Health Issues Common to the Perro de Presa Canario
All purebred dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
The Perro de Presa Canario has some health conditions that can be a concern, especially if you aren’t cautious about whom you buy from. They include orthopedic problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans and panosteitis; eye problems such as entropion; autoimmune thyroiditis and demodectic mange; epilepsy; and cryptorchidism (a single testicle or a testicle retained inside the body). The breed may also be prone to gastric torsion, also known as bloat, and anterior cruciate ligament tears.
Ask the breeder to show evidence that a puppy’s parents have OFA or PennHIP clearances for hip dysplasia, plus OFA elbow clearances. Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. Having the dogs "vet checked" is not a substitute for genetic health testing.
5 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Perro de Presa Canario Puppy
1. Finding a good breeder is more important than finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. Perro de Presa Canario is not especially common, so you may have a wait of six months or even a year or more before a puppy is available.
2. Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health problems in Perro de Presa Canarios aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an adult dog, most of them can be ruled out. Since a Perro de Presa Canario can live to be 10 or more years old, even an adult dog will be with your family for a long time.
3. Puppy or adult, take your Perro de Presa Canario to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues, and in particular to watch out for the early signs of diabetes and skin problems, including ear infections.
4. Don’t ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store or Internet site that offers many breeds and popular mixes, or that ships with no questions asked. If you buy a puppy from these sources, you’ll be more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to house-train puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.
5. Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with “puppy lemon laws,” be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.