The Bracco Italiano Society

Established 1998

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The Bracco Italiano Society has started a Health Fund, to enable research into health issues affecting the breed. Initially this fund is being utilised to cover post mortem examination of those dogs which die of suspected kidney problems. If you wish to donate to the health fund please contact the treasurer or any committee member.


Kidney Problems



To download the latest update on kidney problems from the Health Committee please click here:




To download the BIS information sheet on kidney problems within the breed please click here:




To download a kidney problem reporting form please click here:





The KC have requested that UK breeders of litters in 2012 & 2013 complete this survey to help with research. The survey can be completed by UK breeders that have bred a litter in 2012 or 2013, whether Kennel Club registered or not, and all information given will be treated in complete confidence, with no names of dogs, or owners’ details ever being published.


It is important that questionnaires are collected from healthy litters as well as those with health conditions and complications, so that the number of affected litters and deaths of newborn puppies can be put into context.


The survey will provide meaningful data that can be used, if required, by researchers focusing on neonate puppy health issues.  After the survey period has ended, the results will be analysed and published on the Puppy and Kitten Clinic website.


For further information and to complete the survey, please visit or email Samantha Bloomfield MRCVS at [email protected]













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Musculo Skeletal Problems


General Guidelines

The Bracco is a big dog. Particularly in the first year of its life it is easy to let a large friendly pup do too much. Discipline yourself! - limit exercise to short walks where the dog gets a chance to socialize and experience new things. Eight hours alone on the moors with you needs to wait until your dog is a bit older and stronger!. Avoid stairs, jumping distances and anything which may damage those soft bones and delicate cartilage until the dog is at least 12 months old.


Bendy Legs

There have been some occurrences of the front legs of some puppies bowing, and it would appear that they do straighten out satisfactorily. However, we do know that the condition does exist in Italy and has also been experienced elsewhere on the Continent. It doesn't appear to be a hereditary factor, rather a trait particular to Bracchi, showing itself in 10% of puppies in varying degrees. It is currently felt that restricted exercise for puppies must remain a priority for this fast growing, large boned breed. It is an area that the Society will continue to make strenuous efforts to find out more about.


Hip Dysplasia (HD)

It would appear so far that Bracchi have reasonable hips, but it is important that any dog being used for breeding (as per the Code of Ethics) is hip scored. This means that after the age of 12 months they are taken to the vet and have a general anaesthetic and their Kennel Club registration number is placed on the x-ray for identification purposes. The x-ray is then sent off to the Kennel Club/British Veterinary Association (KC/BVA) Hip Dysplasia scrutiny scheme. They will assess the x-ray on nine separate points for both right and left hips then give a score. The maximum per hip is 53 and the lower the score, the better the result. (see example below) If you have a bitch it is important to have the x-ray done about two or three months after a season.


Currently the Bracchi have an average score of 13.89, our lowest being 0:0 = 0/106 and the highest 39:40 = 79/106.(316 Bracchi scored)


In addition to the Kennel Club Registration number being displayed on the X-ray, it is recommended that the Tattoo number or Microchip number as appropriate, also be placed to confirm the identity of the specific dog. This is a requirement in some overseas countries and will ensure 100% accuracy in identifying the particular dogs being hip scored.


Once the hips have been X-rayed it is CRITICAL that all plates should be sent for scoring, as failure to do so - because you can see they are poor, will result in artificially low averages and an inaccurate picture being built up.


General Information



These large ears need regular and careful attention to cleaning in order to avoid unnecessary infection.



The Code of Ethics requires all owners of Bracchi who intend breeding, to ensure their dog or bitch has been eye tested within the previous 12 months. Thankfully in our breed, so far as we are currently aware, we do not have any of the major eye diseases, but we do know that Entropian and Ectropian exist, as well as occasional Cherry Eye. As Ectropian may occur at differing ages, it is important that we endeavour to keep track of any occurrences in order to avoid breeding from that stock, as well as keeping a note of infected stock.


There have been two reports of Glaucoma in the breed. The committee are investigating these reports and will update when they have more information regarding this. There has also been one confirmed case of cataracts, again the committee will monitor the situation.


Elbow Dysplasia (August 2006)


As some of you will now be aware two puppies from a recent litter have been diagnosed with a form of elbow dysplasia. As a breeder and member of the Bracco Italiano Society I feel that it is important to make details of this available to all members and owners of Bracchi. It appears that this could be linked to the 'bendy legs' issue that has been around in the breed for several years. Below is a short description of the form of dysplasia being treated at the moment.


There are 4 types of disease associated with abnormal development of the elbow joint in puppies :-


1. Fragmented medial coronoid process.


2. OCD of the medial humeral condyle.


3. Ununited anconeal process.


4. Incongruity of the elbow joint.


The condition we are dealing with is UNUNITED ANCONEAL PROCESS


UAP is commonly referred to as elbow dysplasia or non fusion of the elbow joint. It is a condition caused by a faulty union of the anconeal process (one of the elbow bones) with the ulna.

The loose fragment of bone sets up an irritation in the elbow joint. This first becomes noticeable at about 5 - 6 months of age. The dog will display intermittent lameness and you will notice a thickening on the outside of one or both elbow joints and the feet and pasterns will turn outwards.

This condition can only be diagnosed by an x-ray being taken of the elbow joint. The most effective treatment is surgical removal of the loose piece of bone, although some specialists now prefer to screw the loose piece of bone into place to help normal bone growth.

The cause of elbow dysplasia is not fully understood. Certainly there is a complex genetic basis and it is likely that several different genes are involved. It is also likely that environmental factors (exercise, growth rate, nutrition) play a role.


As this condition has never been reported by any breeder before we are at a loss as to where the genetic link comes from. Both parents of the affected puppies appear normal but will now undergo x-rays on the elbows to see if any link can be found. It may be felt necessary in the future to screen all breeding stock for elbow dysplasia in the same way we do for hip dysplasia.


If you have any prior knowledge of this problem in Bracchi but have not made it known I would welcome your input to try and prevent the condition becoming more common. Also if you want more information or have anything to add please e mail me at [email protected]


Thanks to Jan Hayward


Update May 2010

There has been a third reported instance of UAP in a Bracco, the owners of all siblings have been informed. This condition is currently being treated using the most up to date surgical method (ulnar osteotomy). If you have any queries regarding this please contact any of the Health Committee members.


November 2013


The Kennel Club would like to make you aware of the change to breeding advice for the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club Elbow Dysplasia scheme. Originally, it was recommended that breeders select dogs with an elbow grade of 0 or 1, as a grade 1 was considered relatively mild at the time. However, graded radiographs have shown that the majority of dogs with grade 1 elbows display obvious signs of unilateral and bilateral arthritis.


Therefore, the revised breeding advice  from the BVA is as follows:

‘It is strongly recommended that breeders wishing to reduce the risk of elbow dysplasia should select their breeding stock (both dogs and bitches) only from animals with an overall grade of 0. Dogs with elbow grades of 2 or 3 have marked osteoarthritis likely to be due to ED, with or without a visible primary lesion. Dogs with elbow grades of 1 show mild or early osteoarthritis which is also likely to be due to ED.’


The elbow grades of Kennel Club registered dogs under the BVA/KC Elbow Dysplasia scheme can be seen via the Health Test Results Finder (an online Mate Select service). For additional scheme information, please visit the BVA website.


December 2018 a total of 175 Bracco have had elbow x-rays submitted for scoring, 135 scored 0, 30 scored 1, 8 scored 2 and 2 scored 3.



Bracco Italiano Society Breed Health Survey


The objectives of this survey aim to provide data which will enable:


All members of the BIS; the Kennel club and the BVA to provide a pro-active system that will forge a way forward in promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of the Bracco Italiano in the United Kingdom.


Your participation in this survey is essential in order to identify the frequency of occurrence of health related diseases and conditions in the Bracco Italiano.


Please coordinate your efforts with co-owners and breeders in order to reduce duplicate submissions. Thank you for your participation in this most important survey which is available at any time from the BIS website, Health coordinator and sub committee. If submitting an updated survey, in order to avoid duplication of results please mark the top of the survey DUPLICATE and clearly indicate which items are new.


If you have any further questions, please contact:


Ros Roden, Health coordinator for the BIS.


Personal and pedigree information will not be released without prior concent. If you intend to send any pedigree information it will be expended for the benefit of the health and well being of the Bracco Italiano ONLY.


Please complete the health survey and forward to:Dr Ros Roden, Hazeldene, Green Lane, Stutton, Leeds Tel: 07725 858724 email:[email protected]

Please complete the survey if you would like to keep the Society informed of any health issues affecting your dogs. Click here to download a questionnaire:





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