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Breed Health Overview

Throughout the last 15 years, The Neapolitan Mastiff Club (TNMC) has represented & protected the interests of the Neapolitan Mastiff in the UK. During this time, the Membership of TNMC has endeavoured to address those issues of health & welfare which have arisen, in many instances as a consequence to the popularity explosion of the nineties, and the decline in the quality of stock within the gene pool in the UK.

TNMC is aware from health surveys undertaken by the Club that: during the last 10 years, the incidence of hip dysplasia, entropion / ectropion has improved, but that the incidence of cherry eye has significantly increased. And although we have improved upon longevity, the number of Neapolitan Mastiffs being lost to bloat is another area we believe, requires our continued attention.

TNMC has worked closely with our Canine Governing Body in the compilation of breed specific recommendations for the Assured Breeder Scheme, and whilst it is recognised that these are only recommendations at this stage, applicable only to those breeders wishing to fulfil ABS criteria, it is hoped by TNMC that: these positive steps will serve to stimulate and maintain the health conscious culture growing amongst breeders of Neapolitan Mastiffs. ABS Recommendations inc: BVA/KC Hip Dysplasia Scheme, BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme, and Breed Club Heart Testing. (The Heart examination included in TNMC Health Assessment would provide initial indication if specialist heart screening referral is required).

TNMC has worked closely with Veterinary Surgeons & other Breed Clubs (that have implemented Health Assessments), in the compilation of our own Veterinary health assessment, which has received KC & Veterinary approval. The Health Assessment is not intended to replace current KC / BVA Health Screening Schemes, but provides an additional, relatively inexpensive option to compliment current schemes, which we hope might be adopted by enthusiasts to, monitor annually the health of individual dogs through evaluation & assessment of on-set of condition or disease. The assessment also assists TNMC with the collection & collation of much needed data regarding the health of our breed as a whole. For further details please contact TNMC Secretary.

TNMC also requested that: the British Veterinary Association (BVA), review & revise the BVA/ KC/ ISDS Eye Examination Certificate, to make it more applicable to those eye conditions which can affect our breed: and more recently TNMC commended the BVA in the amendments made to the Exam & Exam Certificate.

TNMC’s long term goals for the Neapolitan Mastiff were established long before our breed was deemed a KC High Profile Breed (HPB) but In light of our breeds high profile status, believe it vitally important for us ALL to be very public in our endeavours to prove that Neapolitan Mastiff enthusiasts in the UK treat the health of our breed with the same regard as we pay to type.
Breed Watch – Neapolitan Mastiff Points of Concern

Particular points of concern for individual breeds may include features not specifically highlighted in the breed standard. The features listed are derived from health surveys, a meeting of KC Group Judges, feedback from judges at shows and consultation with individual Breed Clubs.

Excessively heavy in build

Excessive wrinkle and dewlap

Excessive amounts of loose facial skin with conformational defects of the upper and or lower eyelids so that the eyelid margins are not in normal contact with the eye when the dog is in natural pose (eg they turn in or out, or both abnormalities are present)

Unsound movement – especially that resulting from weak hindquarters.