Just need to vent - *@^@#$ Fanconi!

Hi Everyone, I apologize in advance as this post is going to be a downer - I just need somewhere to vent. I think everyone knows that I love my B's to death so this post is not meant to scare anyone into thinking I am going to put them up for adoption or anything, they are my dogs and they will stay my dogs until the day they kick the bucket. There's my disclaimer.

Now, UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH %^&@##$% ^#$^&&#!!!!! Tayda (Fanconi-afflicted) is peeing in the house more and more often. Especially this time of year when it's getting colder - she just refuses to go outside, and then she'll pee in the house. I'm not talking accidents or UTI type peeing in small amounts. She just purposely empties her whole bladder. She also just basically doesn't listen to us anymore. She often doesn't come when we call her…if she's inside she won't go outside, and if she's outside and we try to call her in, she won't come either. It's like she just doesn't like us anymore. 😞 Pilling is getting harder and harder, she is learning to resist us more and more. She is downright afraid of my husband now so I have to do most of the pilling. She is not afraid of me, but she definitely doesn't cooperate with me prying open her mouth to pill her like she used to. She seems to be also afraid of the stairs and doesn't want to go up or down them. So last night my husband was trying to coax her up the stairs so we could go to sleep, and when she wouldn't come he went down to pick her up and carry her upstairs (one of us does this almost every night) and when he picked her up, she started peeing. He was obviously not very happy about this. When we're not home we have her in a large crate during the day with a pee pad on one side and her bed on the other. She figures it out about 50% of the time, and the other 50% I come home to pee on both the pee pad and her bed. So I do laundry about 3 times a week just for her. She gets up at least once per night to pee, and if I don't hear her and get up from bed within about 15 seconds, she'll pee on the floor.

Sigh... Lenny is fine - the worst thing he does is eat Tayda's food when she leaves it in her bowl - which I don't like because I have mixed pills in there and when he eats it, I have to make her food all over again. I just have to get better at closing her crate door if there is food in there still.

We have a 7 month old at home right now so of course our tolerance for these things has decreased dramatically. I actually think having to get up in the middle of the night for the last 3 years to let Tayda out helped with having a newborn, but now having to get up for him, and for her.... it's just too much - I get no sleep! And I obviously do not want pee all over the floor with him starting to crawl soon.


Sorry to hear about your troubles. Are we understanding that you are free feeding? If you are mixing pills in food then we certainly understand why you would be concerned that Lenny is eating Tayda's food.

Is there any reason you cannot feed both separately and then pick up the bowls?

Since the arrival of the baby are you still giving the same amount of time and attention to Tayda? If not maybe she is upset about that.

Sometimes you just need to vent, take a deep breath, and continue on. Sounds like you are doing the best you can.

thanks for your reply. I feed them in their crates (separately). However, Lenny eats his food in 0.5 milliseconds and Tayda often takes hours to eat. Sometimes when I come home from work, there is still food from her morning meal in her bowl. She is a picky eater. So he gets to her food sometimes - when i get home, let them outside and they come back in and Lenny manages to get to her bowl which is still in her crate.

Of course they are not getting the same amount of time and attention.. lol… I can't even find time to eat a proper meal let alone give them the same attention they were getting before. I do try to give them as much attention as I can, but realistically - it is not the same as before.

I am doing the best that I can, and I feel guilty that Lenny and Tayda are not the centers of attention as they have been for years... but I love them dearly and wish I could explain it to them in a way they could understand. And I really don't know what to do about the fear Tayda has seemingly developed..... makes me sad.

Many will not like this post… however for Tayda, you need to look at her quality of life at this point considering Fanconi, all the pilling, not wanting to eat... peeing whenever/where ever.... Is she happy? How is her eye sight? That could be the stair problem... but honestly, she doesn't seem very happy these days....

Awwwww Pat, that makes me really sad to read that. Especially coming from you. 😞 Honestly the thought never crossed my mind.

I have wondered if her eyesight was an issue - so far nothing. She has her yearly Fanconi update in a few weeks so I will ask again. Her Fanconi bloodwork is "perfect, the best we ever see" according to Dr. Gonto….

Eyesight is one issue, hearing is another. Is she going deaf? If her senses are diminishing, that could be a source of fear. How old is she?

It's very frustrating and disheartening to look after an aging, ailing dog. The trick is to know whether it is worth it for the dog, or are you doing it out of a sense of obligation? A very wise friend of mine once told me, when I was teetering on the edge of making a tough decision, "better to do it and wonder if it was too soon, than to know very certainly that you have left it too late". Try to see the world through her eyes and ask yourself that question. I know I have waited too long a couple of times, and I regret it…...

I also know it is oh so hard to let them go.

She is turning 10 in about a month.

I don't think she is going deaf - when I make a move for the treat jar - she comes a runnin'! Though, it could be that she is just following Lenny, who can hear the treat jar open a mile away.

It is a LOT of work - emotionally and physically - caring for her. I have cleaned up more pee than I ever thought possible. And it's so sad when she cowers away from me when i have to pill her. But according to her bloodwork - she is healthy as can be! I can't imagine putting her down knowing that she is responding so well to the protocol. I hear what you are saying though…. but as I said above, the thought never crossed my mind.

Really, really sorry Michelle…. but it is something to consider

I am so sorry you are going through this. My oldest pup was diagnosed with Kidney failure (nonFanconi) and he also pees in the house often. I can't imagine dealing with that and a human baby. I wonder if Tayda is having some demensia? There are some meds that may help that. Otherwise, thyroid or some tickborn diseases can cause an array of behavioral changes. I wish I had something more helpful to offer.

Also, with hearing loss it isn't always all or nothing, they usually lose certain ranges first so they can hear some things but not others. Also, your vet may not diagnose the vision loss. We were very surprised to find out how near sighted our eldest female has become but the only reason we know was because the vet opthamologist used her in a study he was doing on a new diagnostic tool. It does explain why she is really grumpy about the other dogs jumping up around her, she can't tell who it is all the time especially when they are moving quickly toward her.

If she is set on peeing in the house could you use litter pans or pee pads in the places she like to go or possibly train her to go on them? It would take less cleaning, more sanitary and it would ease the nighttime wakeups. Or could you install a doggie door (don't know the yard situation) for your boy seeing as you mentioned he's also one you have to get up with? At this point I think you have to deal with the situation as it is and make peace with it rather than hoping for it to change. Perhaps you do need to evaluate her happiness, and also keep in mind that for a senior with health issues, a newborn can absolutely exacerbate tolerance, emotions and happiness. Do the best you can and keep in mind that it's like having three children and not one child, two dogs…it may get worse for you before it gets better so I wish you the best of luck!!! Thanks for coming to vent

It's possible she has some dimentia going on as well. Hard to say. She used to be trained to go in a litter box when we weren't home, and we could leave her loose in a large enclosed area - like the entire kitchen.. or the living room. Those were the days. She was easy to train, actually, and she peed in the litter box for several years with very few accidents. About a year or so ago, she just stopped peeing in the box and started peeing errantly around the house instead. i tried to go "back to basics" with her and train her the way I did the first time, and she never was able to do it again. Since then we've have numerous strategies for how to keep her during the day when we're at work: a large ex-pen with the litter box and a bed inside, a large crate with a raised floor and dog litter underneath, tried different parts of the house, etc etc etc… all the same. We are now using the large crate with a raised floor, pee pad on one end and dog bed at the other end. She gets it about half the time.

I think the root of her fear is that she hates being pilled. I have always approached with a very matter of fact attitude toward her - not coddling her when I do it... kind of like 'hey, you need this, so come here'. Trying not to make it a big deal, or act like it was some awful thing. But she hates it. And I think it has made her afraid and wary of me. I've tried every possible way of pilling her to make it less traumatic, but she is expertly skilled at picking out the pills from whatever medium I hide them in. The only thing that has worked consistently is to ball them up into cream cheese, pry open her mouth, wipe the ball of cream cheese on the roof of her mouth and then hold her nose toward the ceiling so she swallows the ball. There will be spurts of other things that will work, but we always come back to the cream cheese.

We do have a fenced in yard, but we live in a city so I'd be wary of allowing them to be in the yard when I'm not home all day. I'd be afraid they'd escape, or someone would take them, or the dog next door would escape from their yard and dig into our yard (which has happened before and Lenny attacked him right as he got his little head on the other side of the fence, quite scary actually). Lenny doesn't need to go out often - he's like a camel - he could hold it for 3 days if it was raining or snowing out.

Honestly, I haven't even tried to train Digital to the pee pads. I just put them down where he seems to like to pee. And I blissfully think of my next house that will not have carpet. 😉

You can always ask your vet about some medication for dementia. I've heard even stuff like melatonin works. (But I have no idea of the dose, etc.) My dear Diggie doesn't seem to have dementia, it's more like living with a puppy. I tend to have insomnia, so I usually take him out sometime between midnight and 3a when I wake up.

Would Tayda wear diapers? These seem to be basenji-approved:

(I have thought of doing this, but so far, have not)

Michelle…I'm so sorry to read this - it sounds super stressful. I'm sure you've thought of this or tried this regarding the pilling, but what about pre-crushing the pills (to the point they are almost dust - I know she gets loads of pills daily so not easy) and mixing them in with baby food or the cream cheese. I know she has to have low protein, but maybe something like baby food that she doesn't normally get would be enough to entice her to actually eat the mixture. I'm sure you don't have lots of time to spend on doing that for every meal, but could you measure it out in advance and do enough for a week and make little packets to mix in with her food. That way, she isn't thinking that she is going to get pilled by your or your hubby every time she sees you.

I can't imagine the stress of having her being afraid as well as dealing with the pee of her and a baby at the same time. My heart goes out to you on this.

If the pilling is causing her grief, is there any other possible medium to give the medication in? Or could you crush the pills and distribute the powder in something she really likes?

I have been wondering if she is having discomfort or pain. As they get older, it isn't unusual to have some arthritis or whatever, and perhaps handling her has become aversive if she associates it with even low grade discomfort. The psychological impact of no longer being the centre of attention also cannot be minimized. She may feel less inclined to cooperate if she feels she has been displaced.

I see renaultf1 beat me to it on the crushing the pills advice. 🙂

I think Pat had a logical question.. and one I was wondering. At some point, most of us have to consider that. If you feel the answer is no, GREAT. But please know that most here respect you have a right to make that call.

With a new baby, lack of sleep, everything gets magnified.

I know people hate me suggesting it so much, but if Tayda does not have heart issues, about the only thing you don't use it with– consider cyproheptadine for an appetite stimulant. It works wonders most of the time. I know with Sayblee I got so tired of having to spoon feed her, and the drug just helped incredibly. She sucked down her food, all done.

I'd also change up how you give the pills, or rather what you give them in. At least a little variety, especially if you have her on cypro and she is HUNGRY, might help.

Not much more I can add except when people talk about lacking sleep I nearly cry with empathy. It is a living hell that affects everything. Sadly, you may need to put her into a crate at night with an easily washed towel or 2 for bedding so you don't have to get up with her for a while. You need rest.

I hear you, Michelle. And I know how hard it is, although I was fortunate not to have a baby in the house, I did have 3 with Fanconi at one point, so we definitely had the revolving door at night - just when we would doze back off from taking one out, another would need to go… And while we generally managed to get everyone's pills in without fear/argument, we did have that problem when we were doing sub q fluids. We couldn't bring out the bag until we had her secure or we wouldn't catch her.

Note to all, excellent suggestions about crushing pills, but the primary medication that needs to be given 2 or 3 times a day is the sodium bicarb, which can not be crushed, must be given whole.

Have you tried the Pill Popper? Quicker and less traumatic for us than prying mouth open, attempting to stuff treat/pill and then holding mouth closed.


Yes, I wish the bicarbs could be crushed but they can not. they must be given whole. She gets 10 bicarbs per day. I do crush all of the other pills and mix them in her food. Sometimes she eats it all, sometimes she doesn't and then I will warm some white rice and mix it in with her food and that usually does the trick and she will eat it all. I've tried many many many MANY different ways to hide the bicarbs to give them to her and the only thing that works consistantly is hiding them in a glob of cream cheese, opening her mouth and wiping the glob on the roof of her mouth, and then holding her nose toward the ceiling so she swallows the glob. I'll try to mix it up and use other things, and sometimes something will work for a little bit, but then she finds a way to spit the pills out. Yesterday I encased each pill into a segment of bread, dipped it into some chicken gravy and she ate them without protest. I mixed in some empty bread balls w/ gravy to throw her off. It was great. This morning, I tried it again and she spit out the first one. So back to the cream cheese. I have a pill popper, but I've never been successful at it. I must try again… as I keep hearing that it is way easier.

Thanks everyone for the thoughts, suggestions and sympathy. It does help to know you are all supporting me.

I know we will have ups and downs, the weekend was a definite down... but yesterday was pretty good. She took her pills without protest, ate all of her food, and peed only on the pee pad in her crate or outside. That's all I can really ask for right now. It was nice when I got home, so I played with Tayda and Lenny outside for a while with their toys. Tayda has never been all that playful - even when I got her at age 2 - but she was chasing the toy and playing keep away from Lenny and trying to rip it's guts out.

Bravo Michelle!!!! Even a little victory is a good victory!!!! And certainly I understand needing to vent… we are here for you and whatever decisions you make....

Looks like your connection to Basenji Forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.