Storage Disease

Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD)

Lagotto Storage Disease (LSD, formerly Lysosomal Storage Disease) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by cerebellar ataxia. The first signs can be seen at the age of 4 months to 4 years. Lagotto storage disease is a progressive condition leading to behavioral changes such as restlessness, depression, and aggression. The life expectancy of affected dogs depends on the progression of the disorder and the severity of the signs. Some dogs can live for several years with mild signs, but dogs with severe clinical signs are usually euthanized earlier. LSD has a frequency of app. 10% in the breed and is almost unknown in other breeds (<1%).

The LSD test has been available to our breed only for a short time. We recommend that dogs tested as ‘carriers’ of the LSD gene may only be bred to ‘normal” tested dogs. The goal should be to eliminate this severe genetic disorder in the breed over the years. Therefore, we highly recommend that breeders choosing to breed a ‘carrier’ carefully look at the overall qualities of the dog and breed with the goal of eliminating ‘carriers’ from breeding programs. LSD carriers should never be frequently used in breeding programs and breeders that mate a carrier should test their puppies before they make a decision on selling with a breeding contract.

The Lagotto Romagnolo Foundation, Inc. will be closely following further studies and whether or not the frequency of LSD in the breed will increase. Our hope is that responsible breeding & testing will produce a decrease in ‘affected’ and ‘carriers’ of this disease. Through encouragement for breeders to make good choices when breeding LSD ‘carriers’ and educating potential puppy buyers about the questions to ask, this disease can be eliminated from our breed.

Genetic testing for LSD is available and all breeding stock should be tested prior to breeding. Testing for canine genetic diseases
is available from a variety of labs worldwide.

Here is a list of recognized labs from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

All dogs used for breeding should be tested for LSD and the ‘clear by parentage’ reference not be considered proof of testing.