spanish mastiff breed information


common health issues

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.

GDV (or bloat) describes a condition whereby a dog's stomach becomes dilated with air and then, while dilated, twists over on itself, effectively sealing the stomach. The most common sign of bloat is a firm, distended stomach, especially if it seems to occur rapidly. GDV is one of the true life-threatening emergencies in dogs and many cases require emergency surgery.

Panosteitis is inflammation of the long bones that causes pain and lameness in young large breed dogs. The pain occurs in both the front and hind limbs and can seem to shift between different limbs. Eventually, dogs will outgrow the condition, but may need medication to alleviate discomfort for severe symptoms.

Entropion describes the inward rolling of the eyelid, often causing the eyelashes to come into contact with the eyeball and cause irritation and often ulceration. Many affected dogs will require surgical correction and severe cases may require multiple surgeries.

The Spanish Mastiff is a very old breed, thought to have descended from dogs brought to the Iberian peninsula of Spain around 1000 BC by Phoenician Greek traders. He served as a herder and guardian of livestock herds, and was the forerunner of some other mastiff breeds, including the St. Bernard and the Dogo Argentino.

Like his fellow mastiffs, the Spanish Mastiff is a very large and powerful dog, weighing anywhere from 110 to 140 lbs. He has a slightly longer muzzle than some of his mastiff cousins, and loose folds of skin that hang in a double layer around his neck.

The Spanish Mastiff can be wary of strangers and aggressive toward other dogs, so consistent training and socialization with other dogs and humans from an early age is recommended. Once a firm leader has helped him learn his place in the family, he makes a very loyal and protective pet. Due to his large frame and loud voice, apartment living isn’t quite his style. He does best in settings where he has plenty of room to move and exercise at his own pace.

Booming bark aside, Spanish Mastiffs are still prone to some hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health — not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Spanish Mastiffs are prone to include eye conditions such as entropion; bone conditions such as panosteitis; joint conditions such as hip dysplasia; and digestive conditions such as gastric dilatation volvulus (GVD or bloat).

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Spanish Mastiff inherits anything more than a droopy double chin, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)