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King – Vet Bills

What happens when a dog is a “surrender”, and the organization that takes it in finds out the dog’s health problems are well above any expectations? Take for instance this Dogue De Bordeaux, AKA French Mastiff or the breed made famous when featured in the 1989 Tom Hank’s movie, Turner & Hooch.


Being a typical brachycephalic breed, meaning a pushed in face, (ie: French Bulldogs & Pugs), these types are plagued with health problems.  Most prominent of course is its breathing difficulties, which makes it very intolerant of heat or exercise.  However, this particular rescue dog was plagued by another common and painful ailment called entropian. This is a problem with the eyelids which leads to conjunctivitis (eye inflammation) & bacterial infections. This breed is so riddled with health issues that the U.K. Kennel Club’s Watch system has classified this breed as a Category 3 breed (formerly High-Profile Breed). This means it is a breed where some dogs have visible conditions or exaggerations that can cause pain and discomfort. Other breeds in this category are German Shepards, Bloodhounds, Pekingese, St. Bernards, ect.  Other common ailments in these Mastiffs, are heart problems (aortic stenosis & dilated cardiomyopathy), hyperkeratosis (thickening of footpad and sometimes the nose), and of course, they are at high risk for hip & elbow dysplasia & lets not forget Patella luxation (knee problems).


So, you see, the people that think these breeds look great, impressive and/or cute must be aware the cost of keeping them healthy. Though not sure the history of this particular dog, but I bet the initial (I heard it was climbing) vet bill might have had something to do with its need to be rescued. For as you can see from the itemized vet invoice seen here, he was never microchipped or neutered at 1 ½ yrs. Old. This may indicate that his original owner might have had visions of him being used for breeding. The incentive for this is the fact his pups could be worth between $2500-3000.  Even if it was bred to a Cane Corso, this mix-breed can fetch over $2000, just ask Kijiji!


So, it was with much pleasure when the rescuers of this dog reached out for assistance in paying a portion of this $2180 vet bill (and climbing), we could oblige.


We hope the story of King, educates readers in learning not to encourage such breeding and selling of dogs that only are bred to enhance such features that bring them such pain and discomfort. It was explain that for them to breath, its like you breathing through a straw your whole life. Can you imagine the frustration? I see these dogs with their pinched nostrils and I want to cry for them. Can’t their owners see the struggles they have? Does their cuteness that exudes in these popular French Bulldogs, outweigh their struggle to breath? I just don’t get it.


……and as far as these Mastiffs are concerned  I think their days of usefulness in France as a guardian, hunter and fighter, plus having a talent for baiting bulls, bears and jaguars are long gone.


Read more about another Mastiff (Neapolitan), named Sydney, that we contributed to an enormous vet bill due to unthinkable neglect: