Progressive retinal atrophy

In progressive retinal atrophy ( PRA) is a slowly progressive death of the retina of dogs and - less frequently - cats. It is an inherited, progressive ( gradual progressive ) and ultimately leading to blindness in both eyes disease, the degenerative processes in the photoreceptors begin and involve the entire retina with in the course of the disease. Despite the similar clinical appearance of symptoms can be a variety of underlying causes.

The Progressive retinal atrophy corresponds to the retinitis pigmentosa in humans.


The disease affects a wide variety of breeds and their hybrids. It has been demonstrated in dwarf and medium poodle, American Cocker, full English Cocker, Portuguese Water Dog, Labrador Retriever, Samoyed, English Setter, wire-haired and long-haired dachshund, Tibetan Terrier, Tibetan Spaniel, Akita Inu, Siberian Husky, Afghan, Australian Cattle Dog, Malinois, Saint Bernard, Border Collie, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Collie, English Springer Spaniel, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, Irish Terrier, Maltese, Mastiff, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, giant Schnauzer, Rottweiler, Saluki, Sloughi, Pyrenean mountain dog, bologna, Newfoundland, PON, Saarloos Wolfhound, Scottish Terrier, Schapendoes, Tibetan Mastiffs, Sheltie, Pomeranian, and crosses between spaniels and poodles.

In cats, the Abyssinian and Somali breeds are affected.


The cause is in most cases in an autosomal recessive gene defect. In Mastiffs a dominantly inherited form is described. Husky and Samoyed form a to the X chromosome -linked variant.


To date, there are no medications or surgical procedures to cure the PRA. Dogs that suffer from the PRA, blind almost always.

Genetic evidence

For a number of breeds, a genetic test for the detection of PRA is available. These include Irish Setters, Welsh Corgi, Sloughi, Bull Terrier, Mastiff and Bullmastiff.