Diseases your Bullmastiff may suffer from. Part 3.

This article includes the information about possible diseases a Bullmastiff may suffer from.
It is necessary to understand that it is not meant for an inexperienced dog owner to diagnose and treat his pet. The information presented here is for an owner to notice early rise of illness and then to consult a vet. Only a professional veterinarian can treat your pet.

This article covers two very serious diseases of heart and eyes.

Heart problems:

Heart murmurs.

Cause:
  • abnormal heart valve
  • viral assault
Symptoms:
  • abnormal heart sounds
Heart murmurs can be congenital or acquired. It has been noticed that congenital murmurs do not cause a problem during the dog’s lifetime.

A vet will:
  • examine a dog and if it appears that the dog is developing normally and there are no other clinical signs of heart disease, the murmur may be considered "innocent".
  • operate a dog if these murmurs are serious.

Sub Aortic Stenosis (SAS) is characterized by a narrowing of the outflow track from the left ventricle of the heart to the aorta. Thankfully, SAS is a relatively uncommon cause of a heart murmur. However, it can be life threatening and does show up from time to time. SAS is known to be hereditary. It is usually diagnosed with an echocardiogram and can be treated with medications.
 
Cardiomyopathy - it is, literally, "sick heart muscle".

Syptoms of SAS and Cardiomyopathy:
  • weakness
  • lethargy
  • stunted growth
  • exercise intolerance
  • fainting
  • abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias)
A vet will:
  • listen to the heart with a stethoscope
  • insist on EKG and cardiac ultrasound.
A consultation with a canine cardiologist is recommended when abnormalities are detected. Some treatments may be done by your vet.


Eye problems:

Entropion - is a condition where the eyelid inverts, or rolls inward, causing eyelashes and hair to rub against the cornea. It can be hereditary as well as an acquired condition (i.e., as the result of an eye injury).

Symptoms:
  • recurrent or chronic eye discharge
  • watering eyes
  • irritation

A vet may insist on:
  • surgical correction

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) -  is another inherited eye disorder in which the retinas have either arrested development or early degeneration. This is not a painful disease, and the eyes appear normal.

Symptoms:
  • reluctance to enter a dark hallway or stairwell.
A vet will insist on:
  • an examination by a veterinary ophthalmologist but unfortunately there is no treatment at this time.
The condition worsens over time and results in total blindness.