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Thread: PRA testing for Labs

  1. #111
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitty View Post
    Buster Brown, I have a dog with PRA, I feel your heartbreak. I don't think it is a hard diagnosis for a vet to make. My regular vet could see that the retinas were deteriorating and referred me to the animal ophthalmologist. I bring my dog in regularly for eye checks, as PRA can lead to inflammation and painful cataracts. My dog has also developed glaucoma, a very painful disease if left untreated. If you are not taking your dog back to the animal ophthalmologist, I hope your local vet is taking care of your dog's eyes and the potential complications of his eye disease.

    PRA is not an easy disease for dogs.
    The disease must take a different course in Labs v. Goldens. We have been told by the ACVOs that in Goldens the disease does NOT cause pain or inflammation. Yes, cataract formation is a sequelae (different, though, from our Goldens' inherited juv cataracts). Poodles were the first breed that I knew of to have a serious problem with PRA (back in the mid 70s, it had begun to turn up). The Poodles turned out to be greatly helped by the prcd-PRA test, though it appears they also have some other form as well, not yet testable. However, prcd-PRA appears to be the form which was responsible for most of their PRA.

    However, there is another disease in Goldens known as pigmentary uveitis or "Golden Retriever Uveitis" which is known to lead to glaucoma, and can be very painful to the dog along the way. When dx'd early enough certain meds will slow down or stop the progression of the disease. I've been told that these meds don't work on all dogs, though. I do know of dogs who have had to have the affected eye removed as the only recourse. Have not heard of cataracts being painful, but the glaucoma is. This is all pertaining to Goldens, not Labs.

    A good friend has a Golden blind from prcd-PRA. The dog is 12-1/2 now, though blind, she is happy and healthy. She does not have much cataract formation, and if you met her you might even have a hard time telling she was totally blind. She still retrieves bumpers in the yard ... waiting to hear them hit the ground and then running to the area and using her nose to find them!
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  2. #112
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    The disease must take a different course in Labs v. Goldens. We have been told by the ACVOs that in Goldens the disease does NOT cause pain or inflammation. Yes, cataract formation is a sequelae (different, though, from our Goldens' inherited juv cataracts). Poodles were the first breed that I knew of to have a serious problem with PRA (back in the mid 70s, it had begun to turn up). The Poodles turned out to be greatly helped by the prcd-PRA test, though it appears they also have some other form as well, not yet testable. However, prcd-PRA appears to be the form which was responsible for most of their PRA.

    However, there is another disease in Goldens known as pigmentary uveitis or "Golden Retriever Uveitis" which is known to lead to glaucoma, and can be very painful to the dog along the way. When dx'd early enough certain meds will slow down or stop the progression of the disease. I've been told that these meds don't work on all dogs, though. I do know of dogs who have had to have the affected eye removed as the only recourse. Have not heard of cataracts being painful, but the glaucoma is. This is all pertaining to Goldens, not Labs.

    A good friend has a Golden blind from prcd-PRA. The dog is 12-1/2 now, though blind, she is happy and healthy. She does not have much cataract formation, and if you met her you might even have a hard time telling she was totally blind. She still retrieves bumpers in the yard ... waiting to hear them hit the ground and then running to the area and using her nose to find them!
    Probably I am remembering wrong about the cataracts being painful, but anti inflammatory eye drops for PRA seems to be SOP around here---I got the same story from the regular vet as I did from the eye vet.

    So I just sniffed around the web and see articles about PRA for lay people, and some say no complications and some report my experience. One little article I found was probably written by Buster Brown's eye vet (Rhea Morgan), who wrote "These dogs don't need any medication, their eyes are not painful..." (http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Con...=4&SourceID=62)

    So hmmmm. I am printing out the Morgan article to show the eye vet next time I go in.
    Renee P

  3. #113
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Renee, there may also be some confusion in Labs with retinal dysplasia. Local vets could be confusing the two issues. Perhaps there is pain associated with RD?

    Only a few people I know have Goldens afflicted with prcd-PRA. They have been giving nutritional supplements that are believed to be beneficial to eye health, but none have used any anti-inflammatory meds.
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  4. #114
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Renee, there may also be some confusion in Labs with retinal dysplasia. Local vets could be confusing the two issues. Perhaps there is pain associated with RD?

    Only a few people I know have Goldens afflicted with prcd-PRA. They have been giving nutritional supplements that are believed to be beneficial to eye health, but none have used any anti-inflammatory meds.
    I am pretty sure the DVM, DACVO vet who diagnosed my dog with PRA knows what PRA is.
    Renee P

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    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Sorry I got waylaid while I was composing the above.

    My dog is going on 9 years right now, and we noticed the vision loss about 3.5 years ago, and she got the PRA diagnosis from an ACVO vet (this is the vet, on the top of the page, with the penguin: http://www.acvo.org/new/diplomates/Dip1.shtml). My dog is pretty much blind now, but I think she still sees motion in good light. I can't remember when and what happened as far as the inflammation and cataracts. The eye pressures went up last spring.

    Based on my experience, I am curious why an eye vet would not insist on follow up visits for the PRA diagnosis, so I am going to bring it up with my eye vet. I am concerned that a dog with PRA is not having his eyes cared for, because I am certain my dog would be miserable without the follow up care she has received.

    PRA may be a painless disease, but it's sequelae may not be. I do not know the literature, but here you go, from the Canadian Veterinary Journal: "Complete retinal atrophy will develop, and unfortunately the release of degenerative retinal by-products will induce cataract development. Cataracts usually cause phacolytic uveitis, zonular degeneration, and lens luxation; often, secondary glaucoma develops in these dogs. Therefore, we recommend yearly re- examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist to allow for early diagnosis and medical or surgical management of these common often initially subclinical sequelae."
    (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696715/)
    Last edited by mitty; 12-29-2013 at 08:38 PM. Reason: clarification
    Renee P

  6. #116
    Senior Member JusticeDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitty View Post
    Sorry I got waylaid while I was composing the above.

    My dog is going on 9 years right now, and we noticed the vision loss about 3.5 years ago, and she got the PRA diagnosis from an ACVO vet (this is the vet, on the top of the page, with the penguin: http://www.acvo.org/new/diplomates/Dip1.shtml). My dog is pretty much blind now, but I think she still sees motion in good light. I can't remember when and what happened as far as the inflammation and cataracts. The eye pressures went up last spring.

    Based on my experience, I am curious why an eye vet would not insist on follow up visits for the PRA diagnosis, so I am going to bring it up with my eye vet. I am concerned that a dog with PRA is not having his eyes cared for, because I am certain my dog would be miserable without the follow up care she has received.

    PRA may be a painless disease, but it's sequelae may not be. I do not know the literature, but here you go, from the Canadian Veterinary Journal: "Complete retinal atrophy will develop, and unfortunately the release of degenerative retinal by-products will induce cataract development. Cataracts usually cause phacolytic uveitis, zonular degeneration, and lens luxation; often, secondary glaucoma develops in these dogs. Therefore, we recommend yearly re- examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist to allow for early diagnosis and medical or surgical management of these common often initially subclinical sequelae."
    (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696715/)

    first of all Renee, I am very sorry to hear about your dog. I am wondering if you ever had the blood test done from Optigen on your dog that is affected with PRA. There are diseases that present just like PRA. Such a SARDs. Without the blood test, even the most experienced AVCO, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference. I would also be concerned about the pain that you believe your dog is experiencing since this would be very atypical PRA.

    also, I am curious as to the pedigree on your dog. Is it pure field lines, show lines or a mix?

    thanks
    Susan

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  7. #117
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeDog View Post
    first of all Renee, I am very sorry to hear about your dog. I am wondering if you ever had the blood test done from Optigen on your dog that is affected with PRA. There are diseases that present just like PRA. Such a SARDs. Without the blood test, even the most experienced AVCO, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference. I would also be concerned about the pain that you believe your dog is experiencing since this would be very atypical PRA.

    also, I am curious as to the pedigree on your dog. Is it pure field lines, show lines or a mix?

    thanks
    I did not register her so I could not get the optigen test. I do not have her pedigree. The vet is very confident in her diagnosis.

    I don't think that my dog has eye pain, her symptoms are managed with expensive eye drops.

    Edit: I just called the eye vet, my PRA dog is due for a recheck in March. I will report back then but in a thread on the regular forum as I feel kinda bad for mucking up the purpose of this thread.

    I had my new pup option tested for PRA and RD/OSD (long as I was at it!) when I got her 3 years ago, I couldn't face the the even remote possibility of a second dog being blind. I have not sent in my results (yet) to OFA, but Snake River's Banana Cream Pie is CLEAR for both.

    Edit #2: Ok I just had the follow up visit and asked some questions, good news for us in that her eye pressures were excellent---10 one eye 12 in the other. I forgot to ask about differences in breeds. This visit was with a different eye vet at the same clinic in SLC. Ok, here we go...The degeneration of the retina causes inflammation in the eye, the inflammation can lead to cataracts. The cataracts leak protein and promote inflammation. The inflammation and leaking proteins can interfere with drainage of the eye, and this can cause eye pressures to go up. I asked why some eye vets don't give anitiflammatory drops to dogs with PRA; she disagreed with this practice, and says usually these dogs end up having to have their eyes removed because of the damage from inflammation.

    My dog's retinas are pretty much gone. She has a small cataract on one eye. I now wish I had asked if the eye with no cataract needs to have the eye drops---no retina, no cataract, no inflammation? I will ask next time. She also clarified that my dog does not actually have glaucoma, the treatment is to prevent by minimizing inflammation and keeping the drainage functional.

    The dots connecting inflammation to more serious consequences are connected for me. Inflammation is damaging, and a source of chronic disease for many of us humans as well.

    I will repost this response in the regular forum so as to not clog up things here. Thanks all.

    (It is here: http://www.retrievertraining.net/for...-Gerry-Clinchy!))
    Last edited by mitty; 03-07-2014 at 01:33 PM. Reason: added info
    Renee P

  8. #118
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Susan, what is SARD? Haven't heard that term before. I see the RD at the end, so is it something to do with retinal dysplasia?
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  9. #119
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    Susan, what is SARD? Haven't heard that term before. I see the RD at the end, so is it something to do with retinal dysplasia?
    SARD is sudden acquired retinal degeneration. The dog loses retinal function suddenly rather than gradually. The pattern of retinal death is different than PRA if caught early and I have seen reports that it can be reversed if caught early (not sure if these are wild rumors on the net or real).
    Renee P

  10. #120
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitty View Post
    Sorry I got waylaid while I was composing the above.

    My dog is going on 9 years right now, and we noticed the vision loss about 3.5 years ago, and she got the PRA diagnosis from an ACVO vet (this is the vet, on the top of the page, with the penguin: http://www.acvo.org/new/diplomates/Dip1.shtml). My dog is pretty much blind now, but I think she still sees motion in good light. I can't remember when and what happened as far as the inflammation and cataracts. The eye pressures went up last spring.

    Based on my experience, I am curious why an eye vet would not insist on follow up visits for the PRA diagnosis, so I am going to bring it up with my eye vet. I am concerned that a dog with PRA is not having his eyes cared for, because I am certain my dog would be miserable without the follow up care she has received.

    Each of the Goldens whose owners I know, who have dogs with PRA (I do not know all of the owners of the 8 dogs who have been dx'd with prcd-PRA per Optigen statistics) are monitoring their dogs every 6 mos with an ACVO. Since prcd-PRA was only confirmed in Goldens in 2007, they are doing so for information gathering purposes as well. We have very little knowledge about how PRA progresses in Goldens at this point. These owners are very aware that their dogs are important to help gather such information. They, and their ACVOs, also keep Optigen updated on their findings.

    PRA may be a painless disease, but it's sequelae may not be. I do not know the literature, but here you go, from the Canadian Veterinary Journal: "Complete retinal atrophy will develop, and unfortunately the release of degenerative retinal by-products will induce cataract development. Cataracts usually cause phacolytic uveitis, zonular degeneration, and lens luxation; often, secondary glaucoma develops in these dogs. Therefore, we recommend yearly re- examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist to allow for early diagnosis and medical or surgical management of these common often initially subclinical sequelae."
    (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696715/)
    Thank you for sharing this citation. Since we found the first Golden with prcd-PRA we have remained in close touch with Dr. Aguirre (who was one of the developers of the prcd-PRA test when he was at Cornell; his is now at U of PA). I will see Dr. Aguirre at the end of January at an eye clinic, and will ask him about this.

    Of the three Golden owners I know (with prcd-PRA Goldens), one of them is the 12-1/2 yr old mentioned above; a dog I bred. After her initial dx by Dr. Aguirre, she completed her MACH. Her vision was close to totally gone around age 10. Two other Goldens, dx'd by the test, are around 6 and show no physical symptoms (upon physical examination) yet. They are just a bit older now than the dog who was first dx'd in 2007 by Dr. Aguirre.

    Goldens do have a total of at least 4 forms of PRA, 3 of which have DNA tests. There may be more than 4, we only know that there are at least 4. As the new tests have been developed, Optigen tests the samples they have collected over time with the new test. From this they have found samples of some of the dogs (who were dx'd by physical examination), do not demonstrate any of the mutations that we can test for. So, there could be more than 4, but there are at least 4 ... so far.

    Fortunately, PRA in all forms, is relatively rare in Goldens overall, so it has been difficult to gather information on how the different forms of PRA progress in Goldens. When the prcd-PRA test was first developed (using a Lab from the Seeing Eye, about 1998), no Golden samples showed the mutation, so we knew nothing about how the disease would affect Goldens, until we were able to identify the first one in 2007. Hence, the follow-up being done by the owners I mention are important to gather more information for Goldens for the future. Hopefully, thanks to the rapid advancements of DNA testing, PRA will always remain very rare in Goldens. Other breeds laid the groundwork from which Goldens are now benefiting.

    Almost 7 years later, from Optigen statistics, we know that 8 Goldens have tested as affected. I have had contact with a European breeder who bred one of those 8. That one also has no evident disease yet. I can't recall that dog's age. (There had only been 6, until 2 more were added to the # in 2013.)

    All these 4 I've mentioned are listed on k9data, and their PRA status is noted there.
    G.Clinchy@gmail.com
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