The retina is a structure found inside the eye that coats the inner most posterior surface of the eyeball. The retina is very important for vision, could be considered ”the film in the camera”.
Without a healthy functional retina we cannot see. Several conditions can affect the retina. One of those is PRA. Progressive retinal atrophy is an inherited condition that affects several breeds. This means that the parents of any affect dog had to carry an ”broken” gene or be affected by the condition to be able to transfer it to their offspring. Affected animals must not be used for breeding proposes.
What is the prognosis for my pet?
PRA is a progressive condition. It is likely that the visual impairment that you have noticed will progress. If your pet is only showing signs at night it is likely that the visual impairment will progress to day light. Cataracts may develop secondary to PRA. Your pet will most likely not be a candidate for cataract surgery.
Is there any treatment?
There is loads of research happening to help both pets and human affected with these conditions but unfortunately, there are currently no effective treatment for the most common types of canine PRA. Several food supplements are available online that are sold to help PRA patients, however there are no studies showing a true effect in dogs. If you would like more information about this option please ask the ophthalmology team.
We are sorry that your pet has been diagnosed with this condition, and we understand that this may come as a shock to all the family. Although there may be a period of adjustment our blind pets usually cope very well and will continue to enjoy life as long as they are not in discomfort.
Other useful information
There are multiple websites online discussing the experience people have with their blind pets and how they helped them cope with the transition from vision.
The books listed bellow can be found in Amazon and other book sellers
- Living with Blind dogs – by Caroline Levin
- Caring for a blind cat – by Natasha Mitchell
- My Dog is Blind But Lives Life to the Full! – by Nicole Horsky