Bracco Italiano Health Research

Kidney Disease Research (see educational videos below)

The Bracco Italiano Health Foundation and the Bracco Italiano Club of America are collaborating with the University of Florida to conduct the first organized research project evaluating kidney disease in the Bracco Italiano.

A fatal, hereditary kidney disease has been reported in the Bracco over several generations. Dogs of different ages can be affected, but it most often affects young to middle-aged dogs. Once they start to show symptoms, survival times are generally very poor even with aggressive medical treatment. Amyloidosis has been diagnosed in some dogs, but non-amyloid diseases have also been seen in the same family lines. At this point, we have very little definitive information about the kidney disease in this breed.

The goal of this study is to estimate the prevalence of kidney disease in the breed and the most common labwork (blood and urine) changes. We will also be collecting samples for DNA banking. Our long-term goal is to identify DNA markers for the disease which we can use to test dogs prior to breeding. Currently there is no test available to predict if a dog will develop kidney disease.

The current study will aim to enroll 60 apparently healthy Bracco Italiano dogs between the ages of 6 months and 14 years.

If your dog is present at the BICA National Specialty, the samples will be collected on site. If you are not able to attend the National Specialty but still want your dog to be involved, then you can have the samples collected by your primary care veterinarian and overnight shipped to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Unfortunately, we cannot cover shipping costs - but the testing will still be at no charge to you.

You will get a chemistry analysis, complete blood count, urinalysis, urine protein:creatinine ratio (measure protein loss in the urine), and serum amyloid A levels run on your dog FREE OF CHARGE. All that is required is a routine blood draw and a free catch urine sample. Also, we will collect blood and cheek swabs for DNA banking FREE OF CHARGE The results of this testing will be available to you if you wish, otherwise the individual results will be kept strictly confidential and only available to the veterinary research team.

We collected blood, urine samples and cheek swabs from dogs at the 2019 BICA National Specialty. We will continue collecting blood and urine samples, as well as cheek swabs, from dogs at the 2021 BICA National Specialty in Minnesota. To allow for the greatest number of dogs to be included, we will also be able to accept samples collected by your primary care veterinarian and shipped to the University of Florida. We will be performing online survey follow up with dogs enrolled in the study last year. Please check back for updates!

Information obtained in this study may help us to better understand the hereditary kidney disease in the Bracco, which has unfortunately been the cause of death for several young dogs.

The project director is Dr. Ashley Allen-Durrance, a clinical assistant professor of emergency and critical care at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Amanda Inman will be working on this project as co-investigator.

It is very important that we have samples from as many Bracchi as possible, and from a diverse group of dogs.

For more information about this research project and how to get involved, please contact:

Amanda Inman, DVM
phone for call or text: (352) 234-0372

Here are links to three educational videos by Amanda explaining what kidney disease is and how to recognize/diagnose