Our kennel gives an essential importance to this area of interest trying to produce subjects which are free from all the typical pathologies of a race.
It is important to say that selecting means to give importance to morphological, character and attitudinal qualities too.
As the race standard states, the lagotto is a rather rustic dog which has not particular problems and which enjoys a good health. But it is not invulnerable.

Hip dysplasia consists in a malformation of the hip joint which is developed during the dog growth. The hip is an articulation formed by the upper femur and by the ashtabula; schematically, this articulation, can be compared to a sphere which rotates inside a cup.

In a cub affected by dysplasia, the lack of congruence between the upper femur and the ashtabula cavity and the instability of the upper part of the articulation provokes, because of the dog movement, a gradual wear of the margin of the articulation to which a cartilage degeneration is followed.  As time goes on, a gradual and painful and sometimes invalidating chronic arthrosis is developed.

In fact, if a sphere moves inside a perfectly adapted cavity which equivalent centers are concentric, the structure will always have an excellent stability. If the sphere and the cavity are not perfectly concentric, an incongruence which makes the structure instable is generated.

What are the causes that produce them?

The hip dysplasia is a pathology caused by several factors as the genetic, environmental and nutritional ones that come into play during its development and, in particular, to determine the gravity. It is necessary to underline the importance of the hereditary factors because the hip dysplasia structural alterations, which are at the basis of the pathological process, are due first of all to a flaw of genetic origin.


Genetic factors: the modality of hereditary transmission is determined by  several genes and so it is a polygenic type. The disease can be transmitted from a parent to a descendant even if the parent  does not have dysplasia because he is a carrier of the genes of the disease. Dysplasia, in fact, does not develop in all the genetically infested subjects, but only in a part of them. The parent’s genetic heritage can be considered free from dysplasia not only when they are not infested, but when  even all their brothers, sisters, grandfathers, uncles and aunts are free from dysplasia. Therefore, to know if a subject not infested by dysplasia is a breeding which does not transmit this disease in its progeny, it is needed to know its gene pool, so evaluating all the relatives.

Environmental factor: In the expression of the extent of the pathology important environmental factors are involved too: nutrition, type and quantity of physical exercise, possible traumas and possible concomitant diseases. These environmental factors are able to affect the level of the result of the disease, but, in general, not the presence or absence of those malformations which are behind the dysplasia.

Taken from Fondazione Salute Animale (Cremona)

Elbow dysplasia is an alteration of the formation of the dog’s elbow articulation. In severe cases it can lead to lameness and arthritis. The pathology has a mainly polygenic hereditary component, but it is facilitated by environmental factors. Some dog races are more predisposed than others to develop the disease. In the case of the Lagotto Romagnolo, even in the cases in which the hip dysplasia were at a severe level, the elbow dysplasia is generally nearly inexistent (ED 0 or BL).

The benign familial juvenile epilepsy (BFJE) is a Lagotto Romagnolo’s neurological hereditary disease which manifests itself in the sick cubs starting the 5th – 9th week of age and it spontaneously regresses at the 8th- 13th week. The affected dogs show neurological symptoms with generalized ataxy and hypermetria.

Until the laboratory tests (EMG, magnetic resonance) abnormalities are not observed.

The gene which causes this disease has been recently discovered. Through a gene test it is possible to distinguish the JE FREE (or NORMAL) dog from the JE CARRIER ones and from the AFFECTED ones.

NORMAL are the subjects with 2 normal pairs of genes and without any symptom.

CARRIER are the subjects with 1 normal gene and 1 mutated gene but which does not develop the disease.

AFFECTED are the subjects with 2 mutated genes and with symptoms of the disease.

It is recommended to perform these tests, through a simple blood draw in EDTA, before planning matings in order to avoid the birth of affected subjects.

Referenze bibliografiche Seppälä EH, Jokinen TS, Fukata M, Fukata Y, Webster MT, Karlsson EK, Kilpinen SK, Steffen F, Dietschi E, Leeb T, Eklund R, Zhao X, Rilstone JJ, Lindblad-Toh K, Minassian BA, Lohi H. LGI2 truncation causes a remitting focal epilepsy in dogs. PLoS Genet 7: e1002194, 2011.

This pathology is not to be interpreted as a real disease because the dog does not suffer any pain.

In fact dogs with Furnishing have a different mantle than regular, because they have shorthaired paws and muzzle compared to the rest of the body which does not present the habitual curl.

As in JE, in this case too, the gene which causes this pathology has been discovered and it works in a similar way: normal (F/F or AA/TT), carrier (F/f or AA/tt ) and affected. The latter, being evident, is not tested.

A new neurodegenerative disease has been recently discovered in the Lagotto Romagnolo. The genetic background of the disease has been studied by means of a collaboration between Helsinki University and Bem University, Switzerland. From this study it is presumed a pathogenic mutation to be found. In total 1300 Lagotti have been tested (using  samples given for other aims) as a part of the research. The 11% of the tested dogs was carrier of the recessive mutation while only the 1% was affected.

The Lagotto Romagnolo’s Lysosomal Storage Disease is characterized by a lack of coordination in involuntary movements, as if the dog swayed. Moreover some of the sick subjects have had a case of nystagmus ( involuntary movements of the eyes) and behavioral changing, as aggressiveness. The onset of the symptoms varies from 4 months to 4 years. The degeneration is progressive and it can be necessary to suppress the sick dogs. Pathologically, the material that is not stored because of the disease gathers in the neurons and in other brain cells, provoking their death and their dysfunction.

The results of the genetic study reveal that Lagotto’s storage is inherited through a recessive autosomal single gene. In recessive disorders, sick dogs must inherit two copies of the mutation of the sick gene to be AFFECTED. Those Lagotti which have inherited a NORMAL result have inherted two normal copies of the sick gene. They do not transmit the mutation to their progeny. If a CARRIER dog is used for breeding must be mated with a dog which has been tested as NORMAL. In  matings CARRIER X CARRIER, the progeny can be AFFECTED (25%), CARRIER (50%), NORMAL (25%), whereas in matings CARRIER X NORMAL, the progeny can be CARRIER (50%) and NORMAL (50%). AFFECTED dogs have inherited the mutation from both parents, and so they have two copies of the mutation. Consequently  their risk of developing the disease is very high.

In addition to the storage disorder, a progressive cerebral atrophying has been observed. The clinical signs and the start time are similar for both pathologies  so it is not possible to do a diagnosis just based on the symptoms. The genetic cause of the progressive cerebral atrophying has not been still found, but there is an ongoing research whose purpose is to discover it.

The results of the study of the Lysosomal Storage Disease will be published in a scientific article and then testing laboratories will be able to make a gene test.

In the reproductive field The table shows the modalities of transmission of the genetic disease to the offspring, a second one of the breeding genotype.

Referenze bibliografiche Kyöstilä K, Syrjä P, Jagannathan V, Chandrasekar G, Jokinen TS, Seppälä EH, Becker D, Drögemüller M, Dietschi E, Drögemüller C, Lang J, Steffen F, Rohdin C, Jäderlund KH, Lappalainen AK, Hahn K, Wohlsein P, Baumgärtner W, Henke D, Oevermann A, Kere J, Lohi H, Leeb T. A missense change in the ATG4D gene links aberrant autophagy to a neurodegenerative vacuolar storage disease. PLoS Genet 11: e1005169, 2015.

thanks to  Edith Van Der Kuiji for the YouTube link which enables us to see a female affected by Cerebellar Ataxia and shows the characteristics of the paghology:


L’alopecia stagionale o alopecia del fianco è una malattia che colpisce per lo più le femmine di questa razza. é una patologia a base ormonale che si scatena appunto da un conflitto tra gli ormoni della cagna. Ad innescare ciò è la riduzione del foto periodo, quindi quando si passa dall’autunno all’inverno e cala l’illuminazione solare. Le femmine perderanno il pelo nelle zone dei fianchi durante questo periodo per poi rimetterlo a primavera. Non ci sono problemi di natura fisica, ma solo di estetica.

Another extremely important thing for our dear furry friends is the teeth.

The race standard accepts 3 types of teeth bite:

– Scissor

– Pincer

– Reverse bite

There are two types of abnormal teeth bite which are considered serious flaws, in fact this can be a cause of disqualification in dog shows.

– Undershot jaw

– Overshot jaw