Dogs are examined for hereditary and non-hereditary conditions affecting the eye and surrounding structures. Significant findings within breeds are listed on two Schedules: for known conditions, and those under review. Currently the Lagotto does not appear on either Schedule.
Sedation is not required for the test. Eye drops are administered to dilate the dog’s pupils which facilitates the examination of the interior of the eye.
Results of the examination are given at the time of the test and discussed with the owner. They are published on the KC Mate Select Website and the Breed Record Supplement. Certificates are valid for one year.
The Club requires dogs to have a clear certificate at the time of mating.
Older dogs (>8years) are offered examinations at a reduced fee to encourage ongoing testing which may be of particular importance for Lagotto in respect of Hereditary Cataract.
In mainland Europe, dogs’ eyes are assessed by ECVO (European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists). ECVO list the following conditions as occurring in Lagotto, and their heritabilty:
No gene marker
Multiple Ocular Defect including Microphthalmia, Corneal Oedema and others
No gene markers
No gene marker *
* NB: List dated 2017, a gene marker has now been found and a test is available
The following gives a brief overview of conditions mentioned:
Given the ever increasing influence of dogs from mainland Europe in UK breeding programmes, the importance of eye screening cannot be over-emphasised.
The eye examination does not require sedation or anaesthesia of the dog and cost is not as high as the radiographic orthopaedic examinations, indeed “eye clinic ” days make the test very affordable. Obviously the more Lagotto are examined the truer the health of our dogs’ eyes becomes. All owners, not just potential breeders, are encouraged to make use of this test.