Allergy/inflammation

Does anyone know if Basenji's have a common allergy when it comes to food? Our lovely 14 month girl has developed an allergy, but the vet do not know towards what.

Also, she has a chronic inflammation in her stomach, that appeared along with the allergy. This makes her throw up when she is hungry, and that is every third hour. She is eating cortison now, which makes her a bit swollen but otherwise she is just as happy as usual. I am of course hoping for her to stop with the cortison as it isn't good in the long run, but the vet says she might have to eat it all her life. Does anyone know another way to go about this, without having to give her cortison?

Thanks!

Sounds to me like further test are needed. Many dogs have food allergies, not just Basenjis. Corn and Wheat are the two biggest. What are you feeding her? and you might want to look for a specialist as I agree, cortison, long term is not a good solution. I don't think that chronic inflammation would be a direct cause from allergies, but then I am not a Vet, however have had Basenjis with serious allergies to corn. Stop the corn, allergies go away.

Were things like ISPID or IBD looked at? Again, I think further evaluations are needed.

Here is a link to Basenji health on ISPID and IBD, etc
https://www.basenji.org/PUBLIC/BasenjiHealthPages.pdf

How old is your B? How often do you feed her? Is your girl throwing up undigested food or just pieces of food or bile only? Does she have diarrhea and/or soft stools also?

I have a 4 year old male B that I thought originally had allergies as an older pup as he was spitting up pieces of food and would also spit up small amounts of water. He also had diarrhea and/or soft stools. A change of diet did not help so the next thought was IPSID or EPI. He was diagnosed with an esophagus problem. He is on a prescription intestinal diet along with two medications and has to eat his food level. I have an older male who has allergies and can only eat certain foods as he develops a rash on the inside of his legs. When it gets bad the rash will spread onto his stomach and he will also bite at his paws. The vet and I think he has other allergies as well, possibly certain grasses. He does well on a single protein food like fish, venison, bison, etc. along with potato. He cannot have corn, wheat or soy. I have to be careful with treats especially biscuits. He usually gets his dry kibble as a treat.

I would not use Cortisone until all options are explored.

Jennifer

My boy was "ichy" and it was part food and part allergy to grass. Just something else to look at.

Basenjis are definitely prone to gastro-intestinal problems. My 6 yr old Jigsaw was vomiting (the so-called "empty tummy") by the age of 4 months, and was diagnosed by intestinal biopsies at the age of 2 with eosinophilic gastroenteritis, a common form of IBD. She has been in remission on prednisone (gets 3.75 mg every other day) and sucralfate daily. She eats a hypoallergenic food - although her IBD was not responsive to food alone, it certainly helps, and I'm not about to change things now.
I would suggest discussing getting a proper diagnosis with your vet. If your dog truly has IBD, then yes, medication will likely be required lifelong. Some dogs can be weaned off, but I don't personally wish to risk Jigsaw's stomach and intestines getting back to the condition they were in prior to drug therapy. Yes, ultimately she may suffer side effects from the long term pred, but in the meantime she has lived a normal life.
I hope someday to see gastro-intestinal conditions get more attention in basenji health research. Jigsaw's nephew, Indy, is not without his vomiting problems, either. He hasn't been biopsied at this point, but I certainly suspect some form of IBD as well. There is obviously a genetic link. Their blood is stored in the Canine Phenome project for the day that there is someone actively studying it. 🙂

Della is 14 months, and the problems appeared when she was 10 months old, at the same time as her "fake pregnancy" (I am Swedish and might not know all words correctly, sorry?). Also, I had spoiled her with a lot of different foods, so thanks to that mistake it is hard to see what caused the allergy.

She had a gastroscopy and that was how they discovered the chronic inflammation and the allergy. The vet said that maybe we wouldn't have noticed the inflammation unless she had also had the allergy, that the two of them together became too much. So what we are hoping for is to fight off the allergy, and that the inflammation would then be quite symptom free. ISPD and IBD was never mentioned. Basenjis are not so common in Sweden, but I will ask my vet about this. He is the only intestinal specialist we have in the whole Stockholm area.

She never vomits any food, "only" bile when the tummy is empty. So the nights have been the worst, even though I fed her her last meal very late she woke up and threw up after a few hours if I did not go up and feed her before. During the days I was able to avoid her throwing up thanks to giving her small portions every third hour. But she felt sick in between, and she did throw up as soon as I was 10 minutes late with a meal.

After starting with the cortison, she was first very tired and depressed. But the dose in the beginning was very high. Now she is eating a small dose, and she is like herself again - except for being a bit swollen and having a problem growing back hair on the area where they shaved her leg preparing for the gastroscopy, she is at least happy and playful, does not feel sick and sleep all night. Now I feed her four times a day, with the last meal given btw 10 and 11 at night.

The first thing I am hoping to do is to find out what she is allergic too. If anyone has any specific food to recommend, that has worked out for their Basenji, please let me know and I will discuss this with the vet too. The hyperallergenic food she gets now is based on soy (!) which I have heard from several of you is usually not good.

Thank you/Sofie

@Marie:

Basenjis are definitely prone to gastro-intestinal problems. My 6 yr old Jigsaw was vomiting (the so-called "empty tummy") by the age of 4 months, and was diagnosed by intestinal biopsies at the age of 2 with eosinophilic gastroenteritis, a common form of IBD. She has been in remission on prednisone (gets 3.75 mg every other day) and sucralfate daily. She eats a hypoallergenic food - although her IBD was not responsive to food alone, it certainly helps, and I'm not about to change things now.
I would suggest discussing getting a proper diagnosis with your vet. If your dog truly has IBD, then yes, medication will likely be required lifelong. Some dogs can be weaned off, but I don't personally wish to risk Jigsaw's stomach and intestines getting back to the condition they were in prior to drug therapy. Yes, ultimately she may suffer side effects from the long term pred, but in the meantime she has lived a normal life.
I hope someday to see gastro-intestinal conditions get more attention in basenji health research. Jigsaw's nephew, Indy, is not without his vomiting problems, either. He hasn't been biopsied at this point, but I certainly suspect some form of IBD as well. There is obviously a genetic link. Their blood is stored in the Canine Phenome project for the day that there is someone actively studying it. 🙂

I disagree that Basenjis are "prone" to gastro problems. There may be some bloodlines that are genetic linked to these problems, but I don't think it is a huge wide spread problem. Not that it should not be researched at some point.

My boy had diarrhea last night. Then I found out Darrel was giving him pieces of apple to use as a training treat. Argh! Kipawa + apple = a shooting mess. Basenjis do have sensitive stomachs!

@Kipawa:

My boy had diarrhea last night. Then I found out Darrel was giving him pieces of apple to use as a training treat. Argh! Kipawa + apple = a shooting mess. Basenjis do have sensitive stomachs!

Again, I really disagree… it is all what they are used to. Yes, of course there are some (as with all dogs) that have problems but I really do not think it is the norm. My girls eat anything and every thing... all Fruits, all Veggies, meats - raw and cooked, dry kibble, etc.... From the time they are little, they are given a variety of items to eat (brussel sprouts are a favorite and funny to watch them shread off the leaves while they roll around the floor). All of my other Basenjis were the same. The only one that had food issues was Kristii having allergies to corn (again, pretty common in all dogs).

I have to say, my african will eat anything and she has had not one gut issue.
Bird seed, any human food, things she can get off the ground before I can get them out of her mouth. Not one issue with trouble in her bowel.

Houston

My dogs are the same…love veggies and fruits, nuts shoot even green smoothies...no issues here.

But Otis, he had a very sensitive stomach...had diarrheas constantly and would loose a few pounds each time...we debated IBS, he is better now at his new home, less stress (he is the only dog and no children there either) and he is on Blue Buffalo there.

Sofie...have you spoken with your,breeder? Have they've seen this in their lines before. One thing we did for Otis was adding digestive enzymes, to give his stomach a boosting help in digesting the food, seemed to do wonders for him.

By the way, my Pippin is from Zahleka Kennels in Fyrunga, Vara....I am originally from Bor?s... ;)..

I am not saying every Basenji has this problem, I am just asking for help as my Basenji has problems. It seems to be a very sensitive subject - I am not complaining on Basenjis, I just need help. Della used to eat anything before, but somewhere along the way she has been eating something that really upset her stomach.

Bor?s, a popular city for textile students 🙂 Della is from a wonderful breeder in Falk?ping. None of the other puppies or the parents have the same problem, so she could unfortunately not help. She told me soy could be troublesome though. I will try to stay away from soy, corn and wheat and hope she can manage without the cortison within a few weeks. If she doesn't I will try different foods step by step. It is lovely to see her as her old self again now on medication, but the thought of her always eating it freaks me out… Any tips are more than welcome!

Houston

Have you thought of maybe trying to, if nothing else at least for now, cook food for her? Steamed fish, brown (or white rice) is very bland and easy on their stomachs…something available here is sweet potatoes, can you get that back home? If you can, steamed sw. potatoes are very good for stabilizing an upset stomach. Just removing all dogfood for now, with added ingredients, sometimes not even pronounceable can help in big ways.
My mother always gave our Westie, Bobo, steamed cod (torsk or sei in swedish) and boiled rice if he had an upset stomach.
I understand the worry of using steroids for life long term...my westie Bogus was severly allergic to mold, corn but most of all to storage mites...something always found in dry dog food, in anything really that is stored for length of time..even human foods, like flours, cake mixes or the like....he was on steroids and a duck/potato food....almost 8 of his 12 year old life...he finally could get off of steroids once I took the plunge and started the RAW diet with him.

In the states, there are many cookbooks for dogs. Do you have them there? It might be a place to start to get her gut settled down.

Have you considered putting her on a raw diet?

Your suggestion of gradfually introducing food step by step is a very good way to discover if she's actually allergic to something. It's not a good idea to keep giving her cortisone so I hope you'll soon be able to stop it. There are actually natural products which can replace cortisone if necessary.

It sounds as though your poor little girl has really been suffering.

One thing I would really advise is to only change feed gradually.

I have to agree with Pat, dogs often get labeled as sensitive stomachs etc because they have such a limited diet, any changes upset them. My dogs get EVERYTHING that isn't toxic to dogs (ie such as chocolate and onions). I give small bites of everything I eat, they get a variety of raw, they get different kibbles even.

IF you rule out any medical issue, you might consider an elimination diet. In the old days, everyone jumped on lamb and rice, but lamb is not that far from beef as a protein, and dogs can become allergic to it. You also do not want to limit severely to lamb and rice even if it works. I prefer fish and potato simply because the protein in fish is so different, rarely has allergic response.
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5565214_dietary-lamb-rice-dog-foods.html

Elimination diet/food allergy info
http://www.vetinfo.com/symptoms-canine-food-allergies.html

We found that Call of the Wild Dog food, sold at TSC, has none of the corn & wheat product that had been upsetting our dogs tummies. And as an added bonus they all lost weight eating the same amount as previous dog food, dog poop is smaller and dryer and easier to clean up. And it is for all ages. Hope you find a quick solution.

Thank you all for your most valuable information and links! I will go through all now tonight at home. My only worry with fish and rice is that she wont get all nutrition she needs from that? Right after the gastroscopy she had only fish and rice for 2 weeks, and after 10 days she developed dandruff which I was told could be a sign on a poor balance of nutrition.

She has been on raw food before, with raw chicken-wings combined with vom (have no idea of what you say in english), it is mixed raw parts from either cow or fish or chicken, with vitamins and minerals added to it. She was feeling very well during this period of time, and it was not until after this, when we gave her a huge variety of things, that she became ill. The vet said that we can not be sure that she can still have the raw diet based on chicken though, because she could have developed an allergy to chicken, but I can give her other raw food, like fish, if chicken would turn out to be bad for her - right?

What natural substitutes are there to cortison? Now she has eaten the smallest dose possible of cortison for a week without getting any symptoms back, yey, but if we end up with the vet saying she needs to do this forever I would for sure like to try a natural substitute. She has been so happy since she got this smaller dose, her mischief level is up to the extreme 🙂

Once again - thanks for all comments and helpful info that I can take with me from here on.

/Sofie

Sofie, the fish and rice (better fish and potato) is ONLY for elimination process. What you do is feed that and see if the symptoms disappear. If they do, you know the problem is diet related. You slowly add in one food at a time for at least 1 week. No problem? Add another food. It is annoying but the best way.

There are blood tests to show allergies, btw. They aren't really that great, but it could give you the ones most reactive to so you can eliminate those and see if just that helps.

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