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

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

Michelle-
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:
http://www.inthecompanyofdogs.com/itemdy00.aspx?ID=17,481&site=DG&GEN1=Senior+Dog+Care&T1=D12444+AVC+XS&dispRow=0

(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.

Terry

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....

First Basenji's

Gosh Michelle, sorry to read all you are going through. Since this is a forum and you asked for help, I was wondering if you ever considered these ideas:

  1. for her elimination, have a corner somewhere out of the way. Set up a medium pan of some sort. A metal pan from a large dog kennel or a baking pan for instance. Cover it with pee pads (the first time get one with her pee on it, place a piece of sod on it or some dirt (?). It has worked many times before with clients' training their puppies. You will have to use your imagination to fit your lifestyle, but it is an idea….
  2. How many pills does she get every day? I hid them in small pieces of hot dog, cooked beef heart, velveeta cheese(best to form the ball). If you put it in her bowl with a little food, she may like the variety. Suggestion so she is hungry at mealtime/pill time: don't leave the food on the floor all day. First it can get bacteria from sitting, and if she realizes she has to eat it all because it will disappear if she doesn't eat it-you get the idea. Second, she will be hungry if she did not eat that am or last pm, etc. I will stop here to keep it short and sweet. Will continue to follow this thread, good luck.

Thanks for the suggestions. She used to be trained to pee in a litter box with pine chips in it, but somehow she untrained herself about a year and a half ago, and I have been unable to train her again. I could try with the pee pads, though, instead of the pine chips, and see if that makes a difference.

She takes 10 whole pills per day and a number of others that are crushed into her food. I have tried many many things, including the things you mentioned - and she is able to pick the pills out of all of them. However, last week I tried wrapping her pills in little bread balls, dipping them in gravy and she eats those no problem! It's quite a breakthru. It worked the first day with a particular type of bread I had, and then the 2nd day I tried it with some leftover hot dog buns I had and it didn't work! So, I guess I'll be buying this EXACT bread from now on! It's WAY nicer for her to be eating the pills on her own, rather than having to force them down her. I am expecting that it will stop working at some point, so I'm just enjoying it while it lasts!

@Buddys:

Gosh Michelle, sorry to read all you are going through. Since this is a forum and you asked for help, I was wondering if you ever considered these ideas:

  1. for her elimination, have a corner somewhere out of the way. Set up a medium pan of some sort. A metal pan from a large dog kennel or a baking pan for instance. Cover it with pee pads (the first time get one with her pee on it, place a piece of sod on it or some dirt (?). It has worked many times before with clients' training their puppies. You will have to use your imagination to fit your lifestyle, but it is an idea….
  2. How many pills does she get every day? I hid them in small pieces of hot dog, cooked beef heart, velveeta cheese(best to form the ball). If you put it in her bowl with a little food, she may like the variety. Suggestion so she is hungry at mealtime/pill time: don't leave the food on the floor all day. First it can get bacteria from sitting, and if she realizes she has to eat it all because it will disappear if she doesn't eat it-you get the idea. Second, she will be hungry if she did not eat that am or last pm, etc. I will stop here to keep it short and sweet. Will continue to follow this thread, good luck.

My heart goes out to you - I don't have any new suggestions but i had to just let you know that.

how are you doing michelle?

i was thinking about you.

I know this is chiming in late, but having lived with Fanconi affecteds over the years, I have found a number of things that 'work' on most of them.
First, I would cease putting any type of medications in her meals.
She may be passing themup because she does not want them.
Bicarb is nasty bitter and why eat if you won't have to? That is what she is thinking.
Lenny, well, he is just pigging to get it fast and probably doens't even taste them!

If she takes the cream cheese pilling, just stick with it because it works…
just VARY your times so she does not expect it at any given time.

There comes a time when we have to decide:
1-do I want to make sure my dog is getting a kazillion supplements a day, yet starting him/herself?
or
2-would I rather see my dog eating regularly and feeling good without the supplements?

At nearly 10, you are doing good with her... but her body will tell you when it is time.
When Benny let the youngsters invade his 3' bubble, I knew he'd reached his limit... he was telling me by observation.

Good luck with her... many belly rubs to Tayda.
And a pat on the back to you. Fanconi is hard. Real hard. And it takes a dedicated owner to help our dogs live the best most fulfilling and happy life possible when inundated with this horrific affliction.

Letting Fanconi advance, knowing how horrible it can be, is something I cannot even comprehend, Kathy. To me it's like saying eh, I hate insulin shots that keep me healthy, so I'll just stop, let my blood sugar soar, go blind, lose a foot, die. So I have to utterly disagree with you and say at 10, your dog could live a mostly healthy 3 to 5 or more years WITH the protocol, so find a way to get the pills in even if you need to get a capsuling machine (they aren't that expensive) to avoid the taste. It isn't like the protocol keeps them alive, barely. It helps drastically minimize the effect. Call Dr Gonto for ideas.

Hi Everyone, I really appreciate the thoughts and suggestions. Things have been going pretty well with Tayda - still up and down of course, but more up than down recently. For the pilling, she really has become skilled at spitting out the cream cheese, unfortunately. For a few days she happily ate the pills hidden in a bread ball dipped in gravy, but then she figured that out too. So, then I started pilling her with the pills in the bread ball and it's actually easier than the cream cheese was. I found the little pocket that is on either side of the back of the tongue, and when I get the bread ball into that pocket - down the pill goes. Easy peasy (for now). I've also been able to hide 3 bicarbs in one bread ball and 2 in the other, so I actually only have to pill her twice at each session.

She still hasen't gotten the hang of peeing on just the pee pad and not in her bed, but I just bought more reusable pee pads and fleece bedding, so I can do laundry just once a week with all of her stuff, instead of multiple times a week. Not ideal, I know… but until I can figure out how to get her back into the groove of peeing just on the pee pad, this at least makes it easier.

I have to say though, she seems uncomfortable. 😞 She goes through spurts of playing and fighting with Lenny, but her tail is usually down nowadays... 😞 I always think when her tail is down, that means she's unhappy or not feeling well. She has her annual checkup in a few weeks so we'll see what's going on with her bloodwork, maybe there's something off with her supplementation that is causing her discomfort?

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