Our breed does have several serious and potentially deadly diseases as well as behavior issues that may have a genetic component.
Unfortunately, not every breeder tests its dogs or some breeders do but choose to breed affected dogs anyway.
We want to make sure that you know what to ask potential breeders when you are searching for a companion! Are the dogs tested and does the breeder take affected dogs out of his breeding program?
The most common diseases are the Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD), inherited Juvenile Epilepsy (BFJE), hip dysplasia, and patella subluxation. Researchers in Finland are currently studying Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA) in the Lagotto Romagnolo.
The Lagotto Storage Disease for instance is a neurological disease with a sad prognosis ending in euthanasia at a young age. What a heartbreaking situation for both, the dog and the owner! The good news is that for most of the health issues affecting our breed, researchers have identified genetic markers for autosomal recessive traits.
Other common issues are hip and elbow problems. Screening for orthopedic problems is readily available through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and PennHip.
The links above share details about each to help everyone understand what all of the health certifications are about.