Volpino Italiano Health
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In a general sense, the overall health of a Volpino Italiano is quite well.  
However there are several concerns that must be taken in consideration when buying a puppy.  

In point form then the following are condition that seem to affect the Volpino Italiano.


-    Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) This is a condition where the Zonule 
cords that hold the eye lens in position ‘dissolve’ or break because of congenital weakness.  The disease usually manifests itself when the
 animal is between the ages of 4 and 8 years old (but can occur later in life).  Late in 2010 the genetic mutation that causes this condition was identified and a genetic test is now available.  If signs of the disease appear the lens (if spotted early enough) or eyes of the animal will need to be removed.  Because of the cost of the operation the animal will probably be euthanized.  
The non-genetic version can be caused by trauma, cancer or glaucoma.
-    Luxating Patella (slipping of the knee cap).  This is a common condition in miniature breeds that may not always be a ‘true’ congenital mutation and can be detected by a local veterinarian  as early as 8 weeks old.
However, if the parents have this condition the offspring may also inherit the problem. As the size of the dog and the knee becomes smaller the problem becomes more common as less area is available to hold the knee cap (Patella) in place.  

-    Addison’s disease (Hypoadrenocorticism) This is a disease in which the adrenal 
glands do not produce a sufficient amount of the adrenal hormone.  Although easily t
reated the condition can be fatal if not diagnosed in time.  Symptoms can be vomiting, 
loss of appetite muscle tremors and a low level of activity (lethargic). 
The animal may also ‘appear’ depressed.  In most cases this disease affects the female and is likely inherited, but can be caused by medication.

-    Cryptorchidism  - a condition in which either or both testicles fail to descend into the scrotum.  This is perhaps the most common and serious genetic condition affecting dogs and more the purebred canine breeds than random breed (not purebred) animals.  This is the only condition that will automatically disqualify an animal of any breed in a canine show. if both testis do not form and descend normally. While hormone treatments and surgery may help in this condition they should be avoided so as to not perpetuate this genetic abnormality.  
The animal should be neutered (actually more of a spaying  operation) as early as possible to avoid testicular (Sertoli Cell) Tumors.
Of course there can be ailments that develop throughout the lifetime of the animal.  
So, to summarize then, the Volpino is fairly healthy when compared to most breeds but there are genetic conditions that do affect their health. 
Your input is valuable so please contact us if your Volpino has ever had a serious ailment that was treated by your Veterinarian.  We will add your dog’s name and ailment to our database.  
It is in this way we can help protect the health of the Volpino Italiano Breed.

-    Autoimmune

Autoimmune means an immune reaction directed against the self, while hemolysis comes from the Greek words 'hemo' meaning blood and 'lysis' meaning to break open. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) is an immune system disease in which the body attacks and destroys its own red blood cells. In dogs with AIHA, red blood cells are still being manufactured in the bone marrow, but once released into the circulation, they have a shorter-than-normal life span.

This disease may also be called Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia or IMHA.
A blood test done once a year to be proactive is needed. The blood test is called, Complete Blood Count (CBC)

Michel B. Rubini