King Hill Mastiffs
Mastiff Health

Like people, all dog breeds can develop health problems and mastiffs are not exempt. Due to their immense size the English Mastiff succumbs to quite a few health problems including hip dysplasia, gastric torsion and various cancers. The average lifespan of an English Mastiff is between 7-13 years. No breeder can absolutely guarantee that your puppy will never develop a health problem. Most ethical breeders have no desire to ever intentionally breed a dog that will develop health conditions and take great precautions to avoid producing inherited diseases. However, we do have a breed that despite every breeders best intention may at one point develop a problem. Being able to identify health problems early and provide proper treatment can save your mastiff from suffering and speed recovery.


An inherited progressive degenerative eye diseases affecting the retina which results in blindness. There are no carriers of PRA; dogs are either normal or affected. A DNA test is available in mastiffs through Optigen.

Hip & Elbow Dysplasia

Arthritis in the cartilage lining of the joint and is primarily an inherited defect. It can be a very painful condition and the animal can become weak and lame in the hind quarters or elbows. A diagnosis is made from clinical signs and standard x-ray evaluation. The severity of the disease can be influenced by environmental factors, growth rate, diet, and exercise.


The uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells on or within the body. Not all cancers are the same. Cancer is often treatable and various cancers require several different treatments. Cancer is a common and serious disease.


A disorder that can cause stones to form in the kidneys and urinary tract. Cystinuria in mastiffs mainly affects the males. Although this disorder is thought to be hereditary the mode of inheritance is still unknown. Currently, there is a Cystinuria Nitroprusside test offered by PennGen testing labs.


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. A preventative minor surgery called a "stomach tack" can help avoid this problem.

Heart Diease

The most common heart problems in Mastiffs are aortic stenosis, mitral valve dysplasia and cardiomyopathy. Early detection and treatment are essential for a good prognosis. Some mastiffs have heart murmurs that are mild and not a cause for concern. If a heart murmur is detected it is essential to have it checked to see if it is an "innocent" murmur or a serious problem.


Abnormal functioning thyroid gland resulting in a lower than normal level of thyroid hormone. This lack of thyroid hormone can have serious health consequences including coat and skin problems, intolerance to cold, weight gain or loss, infertility, sudden aggression, and immune system malfunctions. The inherited form is autoimmune thyroiditis where the body's own immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland or reduces its function.

Wobblers Syndrome

A condition of spinal cord compression that causes cervical instability of the vertebrae resulting in an unsteady (wobbly) gait and weakness. Also known as Cervical Vertebral Instability(CVI),Cervical Spondylomyelopathy(CSM),and Cervical vertebral malformation(CVM).


Epilepsy is repeated seizure activity. Often Epilepsy is diagnosed as primary or secondary with the difference being the root cause of the seizures. There is a difference between epilepsy and a seizure. Epilepsy has no cure and daily medications are used for preventative treatment. Please donate blood of all mastiffs in efforts to develop a DNA Test and stop the suffering of this serious disease. Further information about Canine Epilepsy, Research and ways to help can be found here: