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Thread: Golden Cocker going blind

  1. #1

    Default Golden Cocker going blind

    Hi everyone,
    We would really appreciate some advice on our Golden Cocker Spaniel .

    She is just on 8 years old and has Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Cataracts. The Cataracts have been coming on slowly for a few years but the PRA we feel has been very recent. Its really only in the last couple of months that she has had problems seeing. We feel we could see a slight silvery sheen to her eyes for quite some time although Vet checks have never mentioned it. The last Vet visit was about 4 weeks ago and he felt the sight loss we noticed was from PRA and possibly not cataracts but as she was only 8 best to have an Ophthalmologist check her over.

    So yesterday we were told she does actually have cataracts , PRA and also droopy eyelids causing irritation. The droopy eye is also very recent.

    We understand that removing the cataracts will not fix her problems completely but will make best use of what she has. But with the PRA seemingly coming on so quickly will she loose her sight from that within a short time anyway? Has anyone had experience with this? From what we have noticed we would guess she will be basically blind by Christmas at the rate she is at now. Naturally cost comes into the decision. Its not a cheap operation and will cost almost ten thousand including an eyelid lift. Thats a huge sum if it will only slightly improve her sight for several months. If it is a help longer term then we will find the money. So again our question is for those who have been through PRA is does it usually take years to send the dog blind or is it usually quite quick?

    Thank you for any advice or experiences.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 03-18-2014 at 11:02 AM. Reason: put some spaces in between paras so I can read

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Disorders by Breed - Cocker spaniel - LIDA Dogs - Faculty of Veterinary Science - The University of Sydney

    pretty sure PRA is something your dog is born with and could have been avoided by the breeder doing DNA tests on the parent dogs and not putting two together that have the PRA gene.

    It's not something your dog got recently, it's progressive... from birth... and as best I can tell - your dog is going to be blind whether you get the cataracts sorted or not.

    If she came with ANKC pedigree papers - you can ask your vet to submit her information (family details) to the LIDA database with a view to preventing the problem with future puppies.

    So PRA is not uncommon with Cocker Spaniels, blindness is inevitable. Your vet ought to be able to advise about the speed of progression ie PRA vs Cataracts but it might be a close thing. Given she has both, if it was my dog - I'd do what I could to make sure she wasn't in pain and then organise my home for a blind dog.

    Blind dogs can do quite well, as long as their noses and ears keep working.

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