Health Conditions in the Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo is overall a very healthy breed.  Anyone considering the purchase of a Lagotto should be aware of the health issues below and talk to breeders about testing results before buying any dog or puppy.  All Lagotto breeders should obtain a CHIC number on their breeding dogs.

Benign Familial Juvenile Epilepsy

Affected puppies usually show evidence of seizures from 5 to 9 weeks of age and these resolve spontaneously by 8 to 13 weeks of age.  At least one parent should have clear or normal DNA test results to ensure that the puppies are not affected.  It is NOT recommended to withdraw carrier dogs from breeding.  This DNA test is required to obtain a CHIC number.

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Storage Disease in Lagotto

Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD) is a severe neurodegenerative disease found in the Lagotto.  It is essential that no affected dogs are bred and carriers must only be bred to a clear. Onset of symptoms can appear from 4 months of age to 4 years.  This is a progressive disorder.  Those dogs affected will deteriorate to the point they will need to be euthanized.   This is a required DNA test to obtain a CHIC number.

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Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a malformation in the hip joint and is a multi-genetic inherited trait.   This condition can lead to eventual deterioration of the hip and reduce function and mobility for the dog, and can be very painful.  Hip dysplasia can be found in the Lagotto and therefore, responsible breeders make sure that they get hip radiographs (x-rays) on any dog in their breeding program and only breed dogs with passing scores.  Two different methods are used:  OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and PennHip. This is a required test to obtain a CHIC number. 

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Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation, a condition where the kneecap (in the rear legs) slips out of place, may not be present at birth, but the anatomical deformities that cause luxation are present at that time and are responsible for subsequent recurrent patellar luxation. Patellar luxation should be considered an inherited disease. While not a common problem in our breed, the test is a simple exam by any vet and is required to obtain a CHIC number. 

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LRCA member breeders are to have any breeding dogs’ eyes tested and cleared by a board certified ophthalmologist.  Annual eye exams are part of the CHIC requirements for the Lagotto. 

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