This is a genetic, inherited disease that affects the retina of a dog’s eyes. Both eyes will be affected at the same time. The dog does not feel any pain. Unfortunately, all Boxer dogs with PRA will eventually become blind.
Symptoms do vary in Boxer dogs with this eye disease, however things to look out for are:
- Night blindness – you will know your dog has this if your Boxer dog does not see well at night – your dog may stumble into walls or furniture if the lights are kept low at night, etc.
- Dilated pupils of the dog’s eyes
- Increase shine on the dog’s eyes
With PRA eye disease, from the time that symptoms are obvious and the dog is taken to a veterinarian to confirm the disease, it can be anywhere from 6 months to a couple of years for the Boxer to become completely blind.
Once a Boxer owner notices any of the above symptoms, the dog should immediately have a full and complete eye exam by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist.
At this time, this is not treatable. Of course, studies are being done to someday cure this canine eye disease.
It is suggested that one action may
slow down the process: Antioxidant supplements for retinal health – there are some good signs that this type of supplement for dogs may slow down the disease. If your Boxer is having eye issues, you may want to speak to your vet about this. Typically, these are a blend of a large array of antioxidants, up to 10 or 12.
The Boxer dog should have regular eye exams, even after losing all sight. Why? While this disease does not cause pain; PDA cataracts can develop and those
can be very painful.
How to Help a Boxer Dog Cope with Blindness
It is amazing just how well a Boxer copes with this eye disease. Because the blindness occurs very slowly, over a large span of time, the dog usually does not suffer from the shock of not being able to see. A Boxer will have time to slowly adjust to lessened sight. The dog is not in pain.
When a dog is losing their sight or has become blind, it is important to carry on with your dog’s normal routine. A dog can still go for walks, play with you, and be a wonderful companion.
It is important to not rearrange furniture or move the area in which you keep your dog’s food and water. In case your dog ever becomes lost, it is suggested to have a medical alert tag on your dog that relays that he or she is blind.