Lagotto Health Information

 

The Lagotto Romagnolo is a healthy and robust dog with a life expectancy of 15 to 17 years.  As with any breed of dog, some health concerns exist.  It is important for fanciers of this breed to educate themselves as to these conditions and talk to your breeder about them and the tests they have done.  Breeders within the Lagotto Romagnolo Club of America agree to follow a Code of Ethics regarding breeding practices.  If looking for a puppy or adult dog, it is recommended that you ask the breeder to share this information with you.   The breeder should have a CHIC number on each of the parents of the litter you are considering.

 

Benign Familial Juvenile Epilepsy (BFJE) is a neurological disorder found in the Lagotto Romagnolo breed. It has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. Testing is available and widely utilized by responsible breeders to ensure that healthy puppies are produced.  Affected dogs suffer from epileptic seizures (body tremors, uncoordinated movement and stiffness) in the age period from 5 to 9 weeks old up until they are four months old, after this time the seizures resolve. Some carriers may also have epileptic signs through adulthood.  Genetic testing identifies which dogs carry the gene, are clear of the gene, or are affected by the gene. Research at the University of Helsinki identified the causative gene in 2007, showing an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance.  Genetic testing for BFJE is available and it is recommended that all breeding stock be tested prior to breeding

Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD, formerly Lysosomal Storage Disease) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by cerebellar ataxia. The first signs can be seen at the age of 4 months to 4 years. Lagotto storage disease is a progressive condition leading to behavioral changes such as restlessness, depression, and aggression. The life expectancy of affected dogs depends on the progression of the disorder and the severity of the signs. Some dogs can live for several years with mild signs, but dogs with severe clinical signs are usually euthanized earlier. LSD has a frequency of app. 10% in the breed and is almost unknown in other breeds (<1%). (source: www.mydogdna.com)

Hyperuricosuria (HUU) means elevated levels of uric acid in the urine. This trait predisposes dogs to form stones in their bladders or sometimes kidneys. These stones often must be removed surgically and can be difficult to treat. Hyperuricosuria is inherited as a simple autosomal recessive trait. A mutation in exon 5 of the gene Solute carrier family 2, member 9 (SLC2A9) has been found to be associated with hyperuricosuria in dogs. A DNA test for this specific mutation can determine if dogs are normal or if they carry one or two copies of the mutation. Dogs that carry two copies of the mutation will be affected and susceptible to develop bladder/kidney stones. 

Hip dysplasia is a genetic trait that causes an abnormal formation of the hip socket that in its most severe form can cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis.  Some cases of hip dysplasia are mild and cause few symptoms however it can be so severe that young dogs require surgery in order to move without pain.

 

Patellar Luxation is a condition that affects the kneecap (patella) in dogs. The patella is dislocated from its normal position in the groove of the thigh bone.  It is a common condition in dogs, can be congenital, and dogs may exhibit varying degrees of lameness.

 

Eyes of any breeding Lagotto must also be evaluated by a Board certified Ophthalmologist on an annual basis while the dog remains in a breeding program. 

Incorrect Coat A gene has been found in some breeding lines causing an “incorrect coat”, where the hair may wave, but does not curl.  While these dogs look nothing like the classic Lagotto, this is not a health concern.