Cane Corso are renowned for their guarding prowess. They love their people and want nothing more than to keep them safe.
They have a natural guarding instinct and will look after their family while being wary of strangers.
They’re also well known for their looks. They’re a large, powerful breed that’s muscular with a short tight coat.
Another highlight is their personality. They can be calm and quiet indoors while still being an energetic breed when it’s time to play or train outside.
However, as with every purebred, they come with some health problems that need to be looked out for. Proper screening is an important part of keeping this breed around for as long as possible.
We’ll go over the most common health problems for this breed and what to keep an eye out for.
Cane Corso Health Issues
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
This ailment is common in most large dog breeds. So, while the Cane Corso may not be as large as other mastiffs, they are still susceptible to it.
It’s genetic and causes misalignment of the joints. A dog can have one or both types of dysplasia.
Thankfully, it can be diagnosed at an early age by a vet. If it’s a concern, you can discuss things with both the breeder you chose and a vet before you make any decisions.
Good, reputable breeders will have their breeding lines tested to help ensure hip dysplasia is not passed down to offspring and to make sure any puppies they are selling are healthy.
Should you notice your Cane Corso has a stiff gate, is limping, has swelling or redness around the area, is in pain, or is lethargic: it’s a good idea to go to your vet with the concerns.
It could be dysplasia or another common joint problem in large dogs: arthritis.
This is normally something that develops as a dog ages, but because large breeds take longer to grow and develop, they’re more prone to it and it may develop early.
Their joints and bones take longer to grow and strengthen, because they take longer to develop into adults than smaller breeds.
This means any large amount of stress on their joints can lead to injury. Injured joints are more likely to develop arthritis earlier on in life.
Larger breeds are also more likely to develop arthritis due to their size as well. The extra weight a large breed carries puts extra strain on the joints and the cartilage in them.
This is another genetic condition like hip dysplasia though vets are uncertain of what causes it.
Idiopathic means something that happens suddenly and without a known cause.
Thankfully, this condition can be treated with medications and is also one that breeders are on the lookout for.
Since it’s inherited, dogs known to have this condition should not be bred as they can pass it on to their offspring.
Most people are familiar with mange whether it be from television or from their own experience as a pet owner.
Mange is caused by the skin mites that naturally live on the skin reproducing rapidly. Normally the immune system keeps their numbers in check, but if it becomes compromised, a Cane Corso may end up with mange.
This particular type of mange is called demodectic mange or Demodex.
This usually occurs in younger dogs between 12 and 18 months while their immune system is still developing and strengthening. It’s not contagious, but does require treatment.
This type of mange may not cause the redness and itchiness most of us associate with the word mange, but it does cause hair loss in patches. This is normally treated with a topical medication.
The most common heart condition for the Cane Corso is dilated cardiomyopathy. This disease involves weakening of the heart muscles meaning it can’t pump blood as well as it should.
It can be difficult to diagnose early in life, so it’s important to make sure these dogs get regular check ups as heart conditions don’t always manifest themselves easily. Sometimes it’s as simple as a heart murmur while other cases may present with fainting or laboured breathing.
There can also be no symptoms at all which can lead to early death. Thankfully, responsible breeding can help to track and eliminate this condition.
Certain heart conditions can also be successfully treated with an operation.
Cherry eye is common in the Cane Corso as it is in other loose skinned breeds. When the ligament holding the third eyelid gland in place breaks, it causes it to prolapse.
The third eyelid then bulges outward and doesn’t stay in place on its own. This can be corrected with surgery and normally leaves no lasting damage if dealt with in a timely manner.
So, while it may be uncomfortable and look painful, your dog is likely to make a full recovery.
This breed may also suffer from entropion. This is another common ailment of loose skinned dogs. The eyelid curls inwards.
This can also be corrected with surgery and doesn’t normally leave lasting damage, but the portion of the eyelid rolled inward can scrape against and scratch the cornea.
Most dog owners are familiar with this condition and dread it ever happening. It’s a medical emergency that must be corrected with surgery. It’s scary and stressful to deal with.
Bloat is most commonly caused by large amounts of air being gulped down when a dog eats or drinks too quickly. The stomach being bloated then “flips” over on itself and this cuts off circulation and also disallows food to pass from the stomach to the intestines.
Symptoms include a hard, bloated stomach, vomiting and lethargy. Even if you aren’t 100% sure if your dog is experiencing bloat or not, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This condition is fatal without treatment.
Large breeds and deep chested dogs are more likely to suffer from bloat, but a slow feeder and smaller, more frequent meals, may help to prevent it.
This breed lives for around 9 to 12 years. That’s a little longer than the average for giant dog breeds which is around 8 to 10 years.
Though, there are quite a few factors that can impact life expectancy and while you can’t control some of them, other factors are well within your control.
While genetics and hereditary conditions are things you never have influence over and sometimes don’t know about until they present with symptoms, you do have control over other things.
You control the quality of their diet, veterinary care and exercise. All of these factors can directly impact how long your Cane Corso lives and their quality of life.
If you put them on a high quality diet, make sure they get enough exercise, and take them to the vet for check ups and treatment, they’ll live a longer, healthier, and happier life.
Training can also play a role in your dog’s life. Good training can reduce stress. Just like in humans, lower stress levels can contribute to a longer life.
Selecting the breeder you get your puppy from is also something within your control.
You can interview them and ask about things like the lifespan of their dogs, any health problems that may be in their breeding lines, and how they handle their puppies.
That way you can avoid any surprises later in life and make sure you’re purchasing from a responsible breeder.
Overall, Cane Corso are a relatively healthy breed, so don’t let this list of health problems scare you.
There’s every chance you get a perfectly healthy dog with minimal health problems. Breeders are working every day to help improve the breed and decrease genetic health issues.
Responsible dog owners are also an important part of the equation. You can always report a health problem that crops up later in life, so that your breeder can make note of it for future reference.
Do you love the Cane Corso? Have you always wanted one?
What have your experiences with the breed been like?
Come over to our social media page and tell us all about it. We can’t wait to hear from you!
FAQs about Cane Corso Health Problems and Life Expectancy
What is the average life expectancy of a Cane Corso?
The average life expectancy for a Cane Corso is around 9 to 12 years, which is slightly longer than the average for giant dog breeds, typically around 8 to 10 years.
How can I prevent common health issues in Cane Corsos?
To prevent common health issues in Cane Corsos, you can focus on providing them with a high-quality diet, regular veterinary care, and sufficient exercise. Good training can also reduce stress, contributing to a longer and healthier life.
Are Cane Corsos prone to bloat, and how can I prevent it?
Yes, Cane Corsos, like other large and deep-chested breeds, are prone to bloat. To prevent it, consider using a slow feeder for meals, offering smaller, more frequent meals, and being cautious about your dog eating or drinking too quickly. If you suspect bloat, seek immediate veterinary attention, as it is a life-threatening condition.
What should I look for in a reputable Cane Corso breeder to ensure a healthy puppy?
When selecting a Cane Corso breeder, inquire about the breeder's dogs' lifespan, any known health problems in their breeding lines, and their care and handling of puppies. Choose a responsible breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs.
Can you suggest a diet and exercise plan to promote a longer and healthier life for my Cane Corso?
For a Cane Corso's well-being, provide a high-quality diet tailored to their specific needs, ensuring they receive proper nutrition. Regular exercise is essential, but it should be balanced to avoid overexertion, especially when they are young. Consult with your veterinarian to create a diet and exercise plan suitable for your individual dog's health and age.