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Cane Corso Health Issues to Watch For: 7 Common Concerns


Mar 15, 2023
cane corso in a frozen puddle

Cane Corsos look healthy and vibrant, as well as super-strong. However, like many large-chested dogs of considerable weight, Cane Corsos are prone to several health conditions and issues. The truth is, even the biggest, strongest dogs can have health concerns, and the Cane Corso is no exception.

Since nobody likes to watch their dog suffer, we put together a list of the seven Cane Corso health issues to watch for. Read on to learn how to prevent these health issues or at least lower the risk your Cane Corso suffers from them.


The 7 Common Cane Corso Health Issues

1. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia model of a dog
Image Credit: Einar Muoni, Shutterstock

Because Cane Corsos are such large dogs, they often suffer from hip dysplasia, a joint issue that starts when your Cane Corso goes through its puppy growth stages. When a dog has hip dysplasia, which unfortunately can happen to almost all breeds, the hip joint loosens and doesn’t function correctly, which can cause inflammation and, with time, chronic pain.

Even worse is that, as your Cane Corso grows and ages, the bone and the cartilage around the hip joint start to wear down from use. This can cause several other health problems, including muscle atrophy, arthritis, and limited mobility. Some signs your Cane Corso has hip dysplasia include the following:

  • Limping
  • Trouble standing
  • Weird sitting positions
  • They “bunny hop” when they run
  • Problems going up and down steps
  • Popping noises when your Cane Corso walks

2. Idiopathic Epilepsy

The first thing you need to know about idiopathic epilepsy is that the term “idiopathic” means doctors don’t know what’s causing the problem. That makes it quite hard to determine a course of action for your Cane Corso’s healthcare. Idiopathic epilepsy causes seizures in Cane Corsos between the ages of 1 and 5. Experts believe it’s caused by a hereditary issue or a functional defect in your dog’s brain. If your Cane Corso has idiopathic epilepsy, it’s difficult to miss.

Your poor pup will collapse onto the floor and convulse for up to 2 minutes. During that time, their limbs will stiffen, they will salivate heavily, and they might also lose control of their bowels and have an “accident.” You should also note that there’s a period after an idiopathic epilepsy seizure that can last for a few minutes or hours. This, however, is not the actual seizure but a reaction to it.

3. Demodectic Mange

Demodectic mange is a nasty health issue your Cane Corso can suffer if parasitic mites infect its skin, including Demodex canis, Demodex injai, or Demodex cornea. What’s interesting about demodectic mange is that the mites that cause it are commonly found in the hair follicles of a Cane Corso and other dogs.

However, if the dog’s immune system is healthy, the mites don’t cause the dog any harm. Only when a Cane Corso has a compromised or immature immune system can parasitic mites cause this itchy, inflamed, and painful rash. Demodectic mange is also known as red mange. A dog with demodectic mange will typically show signs such as inflamed and scaly skin lesions and hair loss.

4. Ectropion

cane corso with ectropion
Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

If you’ve ever seen a Cane Corso with “droopy” eyelids, they’re likely suffering from an ectropion health condition. A Cane Corso with ectropion will have eyes that look red and inflamed. Also, when they blink, they won’t be able to make tears like usual to protect and lubricate their eyes. Furthermore, because their lower eyelids are loose, bacteria, dust, and even stagnant tears can cause your Cane Corso’s eyes to become infected.

If this happens, your dog might also suffer from another condition called conjunctivitis, which is when the conjunctival sac of the eyes is chronically inflamed. What’s disturbing (and a bit ridiculous) is that some breeders try to breed this health issue into their Cane Corso puppies. It makes a Cane Corso look sad and devoted to its owner. (Like we said, ridiculous.)

5. Entropion

fawn cane corso puppy outdoors
Image Credit: Sbolotova, Shutterstock

Entropion is quite similar to ectropion except that, instead of the eyelid turning outward, it turns inward. When the condition happens to your Cane Corso, its eyelashes and fur can rub against the cornea of its eyes. This can cause several other problems, including corneal ulcers, erosions, and chronic eye pain.

The problem can also cause scarring on your pup’s corneas, interfering and, eventually, destroying their vision if not treated and corrected. Last but certainly not least, an entropion can cause your Cane Corso to suffer from a lot of pain, which is why it needs to be treated as soon as possible.

6. Bloat and GDV

brindle cane corso with uncropped ears sitting outdoors
Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock

Although bloat can affect any breed, Cane Corsos are prone to it because of their large, deep chests. Bloat happens when your Cane Corso’s stomach fills up with gas, fluids, and food. When this pressure builds in your puppy’s stomach, it eventually stops blood flow to its abdomen and hind legs. This also prevents blood from returning to the heart because it pools at the back end of your Cane Corso’s body.

Even worse is that, in severe cases of bloat, your dog’s stomach will flip over and drag its pancreas and spleen with it, cutting off blood flow to those organs. When this happens, the pancreas sends out several toxic hormones, including one that can stop your dog’s heart from beating. A severe case of bloat is called gastric dilation volvulus or GDV.

7. Obesity

Three Black Cane-Corso dogs sit on the field
Image Credit: Dioniya, Shutterstock

Many large breeds are prone to obesity. Like most dogs, your Cane Corso will gladly eat everything you give them and keep eating even if they’re full. If you give your furry friend too many treats or too much food, once they reach adulthood, obesity is a definite risk. Also, once obese, your Cane Corso will likely suffer from other health issues, including joint pain, diabetes, and even heart failure.

Obesity also significantly reduces your Cane Corso’s lifespan, so providing your pup with a nutritious and balanced diet is essential. It’s also critical that your Cane Corso gets plenty of exercise to burn off any extra fat and calories they may have eaten.


The 4 Ways to Keep Your Cane Corso Healthy

Although many of the health issues that Cane Corsos suffer can’t be prevented, some can. Luckily, there are several methods you can use to ensure your Cane Corso stays happy and healthy throughout its life.

1. Feed Your Cane Corso a Healthy Diet

A healthy, well-balanced diet specifically made for Cane Corso is your best choice when feeding them. Whatever kibble or dog food you choose should be high in protein, contain low carbohydrates and moderate fat, and have very few (or no) artificial ingredients.

2. Don’t Give Your Cane Corso Too Many Treats

When you give your Cane Corso too many treats, it can become obese. Vets recommend following the 90/10 rule for treats. That means giving your Cane Corso 90% regular dog food every day and only 10% snacks.

fawn cane corso lying on grass
Image Credit: Tommy_Rau, Pixabay

3. Make Sure Your Cane Corso Stays Active

Just as important as feeding your Cane Corso a healthy diet and limiting their snack intake is providing plenty of exercise and activity. Cane Corsos have a high energy level and must be allowed to use up as much energy as possible.

At least an hour a day is the minimum, but up to 2 hours a day of activity, play, and exercise is suggested. Some of the best exercises for a Cane Corso include:

  • Running
  • Playing fetch
  • Agility training
  • Catching a Frisbee
  • Pulling weights or carts
  • Hiking with you
  • Long walks

4. Take Your Cane Corso to the Vet Regularly

This last tip is one you should follow with all dogs, including Cane Corsos. Regular trips to your local veterinarian are one of the best methods of ensuring your Cane Corso is healthy and stays healthy for many years.



One important thing you must do when adopting a Cane Corso puppy is to seek out a reputable, caring breeder. A reputable breeder will do what it takes to breed out (or at least lower the possibility) that your Cane Corso pup will suffer from the seven health issues we’ve seen today.

You can prevent several health issues simply by giving your Cane Corso a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and regularly taking them to the vet. If you’re adopting a Cane Corso or adopted one recently, we wish you the very best of luck raising your new puppy into a wonderful adult dog and a fantastic, affectionate, and playful pet!

Featured Image Credit: Vivienstock, Shutterstock

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