Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) as an inherited disease occurs in many dog breeds and also in different forms. The form of progressive rod-cone degeneration (prcd-PRA) is a photoreceptor degeneration in dogs with varying ages of onset. This genetic disorder causes the degeneration of retinal cells in the eye: firstly, rod cells are affected, thus leading to progressive night blindness. Secondly, degeneration of the cone cells results in complete blindness of the dog, even in full light situations during the day.
Age of onset of clinical symptoms is typically in early adolescence or early adulthood. However, the onset of the disease may vary among different dog breeds.
Since diagnosis of retinal diseases in dogs may prove difficult, the genetic test on prcd-PRA helps to diagnose a specific disease and is also a useful tool for breeders to eliminate the mutated gene from the dog population.