Amanda Inman, DVM
In this article, I hope to answer some of the most common questions we have about inherited renal amyloidosis in the Bracco Italiano. I will include information from previous and current research investigating amyloidosis, as well as my own experiences as a veterinarian and breeder of these wonderful dogs.
My foundation bitch died of renal amyloidosis. However, the diagnosis was not made until archived kidney tissue was analyzed six years after her death. By that time, her offspring had been bred and I had second and third-generation Bracchi with amyloidosis. Through my dogs that I’ve bred and owned, and through networking with owners and breeders across the world, I’ve been involved in countless cases of amyloidosis in the Bracco over the last 10 years. I am currently involved in ongoing research into this disease at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.
My goal is to provide information (and hope) for families faced with this
terrible disease in their beloved dogs. Any experiences that are anecdotal are noted as such and should be taken with a grain of salt as they are not supported by scientific research.
Advice for all Bracco Italiano owners re Amyloidosis, or if you have a sick bracco and fear Amyloidosis:
1) Starting at one year of age, all dogs should have yearly testing including bloodwork (chemistry analysis) and urinalysis with a urine protein: creatinine ratio to screen for kidney disease.
2) Testing should be done every six months if there is a family history of kidney disease.
3) If you aren’t sure of your dog’s family history, test every 6 months.
4) EVERY SICK BRACCO needs bloodwork and urinalysis with UP/C.
5) From urinating more and having a decreased appetite to limping, coughing, or facial swelling. EVERY. SICK. BRACCO.
6) If your puppy is not acting well, has fevers or isn’t eating – regardless of age – testing should be done.
7) Please do not wait until your dog has been sick for days or weeks to have testing performed.
8 ) The best time to diagnose amyloidosis is before symptoms start.
9) Any abnormality in kidney values or urine protein should be considered significant.
EVERY SINGLE dog I’ve seen with “minimal” changes have progressed (usually rapidly) if not treated.
10) Advocate for your dog. Build a strong relationship with your veterinary care team and if needed seek out specialist care as soon as possible.