Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRCD) - PRCD



PRCD is the progressive degeneration of photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the dog’s eye causing degenerative abrasions of the retina, resulting in blindness. PRCD is a late onset form of PRA, however there is variation of the age of onset between the many breeds it affects. Variation in the time of onset is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Severity - 3

PRCD has a moderate degree of severity, while the disease is not fatal and has late onset, resulting blindness may decrease the quality of life for both you and your dog.


The initial symptom of PRCD is usually night blindness, as the degeneration of the retina affects the rods, reducing visual abilities in dim lights. Night blindness usually progresses to day blindness quickly, as the cones in the eye sensitive to bright lights deteriorate. Sadly, PRCD regularly leads to total blindness, for which there is no treatment or cure.

Genetic Testing

Animal Network provides a DNA test that determines the genetic predisposition to PRCD.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy – Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration is an autosomal recessive disease. A recessive phenotype (trait or disease) will only be expressed when two copies of the recessive gene variant are present. A direct gene test can detect whether a dog is clear, carrier or is affected by the disease.

A dog with two copies of the recessive gene variant is affected, they will express the phenotype and will pass a copy of the gene variant onto their offspring 100% of the time. A dog with one copy of the recessive gene variant is a carrier, they do not express the phenotype themselves, however they are will pass the gene variant onto their offspring 50% of the time. A dog that has does not have any copies of the recessive gene variant is clear, and will never produce affected offspring.

For an explanation of possible genetic status of offspring please refer to our fact sheet on Breeding strategies. ORDER A TEST

Breeds Affected

American Cocker Spaniel
Australian Cattle Dog
Australian Shepherd
Australia Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
Chinese Crested
Cocker Spaniel
Silky Terrier
Finnish Lapphund
Golden Retriever
Labrador Retriever
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Miniature Poodle
Toy Poodle
Portuguese Water Dog
Swedish Lapphund
Yorkshire Terrier
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Spanish Water Dog

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