Progressive retinal degeneration (PRA) is one of the most common forms of hereditary eye diseases in dogs. PRA is a progressive disease of the photoreceptors in the retina, leading to complete loss of vision.
Different types of PRA are diagnosed in different dog breeds and the genetic background of the disease varies between breeds. Multiple types of PRAs are diagnosed even in one breed and different genes cause different type of disease.
The researchers at Helsinki Yliopisto and Folkhälsan Institute have found the gene mutation which causes PRA in Curlycoated Retrievers. They found gene mutation which causes PRA-type called CORD1.
Cone-rod dystrophy 1 (CORD1-PRA) is originally described in the long, short and wire haired Miniature Dachshunds. The retinal cone cells are degenerated first followed by a loss of rod function leading to irreversible blindness. The average age of onset is about 5 years (between 2-10 years). The age of onset varies and some of the genetically affected dogs will die of old age before the first clinical signs of PRA.
Based on the results, the carrier frequency in the breed is quite high. Using only genetically healthy dogs may lead to decrease of the breed’s gene pool and cause increase of some other inherited diseases. This is why carrier dogs as well as genetically affected dogs can be used for breeding with a genetically healthy dog.
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