What diseases?

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an eye defect where the retina undergoes degeneration. The condition is unlikely to appear before the animal is year old, and in some breeds the age of onset maybe much later.  There is now a gene test available for prcd-1 PRA  and in UK it is recommended that all dogs be tested prior to breeding – unless status can be ascertained from parents.  Do check with your breeder for the PRA status of their lines.
  • Hip Dysplasia (HD) is a condition where the ball and socket joint of the hip is not properly formed, leading to lameness, chronic pain etc. The Kennel Club/BVA operate a scheme whereby dogs can be X-rayed and scored for the degree of dysplasia of the joint. The lower the score the better.  The Kennel Club advises breeding from dogs with scores lower than the Breed average (which is currently 14 for the Finnish Lapphund). However it should be noted that HD is not a simple inherited condition, other factors such as feeding, exercise and damage may play a part in the development of the condition.
  • Hereditary Cataracts (HC)  Cataract is the name given to describe any opacity of the eye’s lens. The dog is subject to many forms of cataract of which only some are hereditary. Cataract appears as a whiteness or greyness of the lens, visible through the pupil. It appears that the hereditary cataract, which is seen in the FL, occurs after the dog is one year of age, and it is not believed to be progressive. The mode of inheritance of the condition is not proven. But we advise that all breeding stock be checked for the condition regularly.
  • POMPE/GSD II is a storage disease which is fatal in young dogs, the breed is fortunate to have a gene test for this condition, which means that no affected puppies should be produced as all responsible breeders will be aware of the generic stats of their breeding stock.  (Incidence of carriers is very small).
  • Epilepsy.  Idiopathic (cause unknown) epilepsy is usually thought to be inherited but as yet there is no known method of inheritance.  Research to date seems to indicate the condition is slightly more common in male dogs than in bitches, with the first seizure occurring at 1-5 years old.
  • Addisons – hypoadrenocorticism, or adrenal insufficiency, is an often hereditary / auto immune disease.  It is most common in young and middle-aged dogs and appears to affect bitches more than dogs.  Can usually be controlled by medication.
  • Cushings disease is another name for hyperadrenocorticism.  It is relatively common in older dogs and can often be mistaken for simple old age.  Cushings disease is caused by too much cortisone being released from the adrenal gland.  Some symptoms of this disease are increased drinking and urination, weight gain and loss of hair without itching.  Usually affected animals respond well to treatment.
  • Hypothyroidism is the most common endocrine skin disease in dogs.  It results in bilateral and symmetrical hair loss.  Other signs of the condition include weight gain, intolerance to cold, a slow heart rate, absence of heat cycles and lethargy.