Dog Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Retinal problems are usually hereditary and are found very commonly in our purebred as well as mongrel dogs. Retinal dysplasia is anyretinal developmental defect.
Although excellent screening of young dog has been done by breed clubs with the help of veterinary ophthalmologists, the problem is all too frequent. This is because there are a lot of people who can’t be bothered with such testing and, since PRA appears to be a recessive trait, a normal female when bred to even a normal male carrying the trait will produce puppies with the problem.
Usually PRA is diagnosed in a dog anywhere from six months to five years old when it is brought in to a veterinarian because of progressive loss of sight. There is no treatment and no preventive for this problem other than the use of proper breeding practices.
Years ago a Collie male won best-of-breed at the Westminster Ken-el Club dog show. He was a beautiful specimen – but had a problem. He was blind when he won that show and only the handler and the owner knew it. Being in great demand at stud, he sired many litters before the truth was out. No doubt he was not the only dog to perpetuate this inherited eye disorder, which often leads to blindness, but he was part of the problem that responsible breeders have fought quite effectively at a great expense in recent years – not to let this happen.
To this we might add all sorts of “monster” puppies which are founding all breeds from time to time: puppies with one eye in the middle of the forehead or those with crooked tails, extra toes, deformed jaws, and cleft lips and palates, to name a few.
With such an imposing list, the problems with trying to improve a breed seem insurmountable for all but the breeder with large numbers of dog who works diligently at it for a lifetime. Moreover, this kind of breeder must either keep the progeny until they are old enough soothe problems can be identified or the puppies must he farmed out and not bred until they are obviously free of one or more genetic defects. About the best contribution most breeders can make is to breed sound dog and either destroy defective dog or sterilize them to prevent defective genetic specimens from perpetuating the problem.
Dog Progressive Retinal Atrophy Information
Generalized PRA – The symptoms of the early stages of the eyes disease includes failure of night vision from the very age of 6 weeks and the complete loss of vision takes place by the time the dog reaches the age of 1 to 2 years.
Generalized PRA (progressive rod cone degeneration) – The night blindness of the affected dogs takes place when they are in between 2 to 5 years of age. The peripheral vision gets entirely lost.
Central PRA or retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy consists of loss of vision at a much slower pace compared to the generalized PRA. The affected dogs lose vision completely as the center of the retina gets damaged. The disease may not include the initial symptoms like night blindness.
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