A major health issue that labs face is Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). This is illness affects the eyes and can lead to blindness in the Labrador. In addition to PRA the Lab is susceptible to several other eye diseases including cataracts and Retinal Dysplasia.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive Retinal Atrophy involves a deterioration of the retina of the eye that is used to receive light. In most cases, onset occurs about mid-life between the ages of 4 – 6 years.
Due to the late-onset, it makes it very difficult to detect and test the cause of this health problem.
Most agree that the illness is heredity based although there is no solid proof. One of the best ways to prevent passing this illness is for the breeder to regularly have the eyesight of their dogs checked.
This helps identify dogs that carry the gene and can prevent future litters from being bred. When this is completed the results can then be submitted to Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) and will show on the dogs pedigree as Eye Certified.