THE LAGOTTO ROMAGNOLO by ELIZABETH WILLIAMS
T he Lagotto Rom- agnolo is quickly gaining recognition and popularity in the USA and worldwide with people taking notice of their curly coats, size and charm both inside and outside the show ring. As with any breed in this position, it is important to look past the curly, cute exte- rior and bring focus to the health and temperament of the breed in order to protect their well-being and future.
through education and scien- tific research. The Founda- tion has established a world- wide database where every breeder can submit verified health tested Lagotti and pro- spective owners can look up verified health results for individual dogs. Through educational vid- eos, researching reported health concerns and working with the scientific community and universities we are being proactive to support the con- tinued growth of our breed.
photo credit to Anett Seidensticker
The Lagotto Romagnolo is still a fairly healthy breed but does have some serious and even potentially deadly inherited diseases. Breeders are fortu- nate to have tests available to screen for the most serious health issues affecting the breed. As breed enthusiasts begin looking for a Lagotto the search may take them to a number of countries out- side of the United States. Depending on the country, health testing recommen- dations or requirements vary. This can be confusing when trying to become educated about what is important and what to look for in a pedigree. There are currently four key health screenings that should be completed and verified for all breeding dogs. • Benign Familial Juvenile Epilepsy (BFJE) is a neurological disorder found in the breed. The data for tested dogs shows 3% affected; 28.21% carriers. • Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD) a progressive neurological disorder characterized by cerebellar ataxia. LSD has a frequency of about 8% in the breed and is almost unknown in other breeds. • Hip Dysplasia • Eye Certification
Additionally, it is now recommend- ed that Patella Luxation screening be included with the as the issue is being diagnosed more frequently. Through the use of genetic panel screening with MyDogDNA or Optigen , we are able to identify additional health issues that may affect the breed and can be eliminated through testing and care- ful selection in breeding. • Hyperuricosuria (HUU)– predis- poses dogs to form stones in their bladders or sometimes kidneys. Currently, 6% of the breed screened through panel testing are carriers of this disease. This number may be greater depending on when HUU was included in the panel test. • Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA)– the University of Helsinki is currently studying CA in the breed. • Cone-rod dystrophy 1 (cord1-PRA) is a form of progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), where the photore- ceptors of the eye (i.e. cone and rod cells) degenerate usually causing blindness. The Lagotto Romagnolo Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization committed to protecting the health and longevity of the breed worldwide
Providing education to breeders and potential puppy owners to sustain and improve the breed’s health is key to its welfare. As the breed is coming into families and being discussed on social media platforms, temperament and behav- ior characteristics are more frequently a topic of conversation. It is agreed in the dog fancy that genetics, early social/emotional development and envi- ronment all play a role in a dog’s behav- ior. With the outward characteristics that draw people to want the breed, it is very important that we have a better understanding of the overall tempera- ment and behaviors displayed by this breed so people can make good choic- es. There is an active “Lagotto Behavior Questionnaire” available on our web page and Facebook page where we are gathering data on the breed that will be shared with the public. Visit the Lagotto Romagnolo Foun-
dation, Inc. at www. lagottofoundation. org to learn more about breed health, the health data- base and finding an ethical breeder.
266 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2017
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