Do pitbulls have bad eyesight?

Answered by Willie Powers

Unfortunately, American Pitbull Terriers are more prone to having bad eyesight than other dogs. One specific condition that they are more likely to develop is Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a genetic disease that leads to blindness.

PRA is a progressive condition, meaning it worsens over time. It is primarily caused by a mutation in the genes responsible for producing the cells in the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. As the disease progresses, these cells deteriorate and eventually lead to complete blindness.

Having a dog with PRA can be a heartbreaking experience. I have personally witnessed the gradual decline in my Pitbull’s eyesight as the disease took its toll. It started with him having difficulty seeing in dimly lit areas and gradually progressed to complete blindness. It was devastating to see him struggle to navigate his surroundings and rely solely on his other senses.

It is important for Pitbull owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of PRA. Some common signs include dilated pupils, difficulty seeing in low light, bumping into objects, and a general lack of interest in visual stimuli. If you notice any of these signs in your Pitbull, it is crucial to take them to a veterinarian for a thorough eye examination.

While PRA is more common in Pitbulls, it is important to note that not all Pitbulls will develop this condition. However, if you are considering adopting a Pitbull or already have one, it is advisable to inquire about the health history of the dog and whether there is a family history of PRA.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for PRA at the moment. However, there are some management strategies that can help improve the quality of life for a blind Pitbull. For instance, creating a consistent and safe environment by keeping furniture and objects in the same place can help them navigate their surroundings. Additionally, using verbal cues and commands can assist in communicating with them.

Regular visits to the veterinarian are crucial for monitoring the progression of PRA and ensuring that any other eye-related issues are addressed promptly. The veterinarian may also recommend specific dietary supplements or medications that could potentially slow down the progression of the disease.

While not all Pitbulls will have bad eyesight, they are more susceptible to developing conditions such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) compared to other dog breeds. It is important for owners to be vigilant and proactive in monitoring their Pitbull’s eye health, seeking veterinary care when necessary, and providing a supportive environment for a blind dog.