Finnish Lapphund Health
Lappies have an average lifespan of 12-14 years, however dogs older than 16 is not uncommon overseas. They are a breed with reasonably few health problems. We here at Sankari, screen for these problems and only breed from dogs who pass the necessary health checks and are free from genetic diseases.
Canine Hip Dysplasia
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a developmental malformation of the hip joints where the femoral head is too loose in the socket causing wear and tear on the hip joint resulting in degenerative joint disease such as arthritis and corresponding clinical symptoms such as pain and lameness. CHD is not limited to Finnish Lapphunds, but many other breeds including cross breeds also. CHD can be caused by genetic inheritance, but also there may be environmental factors such as exercise or diet related reasons how this disease can be inherited.
Usually, the lower the score the better fit of the hip joint. Radiographs are taken of Hips and scored by a Australian Veterinarian Association approved specialist and each hip is given a score, both sides are added together to get the total hip score. For example, a dog who has a score of 1:1 means they have a total score of 2.
This table below indicates different scoring from different countries.
Australia/UK Europe USA/Canada
0-4 A1 Normal (Excellent)
5-10 A2 Normal (Good)
11-18 B1 Normal (Fair)
19-25 B2 Borderline
26-35 C Dysplastic (Mild)
36-50 D Dysplastic (Moderate)
51-106 E Dysplastic (Severe)
Reference: Mark Flückiger Prof. Dr Scoring radiographs for canine Hip Dysplasia -The big three organisations in the world EJCAP 17/2, page 135 – 140.
Progressive Cone Rod Degeneration-PRA
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited disease that cause loss of vision due to degeneration of the retina. It is seen in many breeds of dogs, but most commonly in Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Australian Cattle Dogs, Silky Terriers and Labradors.
In Lappies, the most common version of PRA is Progressive Cone Rod Degeneration-PRA. The disease causes gradual blindness, first affecting vision in dim light (night vision) and eventually, resulting in complete blindness many months or years later.
There is genetic testing to determine whether a dog is clear, carrier or affected of PRCD-PRA. As such there have been no record of Lappies Affected with PRCD-PRA to date. There are no restrictions with breeding Clear PRCD-PRA dogs however Carriers should not be bred to a carrier.
There are three statuses for PRCD-PRA
Clear - Normal, they will not develop PRA or pass the disease on to offspring.
Carrier - Will not develop PRA, however can pass 50% normal gene 50% disease gene to offspring
Affected - High likelihood of developing PRA and will produce abnormal gene in offspring.
Heriditary Cataracts & Other Eye Diseases
While PRCD-PRA is the most major concern in Finnish Lapphunds there are a few eye diseases while rare can and do occur. It is highly recommended that both the sire and dam of the litter should be tested by a vet qualified under the Australian Canine Eye Scheme (ACES) within the last 24 months prior to breeding.