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Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a group of eye diseases of the retina, which lead to blindness. It has actually become a bit of a catch-all term for a variety of conditions, each with different specific mechanisms, affecting different breeds at different ages, but the common factor is the blindness that ultimately results from the diseased retina.

A brief discussion of the function of the retina will help in understanding PRA and its various forms. The retina is the innermost layer of the back of the eye, and it contains the cells that are sensitive to light ("photoreceptors") and the nerves structures that run from those cells through the optic nerve and, ultimately, to the brain. There are two types of photoreceptors: rods, which function in dim light, detect shape and motion, do not differentiate color, and are more concentrated around the perimeter of the retina; and cones, which function in brighter light, detect color, and are more concentrated in the central area of the retina.

The two major categories of retinal diseases typically grouped under Progressive Retinal Atrophy are (1) retinal dysplasia, where the key cells of the retina do not develop properly in the first eight weeks of life, and (2) retinal degeneration, where the cells do develop normally in the fetus and early puppyhood, but degenerate later in life. Additionally, some forms of PRA may affect only the rod cells or only the cone cells of the retina.
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Read on! Check out:   Dog Health   |   Dog Nutrition   |   Training   |   Grooming   |   more articles
Recent Visitor Comments
Irish Terrier
To Train or not to train. for an Irish Terrier puppy, it will be well advised to find an experienced terrier trainer. Balance with proper socialization early on in your puppy's life. Get your puppy accustomed to nail trimming and grooming now. You don't necessarily need to groom an I.T. puppy, but get them used to the feel of a smooth soft bristle baby brush (for example). If you wait until later, it will not go as smoothly.

Irish Terrier
Choosing an Irish Terrier puppy with a sweet temperament is important, but no guarantee forever. Be very wise when introducing to other dogs, make sure they are also very nice dogs. If exposed to aggressive behavior, an Irish Terrier will of course defend itself, and there will be no turning back. Avoid situations where your pup is forced to defend itself. That is your job, to keep your puppy safe at all times and in every situation.

Glen of Imaal Terrier
Recently we rescued of Glen of Imaal from our local SPCA. She is 4 yrs old and is a very focused little girl. A mind of her own, not real affectionate, but very loyal at the same time. She has trained me well.

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Featured Breed -

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin At a Glance
Recognized By AKC
Country of Origin Mysterious - most likely China
Life Expectancy 12 years
Height Range 8 - 11 in ideal
Weight Range 3 - 12 lbs
Colors Black & white; sable & white (incl. all shades like lemon); Tri (black & white with tan points)
Trainability Want very much to please you but can have a stubborn streak. Need to be motivated to do what you want them to do
With Children Great with children. Supervise with small children to prevent injury to dog.
With Animals Excellent. Fine with cats and most other breeds of dogs
Climate Does not tolerate extreme heat
Indoor/Outdoor Indoor. Japanese Chin are not an outdoor dog
Exercise Reqd Very little. They are basically couch potatoes
Grooming Reqd Brush-and-go breed. No matting; no clipping required
Japanese Chin Information
Japanese Chins bond very closely to their families. Often, they will become your shadow, following you from room to room. They are very quick to read you moods and adjust well to them. They were bred to be 'catlike' and are very clean, often batting things with their paws. They also like to be up high...like the back of a sofa and adore sunshine and will sit on or near a window sill and bask in the sun, though curled up on your lap is their favorite place. They are quiet peaceful dogs that require little exercise. They love to travel with you and put up well with all the attention they draw from people unfamiliar with Chin. They are very gentle, and do not enjoy any rough- housing. They can also be very 'clownish' and will keep you amused with their antics. Very intelligent dogs. At one time, only the Royals were permitted to own a Chin. They would often have someone who's job was to care for the Chin. They were pampered and adored. Today, it is much the same. Chin are dogs that need to be loved and pampered. They make an excellent 'apartment' dog, and can easily be wee wee pad trained. Healthy breed. Can have some problems associated with all small breeds such as cataracts and luxating patella's. Their coats are very easy to maintain, and most love to be brushed and groomed.

Information courtesy of Bedoka Japanese Chin
Click to find:   Japanese Chin Puppies For Sale   |   Japanese Chin Breeders   |   Japanese Chin Information

Dog Question of the Week

Some answers to last week's question:
Does your dog LIKE going to the vet?
This Week's Question:
What is the funniest thing your dog has ever done?
Like? My dog Scout LOVES going to the vet! She knows that is where she gets a lot of attention and treats. She is a big girl so she has to go to the back to get weighed and I can always hear other employees fawning over her. One time when we had to get shots as well I heard the tech telling
Jessica from Hawley, PA, USA
She's not sure... she gets excited to go for a ride, but then when we start in the door at the vet's office she freezes. Once we're inside, though, she's in heaven.
Paula from Waukeegan, WI, USA
Dog Question of the Week
What is the funniest thing your dog has ever done?
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