Progressive retinal atrophy
A retinal atrophy corresponds to the disappearance of one or several structures that compose the retina in the eye.
The retina is the recepting structure of the eye. It is equivalent to the roll of film in a photo camera.
It plays a major and essential role in you animal’s sight.
The progressive retinal atrophy is hereditary, and is frequent in poodles, cocker spaniels, labradors and many other breeds. The retinal atrophy is caracterized by:
A decrease of sight of your animal (especially in dim light). Your dogs bumps into walls or other objects; he does not grab objects you throw at him; he seems more anxious, or even agressive with the outside world he does not perceive anymore. We can even speak of a kind of blindness. A mydriasis (dilation of the pupil): it appears later.
When we look at the fundus charts of your animal, the image of the retina is different from normal( the tapetum reflects more, there is an atrophy of the vessels of the retina, the optic nerve takes a different color).
Unfortunately, no treatment exists nowadays. This atrophy will evolve progressively to blindness in a few months to a few years.
A secondary cataract (opacification of the lens) can develop and an uveitis (inflammation) secondary to this cataract will have to be controlled by regular examinations (once a year).
Fortunately, a blind dogs reacts very well (much better than a blind man) and will get used to it very quickly.
Indeed, he will compensate this loss by developing its hearing, smell that are already particularily developed in animals.