FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT PRA

WHAT IS PRA?
It is an inherited eye disease, where the dog gets less and less sight the older he grows. In the end he will be totaliy blind.
 
WHAT DOES PRA MEAN?
It is short for PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY, which means, in general terms proceeding withering of retina, which is the innermost coating of the back of the eye. Retina shrivels up to total blindness of both eyes.
 
CAN YOU CURE PRA?
NO. Up to now there is no way to stop this process.
 
CAN MY DOG DIE OF PRA?
NO. The disease is not mortal. It "only" attacks the photoreceptors in retina.
 
IS PRA CONTAGIOUS?
NO.
 
HOW IS PRA INHERITED?
The disease has a simple recessive heredity. This is very treacherous disease. Two healthy dog can produce puppies who later can develop PRA. That can happen if both parent dogs are carriers of PRA genes.
 
CAN ANY DOG DEVELOP PRA?
YES. As dogs can carry genes for PRA for many generations the puppies will get PRA if the other parent part also is a carrier. Some puppies will have PRA, some will be carriers and some can be free. (Statistically the proportions are 25 - 50 - 25). Even human beings can have PRA.
 
CAN YOU DETERMINE IF YOUR DOG HAS PRA?
YES. Some veterinary surgeons had special training to diagnose eye diseases. They can determine if your dog has PRA. Though they cannot determine if your dog is a carrier. Your regular veterinary surgeon can recommend you an eye specialist.
 
HOW OLD MUST MY DOG BE WHEN HE CAN BE EXAMINED FOR THE FIRST TIME?
For ordinary eye-test the dog must be at least 12 months old. For ERG test not less than 2 years old.
 
HOW WILL THE EXAMINATION PROCEED?
There are two tests: ERG is performed by advanced equipment for measuring parts of retina. This test will last for the whole lifetime of the dog. It is very expensive and for instance available only at one University clinic. THE ORDINARY EYE TEST is done by optic equipment handed by the vet. eyespecialist. Both examinations are painless and smooth. The dog is awake the whole time.
 
HOW OFTEN DOES MY DOG HAVE TO BE EXAMINATED?
ERG only once. The ordinary test must be renewed every year.
 
WHAT TO DO IF MY DOG HAS PRA?
Many people panic and start to plan for putting the dog to sleep. There is no reason at all for this. With very few exceptions, blind dogs will move around in their house, garden an at familiar places as it they had full sight. They compensate with other senses.
 
IF PRA IS DIAGNOSED, IS IT DEFINITE?
YES. PRA is irretrievable. Of course you can have a hope that the diagnosis was wrong and if so, go to a second specialist to get confirmation.
 
HOW OLD IS THE DOG WHEN PRA STARTS TO DEVELOP?
The start of the disease varies between the age of I - 7 years, but 3 - 4 years is the most common age. It start mildly and progresses until total blindness.
 
HAS THE DOG ANY PAIN FROM PRA?
NO. The dog has no pain whatsoever from PRA. Owners might very well not have noticed the disease in their dog.
 
WHAT TO REQUIRE, WHEN YOU BUY A PUPPY?
Both parents must be eye tested and clear from PRA within a year before the mating (at least 2 months before the puppy is born). The eye test must have been performed by a veterinary eye specialist who is recognised by the Kennel Club in the country where the puppy is born. The parents must not have produced any puppy who has developed PRA.
 
MY LHASA APSO WAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR PRA. HOW DO I SEND THE RESULT TO ILAC?
Email a copy of the official test result and a copy of the pedigree of your Lhasa Apso to info@intlac.org. In the email you must state that you give permission to ILAC to publish the test result and pedigree of your Lhasa Apso. Without proof and written permission to publish, ILAC will not publish your test result.
   
   
Do not use LHASA APSOS for breeding if they not are eye tested and diagnosed
unaffected of PRA within at least a year before mating (both male and female).

 

 

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