Progressive Retinal Atrophy and rcd4 in the Australian Cattle Dog

Updates coming soon!

PRA is an inherited disorder that effects the retina of the eye. We now know that one form of PRA that affects our dogs is the late-onset Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration (prcd). PRCD is an Autosomal Recessive form of PRA. Thanks to the dedication of reputable breeders and researchers, our breed can now be genetically tested to determine their prcd status. Please visit the Optigen website for more information about ordering the test for your dog(s)!.

It is also now known that there as another gene causing PRA or a PRA-like disorder in our dogs. Research continues to try to isolate this gene.

The presence of PRA is often first noticed as night blindness, with dogs having particular difficulty with acute vision under dim light conditions.

The Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) is the registry body that tracks heritable eye disorders in the US. Breeding stock should have their eyes examined annually by a certified Veterinary Opthalmologist and the results sent in to CERF for a certificate. NOTE: These exams certify that the dog examined is clear of PRA him/herself at the time of the exam, it does NOT certify that the dog or bitch is genetically clear of the disorder nor does it mean that the dog or bitch cannot/will not develop PRA later in life!!

Unfortunately, PRA often shows up in dogs after they have already produced offspring. A reputable breeder will discuss the possibility of this disorder showing up in their lines and know if any relatives (near or distant) have ever been affected by and/or produced PRA.


For more information about PRA, visit these sites:


Recommended Books:

Living With Blind Dogs : A Resource Book and Training Guide for the Owners of Blind and Low Vision Dogs
Caroline D. Levin
Blind Dog Stories : Tales of Triumph, Humor and Heroism
Caroline D. Levin