Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA is a group of inherited diseases that cause irreversible degeneration of the retina and eventually causes blindness.

PRA was first reported in the Portuguese Water Dog in 1990 and is prcd-PRA (progressive rod-cone degeneration). Since that time the PWDCA and their members have supported the research work of Dr. Gustavo Aguirre and Dr. Greg Acland and their associates at the University of Pennsylvania. Their research has developed a DNA mutation gene test to identify dogs that are either normal, carriers or affected with prcd-PRA. The current test for prcd is available from OptiGen. Please visit for more information

Normal/Clear, Carrier, and Affected are used to designate a dogs test results. Carrier and Affected dogs should only be bred to Normal/Clear to avoid producing prcd puppies. OptiGen results should not be used to determine if a dog should be used for breeding, or not used for breeding. For information on having a dog OptiGen tested go to:

Newly diagnosed form of PRA: A new form of PRA has been recognized in Portuguese Water Dogs. This new form of PRA appears to be an early onset variety as affected dogs are approximately two years of age. Dr. Gus Aquirre and his staff at University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) are collecting data to identify affected and at risk dogs in an effort to meet our goal of obtaining future genetic test for this condition.



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