Breeding and Fanconi (Moved from GiGi Thread)

eeeefarm You wrote: My other question…...subject of another thread perhaps......is whether we can definitely say we should not breed from Fanconi affected. Are there other, desirable, traits associated with and perhaps genetically intertwined with Fanconi that are worth preserving? Is there something environmental at play that determines the expression of the gene, and if we can identify that environmental factor would it be possible to suppress Fanconi by avoiding it? These questions are seldom black & white, and the science is still quite new. We could be guilty of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" if we are not careful. Inherited genes often give some sort of advantage that may not be immediately apparent.......which may be why they continue to be passed on. (e.g. humans with heterozygous sickle cell anemia genes have resistance to malaria).

I fully believe that there is nothing wrong with breeding a Clear to an Affected male, depending on if this particular male might be the end of some bloodlines and a way to carry them on if this is a dog that really has something to offer the breed that we don't want to lose. I do not nor would I ever breed an affected or tested affected bitch. This is a question that each breeder must answer for themselves. There IMO, is no right or wrong. And by not having this consideration, you are throwing the baby out with the bath water.... and I believe that happened when the HA recessive gene was found and affected and carriers were culled from breeding programs.

O.K., why breed the affected male and not the bitch? Either way, all the puppies should be carriers. And of course now that we have the test, one can avoid breeding carrier to carrier.

I am still really curious about whether the environmental aspect of Fanconi's has ever been explored. Does anyone have any statistics on the prevalence of Fanconi in Africa? I do wonder whether something in our quite different lifestyle (and dog food) might be a catalyst for the expression of the gene. Considering the varying age at which it appears, I would suspect a contributing factor of some kind.

Now that we have the DNA test, it should be possible to investigate whether there are "affected" dogs out there that have never developed the condition…..

I like the idea, eeeefarm, of tracking affected dogs and exploring the lifestyles of those that never develop the disease to see if there is a possibility of delaying or preventing the switchover somehow. A good research project, maybe a yearly questionnaire for all owners of affected basenjis, to categorize things like food, environment, cleaning products, activity levels, stress factors. Taking it to the next step, I know if I had an affected dog and found something I could to to possibly keep them healthy longer, I would rip out carpet, change food, make pretty much any environmental change I could!

I think that one of the things that we did find when the DNA test first became available was that dogs were actually spilling nutrients much earlier than often caught by simple strip testing. People who got affected results become much more vigilant, either strip testing frequently (weekly or more) or doing blood gas testing. Early in the disease, spilling of glucose may be intermittent and it may not be the first nutrient spilled. Fanconi has been observed in basenjis world wide in a variety of environmental settings.

Why breed affected males and not affected females? Pregnancy is very taxing on the body so breeding an affected female could have health implications that are not an issue for males.

@lvoss:

Fanconi has been observed in basenjis world wide in a variety of environmental settings.

Specifically in Africa? Among "village dogs"?

@lvoss:

breeding an affected female could have health implications that are not an issue for males.

O.K. that makes sense to me. Thanks for the clarification. Do we know whether breeding affects onset of the disease? Any statistical differences between affected intact females and spayed females? So many questions, I know. But many human and critter diseases aren't completely black & white in the expected expression of the phenotype. And as I speculated before, there is sometimes a related benefit to a perceived deficit. Sickle cell & malaria is one of the better known examples. Could there possibly be some linked survival advantage in being a Fanconi carrier? (as opposed to an affected, obviously).

I believe that Dr. Johnson stated in his presentation at the National in WI that determining how the gene is expressed is a focus of the next part of his Fanconi research…

I personally know of a 12 year old male tested as affected with the original linkage test with blood sample who has shown no symptoms yet. And while I don't know of any studies showing the effect of breeding, I can say that 2 of my affected girls had no symptoms until after they were bred. One was bred at age 6, was diagnosed at 7 1/2, the other was bred twice and the Fanconi was diagnosed a few months after her second litter.

Jo Thompson, maybe you could chime in on the 'village dogs' with possible Fanconi?

Terry

I think it is difficult to say about Fanconi in Africa because they are not tested. Also, the symptoms may not be noticed as readily and depending on average lifespan, there may not be a significant decrease in life expectancy.

@lvoss:

I think it is difficult to say about Fanconi in Africa because they are not tested. Also, the symptoms may not be noticed as readily and depending on average lifespan, there may not be a significant decrease in life expectancy.

That's what I wonder about. Do they develop Fanconi, and if so at what age? Is some other trait that is advantageous in Africa (but not necessarily here) linked to the same gene in some way? (e.g. maybe the greatest hunters are also positive for Fanconi? And usually die in hunting accidents before developing it?) It would be really interesting, now that DNA testing is available, to get DNA samples from a random bunch of village dogs and see what the occurrence of the gene is in the Basenji's native land. Is it widely distributed throughout the population, or does it tend to accompany other traits we might have selected for in our imports?

@lvoss:

Why breed affected males and not affected females? Pregnancy is very taxing on the body so breeding an affected female could have health implications that are not an issue for males.

Amen Lisa…........................ and many males have been collected... I would never put a possible Fanconi affilicted bitch through whelping a litter..my opinion

@lvoss:

I think it is difficult to say about Fanconi in Africa because they are not tested. Also, the symptoms may not be noticed as readily and depending on average lifespan, there may not be a significant decrease in life expectancy.

Totally Agree….

Something else to throw into the pot– did anyone notice the breed registration statistics from AKC?

BREED.......2011.....2010....2006....2001
Basenjis---- 93----- 89 ----- 84 ------ 71

Are there that many less being bred or just more of others? Or many moved to the fake puppymill registries?

While a part of me of course thinks it would be good to not breed any dog who carries much less is affected, it isn't like we have huge numbers and a minor issue affecting a small enough portion it wouldn't make horrific impact on the breed to do so. My next question is that I don't understand why it would be bad to breed an affected male with 100 percent certainty of the pups being carriers, but okay to breed a carrier male with possible 50 percent. If that 50 percent is okay, then so is the 100 percent. They don't HAVE Fanconi and with the gene test, no reason to create any. Am I missing some objection to it (and obviously not put stress on a bitch, that I get)? Everyone here seems to agree it's okay, but what do those against use as a reason?

There are still some who feel that producing anything less than a Clear would be going backwards so breeding a litter with no chance of Clear puppies is just wrong. For many of those people they also frown on Carrier x Clear breedings and sort of look down at those who choose to do them. It is best for the breed for breeders to use all the tools they have at their disposal to breed healthy dogs and to use a variety of the dogs available rather than everyone breeding to a select few flavor of the month stud dogs. If some choose to only do Clear to Clear breedings that is their choice but they should not force that choice on everyone else nor make those who choose differently feel like they are doing something wrong.

I noticed a large trend toward non AKC registries at the dog auctions around 2003. The majority of dogs I saw prior to that and in older catalogs-were usually double registered, AKC registration with APRI. After 2003 I saw many dogs with only the non AKC registrations including APRI, ACA, and UABR. APRI always had a table at every SW Kennel Auction in MO. In OH and nearby states CKC-Continental Kennel Club was popular. The Amish in OH have a different registry that I saw advertised at a table at a dog auction several years ago. I do not know if they are using it though.

For those breeders who are only testing for Fanconi-shame on them! I have rescued more dogs with eye problems then I have that have tested affected for Fanconi!

Jennifer

Yes, Jennifer, I agree about other health issues, especially eyes!

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