Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a leading hereditary cause of blindness in pedigree dogs as is its counterpart retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in humans. PRA shows genetic heterogeneity, as does RP, with several distinct forms already recognized and several more remaining to be investigated. The retina is a thin layer of neural cells that lines the back of the eyeball. The vertebrate retina contains photoreceptor cells (rods and cones) that respond to light. The cones mediate high-resolution vision and colour vision. The rods mediate lower-resolution, black-and-white, night vision. The degeneration of the retina results in loss of vision, often leading to blindness. One can distinguish between late onset forms of PRA and early onset (whelp-age) dysplastic changes. The clinical and ophthalmologic signs of both forms are similar. Affected dogs suffer from bilateral Mydriasis, the reflection of the Tapetum lucidum is increased and the retinal vascular network appears atrophic. Currently, there is no treatment for the disease.
Golden Retriever: Two different mutations causing PRA have been identified in the Golden Retrievers breed: the well-known prcd-PRA and the GR_PRA1 mutation which was recently identified by researchers of the Animal Health Trust and the university of Uppsala. One assumes that at least one further mutation is involved in PRA genesis and research regarding this topic is still ongoing.
The DNA test is performed out of EDTA blood or buccal swabs. Required swabs can be ordered free of charge. (Buccal swab order-form). If a swab is sent in, possibly the genetic material is not sufficient to run the test. In this case it would be best to send in an EDTA blood sample.
Please send in your sample together with the lab order genetic. Results will be transmitted optionally via post, fax or email. After completion of the test you will receive a separate invoice. Payment can be made via credit card or bank transfer. Breeding club discounts apply if a copy of the membership card is sent together with the respective samples. Due to administrative reasons the invoiced price can not be altered subsequently.