’s detoxification process; however, excessive free radicals, created when exposed to environmental contaminants, deplete the body’s antioxidant reserves, including vitamins A, C, and E. When these and other antioxidants are taken during stress, they can help reduce inflammation and free radical damage to tissues and organs. Carrots are a fantastic antioxidant, and organic carrots are pretty inexpensive compared to other organic vegetables.

Parvovirus therapy is extensive and involves intravenous fluids and medications. It is primarily a disease that affects puppies and dogs who have not been vaccinated; younger puppies are more likely to die than older dogs. Until they can eat their regular meals, most puppies will need to consume small, bland meals frequently and take anti-nausea medications (usually a week or two). Even if your Italian Mastiff appears to be back to normal, continue administering the prescribed medications. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the rabies virus at this time. To prevent further transmission, it is recommended that the dog be isolated. There is no recognized cure for distemper. The most prevalent infectious disease that kills dogs is distemper.

Cinnamon, onions, garlic, and parsley (in tiny amounts) are some of the healthy foods that can be used to help improve the dog’s immune systems. Natural meats will make a significant difference in your dog’s overall health.

Unfortunately, some immune diseases found in Italian Mastiff puppies are not curable, so it is essential to boost your pet’s immunity and make it ready to fight infections themselves.

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Joint Health of The Italian Mastiff Puppy

Pressure on the joints can cause various joint problems in puppies as they are always on their feet. Hip dysplasia, arthritis, and elbow dysplasia are common joint problems for Italian Mastiff dogs. If the pain is severe, surgery may be required to fix it. But there are preventive measures as well as at-home treatments available to help your Italian Mastiff puppy deal with joint problems. Some of them include a proper diet, exercise, and visiting the vet for regular checkups (once in 2-3 months).

Hip Dysplasia is a disorder of the hip joint, ball, and socket joint. If not treated on time, this condition can develop to form arthritis.

Arthritis is a joint condition in which joints tend to get inflamed and degenerate, causing pain and difficulty in movement.

Your senior Italian Mastiff may be suffering from arthritis if it has started to slow down on walks and has difficulty walking up and down the stairs. This disease, most frequent in older dogs, can affect the legs, hips, back, and other body areas, making daily activities uncomfortable. However, as an Italian Mastiff owner, you can watch for signs of arthritis in dogs. You’ll be ensuring that your elderly Italian Mastiff has the most pain-free life possible.

Elbow dysplasia is when the elbow joint develops abnormally in young, large breed, and rapidly growing dogs. It is characterized by unusual bone growth, cartilage formation, or joint tension. It is thought to be one of the most common causes of canine elbow osteoarthritis.

two italian mastiff puppies playing in the grass

Signs and Symptoms

The poor fitting of the ball and socket joint in hip dysplasia results in rubbing and grinding of the collective rather than a smooth sliding. As a result, the joint deteriorates over time and eventually stops working. As a result, dogs with hip dysplasia appear to be less lively. Pet owners may notice that their dog is napping or relaxing more, or is less keen on tasks requiring walking or running.

The symptoms of arthritis include difficulties in standing from a sleeping position and having trouble climbing stairs or leaping onto a bed or couch. In addition, you might notice that the muscles in the back limbs of your Italian Mastiff puppy are wasting away.

As early as four months of age, an Italian Mastiff puppy with elbow dysplasia may show signs of mild to moderate discomfort and lameness in the forelimbs. However, some dogs do not display symptoms of the disease until later in life. Both elbows are usually afflicted, but one may be significantly worse.

The severity of the abnormalities in the joint is usually proportional to the timing of the symptoms. For example, dogs who don’t display signs until later in life usually have already developed arthritis (joint inflammation) due to the rubbing of the joint’s misaligned components.

Treatment and Prevention

The severity of your dog’s pain should dictate the treatment you give it. They may provide vitamins to help manage the condition if the ailment isn’t severe enough to require surgery. For example, most Italian Mastiff puppies with hip dysplasia need veterinary-approved glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements. In addition, regular injections of poly-sulfated glycosaminoglycan will benefit many puppies with severe hip dysplasia.

Weight loss to relieve stress on the hips, physical therapy, supplements that reduce inflammation, and joint fluid modifiers are the preventive measures that can be taken for a puppy if it shows symptoms of hip dysplasia.

Weight loss is essential for arthritic dogs. Excess weight puts additional strain on your dog’s joints and body. Although exercise might be challenging, especially if the arthritis is severe, you can work with your veterinarian to find appropriate activities. You might also pay special attention to your dog’s eating habits.

Make sure your dog is eating the proper food and matching his nutritional requirements. Veterinarian-recommended diets may be very beneficial in treating your dog’s arthritis. Natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and Omega fatty acid compounds are commonly found in these meals.

Explore feeding glucosamine-rich foods or giving glucosamine or chondroitin supplements. These sulfates appear to drive the body to produce more cartilage because they are the building blocks of good cartilage.

The standard treatments and preventions for elbow dysplasia are like other joint problems, including resting, weight control, controlled exercise, etc.

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Skin and Coat of The Italian Mastiff Puppy

The coat of the Italian Mastiff puppy is short and rigid, with a bit of undercoat. It comes in various colors, including black, gray, red, and fawn, and may or may not have a brindle pattern. The Italian Mastiff puppy has a short, coarse double coat that sheds a modest amount of hair year-round. They do, however, shed less than other mastiff breeds such as the English Mastiff. They also don’t undergo molting nearly as much as larger dogs with thicker, heavier coats, such as the German Shepherd, unless it’s shedding season (usually in the spring and fall) when you may notice an increase in shedding.

Even if it doesn’t appear so, the Italian Mastiff puppy has an undercoat, which gets more visible in the winter. The undercoat is shed in preparation for summer once the winter is done and he no longer requires it. Seasonal shedding is the term for this occurrence; the severity of this will vary depending on where he lives, but some more molting is to be expected throughout this time.

Demodectic mange, often known as Demodex, is caused by Demodex canis, a cigar-shaped mite. Unlike sarcoptic mange, they are a typical element of the skin flora of the Italian Mastiff puppy that is constantly present and usually harmless. Demodex canis is often transmitted to newborn puppies from their mothers in the first few days. The mites settle deep within hair follicles and stay put, producing no problems. Their numbers are kept in check by a healthy immune system. They can, however, become out of control in a dog with a weaker immune system.

italian mastiff laying in the woods

Signs and Symptoms

The common symptoms for demodectic mange in an Italian Mastiff puppy include hair loss, spotting,  and red, scaling skin in isolated patches on the skin of your puppy. In widespread cases, redness, infections, scaling, and swelling can be observed all over the body. In some cases, the puppies also face hair loss.

Treatment and Care

Brushing your Italian Mastiff puppy reduces shedding simply and practically. Brushing their coat every day during shedding season helps remove dead fur from their coat and massages their skin. Not only will it save you time vacuuming, but it will also help them keep a healthy, moisture-rich coat.

Before a thorough brushing session, bathe your dog using a decent quality dog shampoo. If you plan to wash your Italian Mastiff puppy regularly, start training them at a young age. Bathe them once a week as a puppy, teaching them the command “Bath,” so they learn to anticipate and accept it. Then, to sweeten the transaction, lavish them with praise and gifts.

As you groom your Italian Mastiff puppy, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Ideally, your Italian Mastiff should not have redness or discharge in the eyes. Your weekly examination will enable you to detect potential health issues early.

The at-home treatment and care for demodectic mange in an Italian Mastiff puppy include hair clipping, bathing to cleanse and repair skin, and using medicated shampoos to help heal and soften skin. Topical medicine is mainly used to treat the localized type. However, shampoo therapy and a particular dip or oral medication are required for the generalized form. Before dipping, shampooing with specific cleansing shampoos helps flush the hair follicles.

Because the immune system does not mature until the age of 12-18 months, a dog with demodectic mange may experience relapses until then. To avoid the development of unmanageable issues, it is critical to treat them as soon as a degeneration develops. Demodectic mange can also affect older dogs, as the immune system’s function deteriorates with age. Demodectic mange can affect dogs whose immune systems have been weakened by sickness or treatment.

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Final Thoughts

The Italian Mastiff breed is not one for the faint of heart, though they’re excellent family and work dogs. Ensuring you have the time, willpower, and fortitude to take on such a large dog with large personalities and needs is key in determining if this breed is the right fit for you. With the right training and mindset, you and your Italian Mastiff can live a long, prosperous, enjoyable life together.

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