Progressive Retinal Atrophy 1 (Discovered in the Italian Greyhound)

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a disorder where the light sensing retina at the back of the eye degenerates, resulting in vision loss.

Key Signs

Night blindness, Progressive vision loss, Reduction of the visual field, Blindness

Age of Onset

1 to 4 yrs

Junior to adult onset


Autosomal Recessive

For autosomal recessive disorders, dogs with two copies of the variant are at risk of developing the condition. Dogs with one copy of the variant are considered carriers and are usually not at risk of developing the disorder. However, carriers of some complex variants grouped in this category may be associated with a low risk of developing the disorder. Individuals with one or two copies may pass the disorder-associated variant to their puppies if bred.

Likelihood of the Condition

High likelihood

At risk dogs are highly likely to show signs of this disease in their lifetime.

What to Do

Here’s how to care for a dog with IG-PRA1

Partner with your veterinarian to make a plan regarding your dog’s well-being, including any insights provided through genetic testing. If your pet is at risk or is showing signs of this disorder, then the first step is to speak with your veterinarian.

For Veterinarians

Here’s what a vet needs to know about IG-PRA1

IG-PRA1 is considered a late-onset PRA. Typically, IG-PRA1 affected dogs are first diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalmologist during a routine eye exam when dogs are between 3-5 years of age. The symptoms of IG-PRA1 are very similar to other (unrelated) forms of late onset PRA such as prcd and crd3. Loss of retinal cells leads to increased reflectivity from the mirrored tapetal cells in the back of the eye and retinal vessels are pruned as the number of retinal cells needing to be nourished diminishes. The disease itself is painless but affected dogs should be regularly monitored by an ophthalmologist to treat possible secondary effects of the condition. IG-PRA1 first presents as a loss of vision in dim light conditions due to degeneration of rod cells in the retina. This stage is followed by decreased vision in bright light conditions due to the death of cone cells in the retina. Complete blindness is the end result.

Although this condition results in gradual vision loss, and eventual blindness, many dogs adapt remarkably well to vision loss. Although there is no treatment, owners should be advised that the disease development is gradual and their dog may need assistance in unfamiliar surroundings as clinical signs progress. Owners may find that it is helpful to keep the dog's main environment as stable as possible (avoid moving furniture, etc.) to help them navigate as vision worsens.

For Breeders

Planning to breed a dog with this genetic variant?

There are many responsibilities to consider when breeding dogs. Regardless of test results it is important that your dog is in good general health and that you are in a position to care for the puppies if new responsible owners are not found. For first time or novice breeders, advice can be found at most kennel club websites.

This disease is autosomal recessive meaning that two copies of the mutation are needed for disease signs to develop. A carrier dog with one copy of the IG-PRA1 mutation can be safely bred with a clear dog with no copies of the IG-PRA1 mutation. About half of the puppies will have one copy (carriers) and half will have no copies of the IG-PRA1 mutation. Puppies in a litter which is expected to contain carriers should be tested prior to breeding. Carrier to carrier matings are not advised as the resulting litter may contain affected puppies. Please note: It is possible that disease signs similar to the ones caused by the IG-PRA1 mutation could develop due to a different genetic or clinical cause.

Technical Details

Technical details are not available at this moment.