Lagotto Romagnolo Health Information
The Lagotto Romagnolo is overall a healthy and robust dog and has a life expectancy of up to 16 years. However, with any breed of dog, some health concerns do exist and it is important for fanciers of this breed to educate themselves as to those conditions and talk to your breeder about them and the tests they have done.
Breeders within the Lagotto Romagnolo Club of America and listed on this website agree to follow a Code of Ethics regarding breeding practices. Those breeders that have submitted verification of all required genetic testing are listed on this website. If looking for a puppy or adult dog, it is always good to ask the breeder to share this information with you.
Of the conditions that have been found to be genetic in nature and where testing is required; the first on a very short list is hips. Hip dysplasia has been found in some of the lines, and testing for hips of any breeding dogs is a requirement. Only dogs rated within a narrow range should be allowed to breed.
Another required test is Juvenile Familial Benign Epilepsy (BFJE). This disorder appears when the puppy is just a few weeks old and can present as seizures in puppies, but generally resolves once the puppy is about 13-15 weeks of age. There have been some reported adult cases of BFJE.
Storage disease is another autosomal recessive gene found in Lagotto. This is a serious brain genetic disorder and for those dogs affected by the disease, it is life threatening. A genetic test has been developed that isolates this gene, and is another required test breeders have done.
Recently, a “cosmetic” 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.
The 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.
Some breeders will do other structural tests and they are encouraged to do so. Elbow dysplasia and luxation of the patella are two such tests.
Breeders and the Lagotto Romagnolo Club of America continually monitor breeding lines for any health concerns that could diminish the health of the Lagotto. Maintaining the health of the breed and quality of life for the Lagotto is a main concern. Our commitment to you is to keep updated information on this site and give additional resources as they become available.
More detailed information is under the “ Diseases and Conditions” tab.