Shedding Light On Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Picture of a cat walking down a cat tower with caption, is your cat slowing down?

What is it?

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a disease in which the retina gradually deteriorates. The retina, located at the back of the eye, is responsible for absorbing light and sending signals to the brain for interpretation. Typically, low-light vision is the first to be lost, and over a period of months to years, patients will eventually become completely blind.

What causes it?

PRA is caused by a genetic defect that results in the degeneration of the retina. There are different forms of this disease, with some manifesting in the first few months of age, while others emerge after a few years.

How is it diagnosed?

A diagnosis is made based on patient history and a physical examination, occasionally a test called an electroretinogram (ERG) is required. An ERG is a test to determine if the retina is functioning by assessing how it responds to light. This is performed under sedation.

Can it be treated?

Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure for PRA. We can discuss the best ways to manage your pet’s loss of sight during your consultation. Typically, as the vision loss occurs slowly over time, they learn to gradually adjust to their environment.

How can we help?

Our experienced veterinary team can diagnose PRA.

Want to know more about our ophthalmology services?

Download a free PDF version of this blog post: PRA Blog PDF

Need an Appointment