Progressive Retinal Atrophy
What is it?
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited disease of the retina.
The retina is the structure of the eye that senses light. In this disease, the tissue starts to degenerate and eventually leads to blindness. PRA is similar to the inherited disease Retinitis Pigmentosa in humans.
Are certain breeds of dogs prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy?
Yes. The Cocker Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Schnauzer, and Miniature Poodle have higher rates of PRA, although any breed may be affected.
How is Progressive Retinal Atrophy diagnosed?
If PRA is advanced, a veterinary ophthalmologist is able to diagnose the disorder by examination. If PRA is not advanced, an electroretinogram (ERG) is required for diagnosis. This device monitors the electrical output of the retina, and can measure function.
Should I breed my dog if it has had Progressive Retinal Atrophy?
No. This is a genetic disease and may be passed on to offspring.
What are possible complications of PRA?
Patients with PRA may develop cataracts and should be monitored for development of complications such as glaucoma.
Common signs of PRA can include:
-loss of night vision is typically the first sign noticed by owners
-decreasing vision over time
Unfortunately, no. Progressive Retinal Atrophy eventually leads to blindness in all cases. A vision supplement called Ocu-Glo may slow down the progression but it does not cure it. Pets with PRA should be occasionally monitored for cataract development.