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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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Recent Visitor Comments
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.

Akita
I've owned 2 male Akitas. They've both been very healthy, low maintenance, friendly to humans, have lived with other pets but are NOT good with other males. Don't require a great deal of exercise.. A walk twice a day is plenty. Mine chew ice cubes after a walk. Neither of them showed any real interest in chewing anything else, but this has proven to keep their teeth and gums healthy and it's kind of funny, too. Can't sing their praises enough. Wonderful family membe

Coton de Tulear
My frenid Joan in My frenid Joan in Toronto was featured on Dogs With Jobs in Canada about 10 years ago. She had´╗┐ a standard poodle named Morgan as her narcolepsy service dog, and to our knowledge he was the first in the world. Joan now has Shaba as her service dog. Because the collapses in narcolepsy are actually paralysis (cataplexy) rather than sleep, Shaba's job is to drag her to a safe place when she's going to collapse, and stand over her and protect her while she's down. Was this

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Featured Breed -

Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei At a Glance
Recognized By AKC
Country of Origin China
Life Expectancy 9 - 11 yrs
Height Range 18 - 20 in
Weight Range 35 - 60 lbs
Colors Any solid
Trainability Easy, but can be stubborn
With Children Excellent
With Animals Depends; should be raised with them
Climate Any
Indoor/Outdoor Indoor
Exercise Reqd Not much
Grooming Reqd Little; care for skin folds
Chinese Shar-Pei Information
The Chinese Shar-Pei has been in the United States since 1972. For over 20 years, it was commonly over-bred with little concern for its genetic weaknesses and indiscriminantly sold to whomever had enough money. The results were disastrous. Today's reputable breeders are waging a relentless battle to reduce those inherited problems, like skin conditions, kidney failure, hip and knee defects, entropion, cancer, and blindness. Even though questionable temperaments seem to be an issue of the past, the drawbacks of owning a Shar-Pei still exist unless buyers do their homework and research not only the breed but the person they buy it from.



Since being recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1992, the Chinese Shar-Pei stands proud in show rings from coast to coast, but in some cases, that too has had a negative effect on this breed's welfare. When breeders only concentrate on what will win in the ring, health issues can take a back seat to breed type. Therefore, when selecting a Shar-Pei, it is important to remember that titles alone do not guarantee good health. Only responsible, researched breeding against health problems will contribute to the improvement of the breed's health and help to insure healthy individual dogs. But regardless of all this, the breed has endured in the last 30+ years. The Shar-Pei remains unique, fun, and endearing from pupyhood to senior citizen status. Quality breeders are bringing health back to this fascinating breed, and choosing a breeder wisely will help contribute to the overall well-being of the Shar-Pei.



Contributed by Ellana Clarke, www.chi-kuan-sharpei.com
Click to find:   Chinese Shar-Pei Puppies For Sale   |   Chinese Shar-Pei Breeders   |   Chinese Shar-Pei Information

Dog Question of the Week

Some answers to last week's question:
What breed do you think is the most friendly? Why?
This Week's Question:
Who was smarter: Benji or Lassie? Why?
Havanese. They are just so happy-go-lucky. Love everyone and are easy to spot at shows as they are the ones ""smiling"" up at their handlers! Not to mention great with people of all shapes, ages and sizes.
Jessica from Hawley, Pa, USA
SOft Coated Wheaten Terrier. they are the best dog. They LOVE to give you kisses & just be around you. Whenever I come home from work, our wheaten jumps right up into my arms & gives me lots of kisses. Also great dogs to curl up ont he couch with on cold days or when you are sick.
Andrea from Tampa, FL, USA
I think most dogs are friendly if they have been treated right and raised by friendly people. But like people, you'll find a few grumpy dogs along the way. It's best to let a dog come to you instead of trying to pet it right away. All in all though, I think Labs are the friendliest.
Lynn from Hillsville, VA, USA
I will forever love my Aussies, but the standard poodle will still get my vote as the most friendly, fun-loving, outgoing breed.
Angela from MO, USA
Dog Question of the Week
Who was smarter: Benji or Lassie? Why?
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