A compilation of frequently asked questions regarding amyloidosis and kidney disease in the Bracco Italiano.

What is Amyloidosis?

An abnormal deposition of proteinaceous material (amyloid) in body tissues. This happens most often in the kidney, but can affect any body tissue. It appears hereditary in the Bracco, and may be related to underlying auto-inflammatory disease.

What are the symptoms of amyloidosis?

The symptoms are highly variable, depending on the stage of disease and what part of the kidney (or other body tissues) are affected. Common symptoms include decreased appetite, increased thirst and urination, and weight loss. However, some “atypical” symptoms are also seen (such as cough, limping, or facial swelling). All sick Bracchi should be evaluated with bloodwork and urinalysis, including UP/C.

Should dogs with amyloidosis be bred?

Dogs with kidney disease should not be bred. If there is a close family history (sibling, parent) of amyloidosis, then it is generally advised not to breed. Any breeding decision should closely weigh the potential risks/benefits.

What is the prognosis for dogs with amyloidosis?

The prognosis for renal amyloidosis remains poor. In some published studies, average survival times are in terms of days or weeks, not months. In my experience, early screening and appropriate treatment can allow many dogs to live for months to years after diagnosis.

What tests are needed to evaluate for kidney disease?

A blood chemistry panel and urinalysis, including urine protein/creatinine ratio are the first screening tests for kidney disease in the Bracco.

What should my vet be looking for?

Increased protein in the urine, low blood albumin levels, and azotemia (increased creatinine and blood urea nitrogen) can be signs of kidney disease.

What is my Bracco’s risk of developing kidney disease?

All purebred Bracchi should be considered “at risk.” Many pedigrees from many different countries have been found to be affected. A screening of healthy Bracchi in the USA showed more than 1/10 dogs had evidence of kidney disease.

When should breeding dogs be tested?

Recommend testing blood and urine within 6 months of a planned breeding. All Bracchi should have annual testing done, unless there is a family history of kidney disease – in which case testing should be done ideally every 6 months.

What age are dogs diagnosed?

Any age Bracco can be affected, as early as one year to 12 years of age. Most commonly, dogs are diagnosed from 5-7 years of age.

Please remember that the information on this website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat a disease, and it should never be used in place of evaluation and recommendations from your veterinarian.