How to Manage Your Cane Corso’s Most Common Health Issues

The Italian Mastiff, the Cane Corso

I work as a physical therapist for humans and I see the debilitating effects of arthritis every day at work. Arthritis is the inflammation and stiffness of joints in our body, and it affects our mobility and well-being.

Dogs get arthritic in their old age as we do, and it’s distressing to see the changes in the way they move. Being one of the larger dog breeds, one of the most common Cane Corso health issue is arthritis. It’s excruciating to see your Cane Corso hobbling around especially when you remember him running like the wind during his prime.

Time stops at nothing. Just imagine raising your Cane Corso from a rambunctious puppy to a snow-faced senior dog. Regular walks with the pack are cut in half because your Cane Corso buddy, the king of the Italian mastiffs, can’t bear the pain of prolonged ambulation. Arthritis can strike your pet at any time, but you can usually notice its bigger impacts once your Cane Corso turns 7 years or older.

How to Relieve my Cane Corso’s Joint Pain

First, give him a lot of rest. Bearing weight on the painful, inflamed joints usually exacerbate their pain. Invest in comfy pet beds with soft padding to cushion your furbaby’s hurting joints. An extra-large orthopedic dog bed will work wonders on your Cane Corso’s painful old-man knees and hips.

Make your house accessible to disabled pets by providing a pet ramp or doggy steps to get to higher levels – a bed, the furniture, a favorite ledge. Put anti-skid tape on the edge of each step. If you have a hard wooden or concrete floor, you can put a rug down where your pet’s paws can grip the surface easier. This helps.

Deramaxx is a prescription pain reliever for pets. You need to have a script from your Cane Corso’s vet to purchase this medicine at Petco. If you want to buy in bulk, 1-800-PetMeds requires an active prescription from a recent vet visit too.

Warning: taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds like Deramaxx will have an effect on your Cane Corso’s liver so make sure regular bloodwork is being done whenever you visit your vet.

Other vets may prescribe a different pain reliever depending on how your pet responds to the active ingredient in each.

If your Cane Corso is overweight, initiate a weight management program with your vet’s supervision. If your dog weighs heavier than 110 pounds (male) and more than 99 pounds (female), it’s diet time! This can involve switching to a low-carb high-protein dog food or giving your dog homecooked meals replete with nutrients minus the fattening fillers.

Exercises can be modified to accommodate his pain. Begin with gentle stretches in place. Walking in the pool can also relieve the pain of weightbearing on an arthritic joint because of the buoyancy effect of water.

Your usual long-distance walks must be cut down to shorter, more frequent walks. Invest in a dog stroller with extra-large capacity or a doggy wagon for your Cane Corso to ride on if you insist on bringing him along on all your usual walks.

If these steps don’t work and you still see your Cane Corso limping and displaying other pain behaviors, then consult an animal clinic that provides physical therapy. You can explore a variety of treatment methods from acupuncture, pet yoga, canine massage, to laser therapy to relive your Cane Corso’s achy joints.

You can visit our Health page to learn more about health issues of other dog breeds so you’ll be the best pet owner to your furbabies.

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

1 thought on “How to Manage Your Cane Corso’s Most Common Health Issues”

  1. The Cane Corso is a direct, slightly smaller, descendant of the Roman “Canis pugnax”. He was used in big-game hunting and also as support in the war. For centuries, he was held in high esteem by Italians who used him as a property and flock guardian, as well as for hunting.


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