• Hi from a new basenji mom. I adopted my little man 2 months ago. He is a tricolor neutered male between 2-4 years old. His previous owner passed away and the first family that adopted him did return him to the shelter, so he has had it rough lately. We have had digestion problems from day one. I just switched to The Honest Kitchen Preference Base & Perfect Form to help the loose stools and to test protein reactions. He was sent home with Hill's SD Chicken & Barley. I tried Wellness Core Chicken & Turkey with the probiotics (alone and mixed with Orijen). Needless to say his coat is sad and he is itchy.

    The thing that is getting me is in the past week his hair is becoming embedded in the soles of my feet. Is this normal?


  • I had a basenji who had digestion problems. She could only eat a duck and potato diet. Totally allergic to chicken. She was a red and white and she would get very blond. Her hair would be thick and wiry. She had terrible diarrhea and she ended up having a malabsorption issue. She was on probiotics 2x a day. And a duck diet. That combo cleared her up a ton. She ended up passing away at 6.5 due to the malabsorption or treats from China. We don't know as she had a stroke at 3 and no one could tell us for sure why. Good luck!

  • Chance had digestions problems for a long time and we tried everything, including home cooked meals, honest kitchen you name it. What ended up working is Acana Grasslands, which he has been on for a few years with no issues.


    To help with coat, I give them a tablespoon of coconut oil daily.

  • I am thinking the chicken is an issue. I gave Artie home canned london broil with THK and all seemed well then a snack of chicken jerky - 90 minutes later and then he was scratching. I have a vet appointment this Saturday and want to see about thyroid after reading some older threads.

    I will say this about THK food. Sunday morning he was starting to become reactive to his own reflection. After one serving with no added proteins he was acting more like a basenji and less like a yard mutt.

  • Has he had a full medical workup? And a full total Thyroid blood test?

  • Ahha, that is the goal with Saturday's vet visit. Artie is a great boy that needs some love, time and help. When I look at the photos for when he went up for adoption and 45 days later I can see changes.He is my first basenji, but I waited almost ten years to be able to live with one so I was not going into this blindly. ( I have a female basenji mix that won me at first whine/baroo.)

    Thank you Pat for all your input in the various older threads. I do have a question though should I choose to use Univ of Michigan labs or Hemopet for the thyroid bloodwork?


  • @Sunh0ney I don't really have a preference, to be honest, just that the full panel is done.
    Reading some of the comments below, noticed that you fed chicken jerky to him? What kind? Most all are not made in the US regardless of what the package says. That said, could be the chicken.... one of my co-bred pups had chicken allergies. Again that said, I make my own treats using a dehydrator. You can do most anything in them and then you know for sure what they are eating. IMO, grain free is best all the way around.... However if problems continue you may consider testing for EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) and IBD (Inflammatory bowel disease)

  • First, thank you for rescuing him.

    Second, too many food changes. You need to give a food at LEAST a month unless it is horrible (ie causing diarrhea or severe itching).

    I have, sadly, had several dogs with allergies. My worse... developed allergies at about 2 yrs old. First we went off all chicken and beef to lamb. In less than 6 mos, we were back to itching and gooey ears. Switched to Bison, didn't last that long. Finally I did what I should have to begin with (btw, dogs allergic to chicken often quickly develop allergies to other poultry including turkey; dogs allergic to beef don't tend to do well on bison or deer). .... we put her on fish and potato limited ingredients. After 3 yrs of nightmares, it was the fix and that's what she had until she died .. some 8 yrs later. I changed it up... sometimes salmon, sometimes whitefish. But she never reacted to it. I also gave her occasional raw pork neck.

    I'd really suggest a limited ingredient food and give it a couple of months. Fish is generally the safest bet as least likely for dogs to have allergies built up to. I'd also go with a good probiotic (I use Fastrack, liquid dispersible. I have been using it for 21 yrs! but others are out there. I get mine from Amazon) and thyroid panel from a trusted lab such as Michigan. Few in-house vet tests are able to do what they do for a full panel. He also needs fat in the diet to help his coat... but most high quality dog foods have enough. With his issues of diarrhea, I wouldn't add olive oil or coconut to his diet until that is resolved.

    Sadly, even if the thyroid comes back, there are malabsorption issues in the breed. That may need to be checked if the above doesn't help.

    I am not sure about the hair embedded in your feet, lol. If he's not in good coat like you said, he's probably shedding a lot. It helps if you brush him every day to remove the dead hair so it ends up in the brush, not your feet.

    My daughter just got a Samoyed. I found one of his hairs in my toothbrush. Oh the joy of pet ownership.

  • The chicken was either the brand sold at Costco or the dried chicken sold in bulk from a local higher end pet food store. I do have a dehydrator too and would love tips on drying meats. I have only done fruits, veggies and herbs.

    (Lol-Artie is trying to catch a fly in low light as I reply. He is acting more B like every day.)


  • @Sunh0ney Drying meat is easy.... but you want to use meat with low amount of fat. I use Chicken Tenders and pound them to the thin side, then cook for 10 hours... have also done beef, using beef strips like for making Faitas.

  • I knew that you want a low fat protein to keep it from spoiling, I thought that ate spices and salt added to human grade jerky helped to retard the spoilage.
    Do I have to "par-cook" the meat or just use thin, raw pieces? What what is the lowest temperature setting that is still safe?

    London broil is in sale this week, or would a eye of round be better since it is leaner?

    Thanks so much for sharing your tips.

  • @Sunh0ney - Thin raw pieces, no need to par-cook. Have to check on the temp for you, I use an Excalibur and think I use the highest setting that is 165 degrees. I think that either cut of beef works..... I don't worry about spoilage... never lasts long enough for that. 🙂

  • I am gong to give it a try this weekend! I will let you know how Arthur likes it.

    Thanks again

  • @Sunh0ney Let us know how the testing goes too....

  • Thank you Pat! The jerky was a big hit with the kids! The picky princess is even eating the london broil jerky. Arthur is being a piggy boy and trying to get her share.

    I have been spending $12 per pound every two weeks for dried chicken jerky since Dixie stopped eating after we lost Hurricane.


  • @Sunh0ney Good to hear..... any results from testing?

  • Yes- all blood and urine test are normal. The Vet gave a Rx for Xanax for the reactive leash behavior and we are going to give it a careful try. I am only giving it when I am home. I am still playing with his protiens. Boiled egg with some of the jerky or beef that is boiled or lean cuts grilled. Fish next month...

    I do feel an improvement in the softness of his coat now that Authur has been off dry kibble for 2 weeks now.

    Now if I could understand why he started to urinate in his crate when I place a cotton throw rug with him...


  • @Sunh0ney did they do a full/complete thyroid panel?

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