Progressive Retinal Atrophy - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Progressive Retinal Atrophy

I've been missing from the forum for quite awhile, but back again for some advice. You guys are the best and I thought you may have some insight.

Rico was diagnosied with Progressive Retinal Atrophy today. He has been having increasing problems walking up and down stairs outside, at night. he has gone from a dog who always slept onj our bed, to one who prefers the floor. Now I know it's because he feels safer there at night. This problem is lumped on to of his "dry eye" problems and mild cataract. Although I think the cataract may be a by-product of the PRA.

Anyone have any experience with this disease? It's supposed to be inherited, but I'm still reasearching it and trying to find out what I'll be dealing with here.

Advice, help??


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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Have been researching and not happy with what I find.

Rico's opthamologist suggests I start him on anti-oxidants (in the form of Occuvit) to slow the progression of the disease. He assures me it's not a painful thing and that Rico will not look diffferently, but there is no treatment and the result is blindness.


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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 04:42 PM
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Rory, I am so sorry to hear this. I have no info to share, but will be following this thread as I too just learned way too much about Jasper's eyes, which also include minor cataracts. so will be interested to read if others have input if they are related to the retinol atrophy, but also just support you. Many of us who just had puppies when the forum started now, have 4, 5, 6, 7, and older dogs. Once again we can all learn from each other.

I did find a homeopathic remedy for cataracts called cineraria, but have not discussed it yet with my vet.




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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 06:17 PM
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I don't have much knowledge to share but I'm sorry to hear about all Rico's eye problems. Is Rico already on anything for the dry eye? My 12 year old Chinese Crested "Chingy" has cataracts and mild dry eye and gets ointment in her eyes daily. It's Optimmune with Cyclosporin.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Rico has been taking Pred-Acetate and Cyclosporine drops twice daily, for a few years now.

After letting this sink in all day, I guess I'm doing OK with it. It could be something far worse that caused him pain. If this disease takes the slow path, we could be looking at 3-5 years before he losses sight. I'll be optomistic and say it will take him longer.

From what I'm finding on-line; the condition is an inherited one. It can come from dogs who have been CERF'd. Kind of like a recessive gene. The thing that makes it hard to control is that in most cases, it isn't diagnosed until the dog is 3 to 8 years old. By then most littermates have been breed, if that's going to happen, and passed it along.


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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 08:55 PM
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Opti-gen recently made a test available for one of the forms of PRA, but testing isn't available for all forms. Their test is for prcd-PRA and lets you know whether the dog is "normal",a "carrier", or "affected". Hopefully breeds that are most affected will start testing before breeding to try and eliminate at least the one form. Of course it will take time and will need breeders to actively participate. Chinese Cresteds are in the risk group, but I don't think Hav's are listed as being more at risk.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 10:00 PM
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Our beloved Gracie, an English Cocker Spaniel, began to lose her sight to PRA at about 5. She lost her sight to PRA and cararacts by 7 years. She did wonderfully and stayed happy and active until she passed away at 12. She maintained her pack leader status over our other EC and our first Hav until the end. I learned to jingle pocket change and tell her when I changed rooms and she followed the other dog's cues also. She knew the open spaces in the backyard and would run back and forth. I didn't move furniture or change the landscaping and we all learned not to leave shoes laying around. She was mostly deaf the last year of her life but was happy and content.

There are web sites with suggestions for living with a blind dog. Don't worry about your Hav's happiness. He will do fine and you will have all the more joy in your life for "being his eyes"!

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 10:20 PM
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This brought tears to my eyes. My Lhasa Boo Boo has PRA he was blind before 4. I got him at about 2 1/2 he was being used as a breeder in a puppy mill. I spent years and $$$$ taking him to opthamologists up and down the western sea board in an attempt to cure him. He did not get dry eye until about 4 years ago and of course the cataracts are there. Boo Boo is now 13 and still most people do not know he is blind unless I tell them. I have come to accept it (I don't like it) but have made peace with it. He on the other hand is unaffected.

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Poohkey miss you, monkey.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 10:31 PM
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PRA is a condition that affects standard poodles and prcd-PRA affects miniatures and toys. All the reputable poodle breeders test for PRA in standards and for prcd-PRA in minis and toys. Here's the link to the description on poodle club of america's website.

http://www.poodleclubofamerica.org/health.htm#pra

-Julia
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 11:29 PM
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So sorry to hear about Rico. Dogs are such resilient creatures.... these things don't effect them like they effect us. Rico will be just fine and will learn how to deal with any changes or loss in his vision. I think sometimes our dogs illnesses are harder on us than them.
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