Basenji Diagnosed with IPSID…Please Help!

Hello everyone. I am new to the Basenji forum. I have a 5 yr. old red/white basenji male who was diagnosed last week with IPSID. He is stable and on steroids. I am heart broken and will do whatever I can for him. I live in Columbia, Maryland and there are not a lot of vets with Basenji experience around here. Does anyone know of any vets in or around Maryland that treat Basenjis and are familiar with IPSID? Do you have any advise on treatment as well as a holistic approach? I appreciate all the help I can get.

Stacey J

I have nothing to offer but a welcome and 'hug', but I'm sure many others have knowledge that can help you get through this.

Did you ask the breeder about this issue with the dogs they breed?

No help on vets, but you might contact local vet schools for help. Also, maybe someone here knows if there is a support group for owners?

IPSID stands for ImmunoProliferative Small Intestinal Disease, but it is a disease of many names. It is also called basenji enteropathy, immunoproliferative lymphoplasmacytic enteritis, basenji diarrheal syndrome, and malabsorption. IPSID is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which results in the dog not being able to utilize and absorb nutrients correctly from food.
A predisposition to IPSID is inherited, but inheritance appears to be only one of the factors involved. A dog genetically predisposed to IPSID and its resultant immunological impairment might present with usual IBD and eventually progress to IPSID. Physical and/or emotional stresses may be aggravating factors.
Pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) can be confused with IPSID, but the treatment is very different. EPI should be ruled out before a diagnosis of IPSID is made. If your dog is diagnosed with pancreatic insufficiency, or if you have questions about the disorder, information is online at http://www.epi4dogs .com/
Approximately 1% of Basenjis responding to the General Health Survey reported any type of gastrointestinal disorder (hereditary or non-hereditary, IPSID, EPI, IBD, or anything else.) Keep in mind that for late-onset disorders, statistics that are a snapshot in time generally tend to be incidence at that time, not lifetime risk of getting the disorder.
For the owner
Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, increased or decreased appetite, gas, and depression. The type of symptoms and their severity differ from dog to dog, and from one episode to another. Dogs with IPSID often will have good periods as well as bad spells.
IPSID requires a process of elimination for diagnosis. Blood serum protein levels may be low. Barium x-rays may show an enlarged section of the intestine. Biopsy is the only reliable way to diagnose IPSID; it is done to rule out irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel syndrome and other diseases, lymphangiectasia (which most basenjis with IPSID have as a secondary condition), colitis, cancer, and systemic fungal infections. Endoscopic biopsies are preferred to prevent complications with healing.
Traditional methods of treating IPSID include systemic prednisone and antibiotics. Some dogs do well on a holistic regimen; it is important to discuss it with your veterinarian. Symptoms may
diminish or increase over time, and a veterinarian must oversee treatment and changes to treatment. IPSID affected dogs can harbor microorganisms that may cause problems for other dogs in the household; proper household hygiene is important.
It may be required to change the dog's diet to optimize nutrient utilization. Some veterinarians suggest switching diets on a monthly basis. A homemade diet also can be used, and additional vitamin supplementation may be indicated.
Dr. Michael D. Willard of Texas A&M, an internationally recognized enterologist, is available for consultations by phone with vets needing more information on the disease. He asks that everyone understand that he often travels and holds clinics so at times he will be out of the office. He can be reached at 979-845-2351, e-mail address
For breeders
While IPSID is not common, it is a serious disease. Dogs with IPSID should not be used for breeding. The mode of inheritanc

I've no personal experience of IPSID which is normally an inherited condition as the above link reports. I think it is a predisposition that is inherited and i would advise to keep him as stress free as possible as this can exacerbate it. I would advise you also to check out which food he is most tolerant of. Sometimes the blander foods such as white meats etc are best. I know of one dog with IPSID who now leads a relaxed life with a new owner and no longer suffers. He is given a chemical free digestive supplement which is produced by Osmonds in the UK but no doubt can be obtained elsewhere. This is a completely natural product. If you are interested I'll get you the details.

There is not a support group that I know of for IPSID, but Debra gave you a link to a good place to start.

Hopefully you have advised your Basenji's breeder of the condition and maybe they can help.

((HUGS) It's so awful wanting to fix something that you can only manage.

My boy has colitis and we thought for a time it might be IPSID. Although it's not the same thing, he does well on a very bland diet as Patty mentioned. He eats WD canned..which the vet put him on….Natural Balance LID (Limited Ingredient), and boiled chicken. That along with making sure he stays stress free has really helped. Anything new I add to his diet has to be done over time and a tiny bit at a time.

I hope you can find a good vet and everything else you need to help your boy stay healthy in the years to come.

How did they diagnose the IPSID? Other diseases have similar symptoms to IPSID. Did they do an intestinal biopsy? There is a specialist. Dr. Willard at Texas A&M Univ. who specializes in IPSID and gastrointestinal problems. It is my understanding that most vets contact him regarding IPSID.

I thought my boy might have had IPSID but he has an esophagus problem along with stomach issues. He is on Prilosec and Reglan and other supplements. He is on a prescription intestinal diet soaked in water and has to eat level. The other things we thought he had was allergies and EPI-Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. He would spit up small bits of food and water and was thin. He has had this condition since he was a puppy.

I would definitely contact the breeder and find out if anyone else has IPSID especially littermates, sire and dam.


Check with Iris Craven, Kasai Basenjis. She is in Maryland and might know of a vet in your area… and also might be able to help you with the IPSID dx. She is a long-time Basenji breeder and has been around to see many many things happen in Basenjis.

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