Here are some basic tests you can do to evaluate how your Mastiff is doing. They cover the main areas of blood flow, respiration, pulse rate, temperature, and hydration.
Blood flow through the body is referred to as capillary refill time. To test your Mastiff’s capillary refill time, roll its lip back and press on a non-pigmented area of the gums with one finger. The area should turn from pink to almost white, and when you remove your finger, the pink color should return in one to two seconds.
Watch or feel the Mastiff’s chest rise and fall. Count the number of breaths for 15 seconds, and then multiply by four to figure out the respirations per minute. Normal respiratory rate should be 10 to 30 respirations per minute.
Place a hand over your Mastiff’s chest to feel its heartbeat, or place your first two fingers on the inside part of its thigh. Notice whether the heartbeats feel strong or weak.
Count the heartbeats for 15 seconds, and then multiply by four to calculate the heartbeats per minute. Normal pulse should be 60 to 120 beats per minute.
To take your Mastiff’s temperature, insert a rectal thermometer (one with a rounded end bulb) into its rectum for 1 minute. Normal temperature should be 101-102 degrees F.
To check whether your Mastiff is dehydrated, pick up the skin on the scruff of the neck and let it go. If it immediately returns back into place, the dog is not dehydrated. If it is slow to return into place, the animal could be dehydrated.
For Mastiff puppies, you can assess their dehydration by looking at their urine. The urine should be as clear as water or light yellow. Dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration.
If you carry out these simple tests regularly, and record the results, not only will you be able to detect early signs that all is not well with your beloved mastiff, but you will also have all the information
that your veterinarian will need in the event of any emergency or serious health problem.