CERF is an eye exam done yearly with dogs in a breeding program that tests for degenerative eye disease and other eye problems that breeders need to be aware of for their breeding dogs.
Benign Familial Juvenile Epilepsy
Clinical studies indicated that the Lagotto Romagnolo can suffer from inherited benign juvenile epilepsy, which resembles idiopathic childhood epilepsy with benign outcomes in human. Typical symptoms include: seizures, tremors, loss of balance, uncoordinated movements and falling.
Seizures in puppies begin at 5 to 9 weeks of age and usually resolve by 8 to 13 weeks. There are some adult-onset cases in the breed too. A laboratory in Finland has studied the genetics of the juvenile epilepsy in Lagottos and has identified one of the causative genes and now can perform a DNA test to verify if a dog is affected, even without showing any clinical signs. Dogs that are Carriers of the lagotto epilepsy mutation are only to bred to one that has tested Clear for the gene
Patella exams are done by a vet and are graded Normal or with a failure rating (i.e. grade 1 patellar luxation...)
Hip Dysplasia is thought to have a genetic component but can also have environmental factors that play a part as well. It is important to make sure both parents in the mating pair have been tested and are free of hip dysplasia. Early spay or neuter has also been shown to have an influence on joint development. This link provides the study information: http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10498
LSD - Lagotto Storage Disease
Neurodegenerative disease characterized by cerebellar dysfunction and movement incoordination. Some affected dogs also suffer from abnormal eye movement and behavioral changes such as restlessness and aggression. The onset varies from 4 months to 4 years. Dogs that are Carriers of this gene should ONLY be bred to a dog that is Clear for the gene.