PRA - is a disease of the retina. Jessie has recently been diagnosed with Progressive retinal atrophy. We have not gone to a specialist as it is simply a diagnosis and nothing is to be done for dogs with this disease but when it is discovered in young dogs it should be reported to a breed related genetic data base so that breeders can follow and locate it's progress. There are many forms of PRA ranging from very early loss of eyesight to a loss of some eyesight over a longer length of time without loosing full sight.
Jessie is one of the lucky ones; she is not a high risk breed and is just recently loosing enough sight to trip up. At 13.5 it is sad to see many things failing in our dogs but sight especially. Just this weekend when I was away my husband had her out for a walk; he explained to me how she hit a curb infront of her that she never saw. There are things we must adjust to as well as our dogs adjusting. I see her loss of sight on a daily basis now; she will come into a room looking for me and not see me right off. One of the biggest signs of her loss of sight is the fact that there is food on my kitchen floor; something that is very new for me. Jessie has always been my little vacuum.
We are very fortunate that this disease did not affect Jessie until now and if we keep Jessie's surroundings fairly familiar to her she will do just fine. It is the young dogs who will suffer the most from this disease and like any other disease it is one that breeders must try their best to get on top of. There is no guarantee when you add a dog to your family but by purchasing from a very good breeder you definitely lower the risk of genetic diseases. When breeders research lines and outcross breed to heathly researched lines they give their puppies the best chance at a healthy life.