PRA – Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This is a horrible disease that causes dogs to go blind usually around the age of 6 or older.
However, it is preventative. We have genetic markers and tests to prevent this disease.
Our testing is done thru www.optigen.com
I had a dog years ago from a breeder that developed PRA and it is heart breaking, but it is manageable thru work with the blind dog. (Please note this dog was purchased from a breeder, not a dog that I bred)
There is a genetic test via blood draw or cheek swab to check breeding stock. It determines if a dog is normal, a carrier or affected by the disease.
If a dog is normal it can be bred to a carrier and will never produce pups that will go blind. But if it is bred to an affected (meaning a dog can go blind) than it can produce pups that will eventually go blind.
The old term was A(normal), B(carrier), C(affected)
You never breed a B or C to anything other than an A.
However breeding a C to an A can still produce affected pups that could go blind later in life.
This is something I would never do as a reputable breeder.
I would never breed an affected dog but there are those that will. Therefore it is very important that when searching for a pup (in a breed that is affected by PRA) that you ask the right questions of the breeder.
Do your research for the breed of dog you want and be sure to ask all the right questions of the breeder.
Any breeder that won’t answer your questions, or poo poos your questions should be a red flag.
Walk away and move on.
Find a breeder that cares, does all the necessary health clearances for their breed and is willing to talk to you and educate you.
I hope this blog is helpful.