Canine PRA Disease

Canine Pra disease involves a group of diseases that can affect the canine retina. The acronym stands for Progressive Retinal Atrophy. If your dog has been diagnosed with PRA disease you can expect the dog’s vision to degenerate over time. In fact, a dog that has been diagnosed with PRA disease can ultimately go blind. Even though this is not good news, there is no need to despair, because it is common for most dogs will adjust to their situation and you will still enjoy having your companion around even if they do need extra care.

PRA disease is an inherited disease that dogs can get. It is caused when the mother and father both carry the PRA gene. Actually any dog can be a carrier of the PRA gene if one of their parents’s had the gene. However, both parents have to have the gene in order for their offspring to get the disease. When a dog has PRA disease they don’t go blind overnight. This is a progressive disease that affects the retina in a dog’s eye over time.

Dog owners that suspect that their pet is having vision problems should take them to the vet for an examination. PRA disease can be properly diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist. If you already have a vet they can refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist. In order to obtain an early diagnosis for PRA disease, the canine ophthalmologist will order DNA testing that they can do now for certain breeds. If PRA disease has progressed to its later stages a regular eye exam can be used to diagnose it.

Dog breeders should have the DNA testing done so that they do not continue to breed dogs that produce litters with PRA disease. If you own a dog there are certain symptoms you can watch for that may signal PRA disease. For instance, when a dog has PRA disease in the early stages it will experience night blindness. The dog won’t like going into dark rooms and will not seem to get around well at night. For instance, a dog affected by PRS disease will bump into things, seem clumsy and hesitate before jumping down from furniture and things. As PRA disease progresses the dog will begin to exhibit vision problems in daylight as well.