Looking for suggestions to keep weight down with a high protein diet and supplements- newly diagnosed Fanconi boy...

  • My guy was just confirmed Fanconi Affected. Our vet is awesome and has agreed we follow the Gonto Protocol as suggested by BCOA. There has been no detectable organ/tissue damage at this point, thankfully....only symptoms he was showing was excessive drinking and peeing and glucose in his urine.
    He loves food so getting him to take the supplements has not been an issue. We put him on a high protein Kibble (Natures Variety beef & lamb at 35% crude protein)
    I did cut his portion down to about 1/4 cup 2x a day (he was at 1/3cup and was maintaining his weight at 28lbs).
    I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on how to keep his nutrient levels up without him gaining weight- he started creeping up towards the 30lb mark and it's only been two weeks!
    the only other treats he gets are Power Bites (beef) when I put the ointment in his eyes for KCS.
    I'm open to all suggestions!
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  • Have you talked about diet with Dr. Gonto? And also has your Vet talked to Dr. Gonto about treatment? He would be more than happy to discuss this with your Vet to make sure the correct amount of medications are being given based on the blood work. According the the protocol, recommend crude protein is 21 to 28%. It says to avoid foods hither than 28% in Basenjis. This is based on the lastest protocol from Dr. Gonto revised 2015. (link attached)

    How old is your boy? I assume that you have advised the breeder? And I assume he or his sire/dam were not tested for Fanconi? Would you share his pedigree? Thanks

  • First, going to put on flame resistant clothing, because to disagree with Gonto is an invitation to flame torches being sent your way.

    Next, I am going to beg you to please contact Pam Hamilton with Camp Basenji.

    I think that Gonto is an angel for all he tried to do for the breed. But he is not a vet, he is not a nutritionist, and no actual research has been done on his protocol. It used to be the only option, and was sure better than nothing. But having personally seen dogs dying on the protocol who were turned around and living healthy long lives with Pam, please, at least talk to her.


    She has a great brochure also. I see far too many dogs under Gonto dead and people just accepting that they can't live long normal lives. Neither are doctors, and I am not bashing Gonto. But I do have issues that a treatment is given, followed almost fanatically, yet has never had rigorous testing and the many who don't do well, who so have major problems, are brushed off as "to be expected." So please, at least talk to her about the changes she made in the protocol that has turned around and given quality life to affected dogs.

    Because of the almost worship of Gonto, people just accept that his is the only option. Yet, since he developed the protocol, only ONE minor study, 2004, evaluated if it worked and sadly, not much came out of it. Yet sites still say "The Gonto protocol is currently being studied and validated for the veterinary literature by Jennifer Yearley. ".. No, it didn't validate it and no, not still studying it. They used only his protocol, no others, and no control group, so zero proof his protocol did anything, or if the excessive bicarbonates may have contributed to the "high percentage of neurological abnormalities." (With people, which his work is based on >>side effects associated with sodium bicarbonate therapy include hypercapnia, hypokalemia, ionized hypocalcemia, and QTc interval prolongation. The potential impact of regular sodium bicarbonate therapy on worsening vascular calcifications in patients with chronic kidney disease has been insufficiently investigated.<<

    Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that expected lifespan for dogs with idiopathic Fanconi syndrome was not substantially reduced, compared with expected lifespan for unaffected dogs, and that affected dogs generally had a good to excellent quality of life, as subjectively assessed by their owners. What effect the treatment regimen had on survival time or lifespan could not be determined, given the small number of dogs managed with other methods. The high percentage of dogs with neurologic abnormalities was a concern, but whether this was related to Fanconi syndrome or represented a breed-related predisposition to neurologic disease could not be determined. ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:377–383)

  • Another thought... the weight gain might be something else going on. Please get a FULL thyroid panel run. It isn't unusual for more than one thing to be happening.

    As Pat said, giving the sire and dam or breeder would be helpful. Anyone with dogs from that litter need to be aware. The sooner they are tested, the better chance to keep them healthy.

  • Thanks for the replies!!
    First off I adopted him and his litter mate thru BRaT so I do not have any of the breeder information.BRaT has been notified and they are contacting the 'breeder' (thankfully she doesn't breed anymore) to let her know. All I know is that the boys are from Idaho and one parent is not AKC while the other is. Apparently they are both carriers-
    I am awaiting DNA results for his litter mate right now and I will post results when I get them. They are both listed in OFA as Jimmy Dog and Max Dog since they don't have official names/registration numbers.

    We did a full blood panel on him along with glucose both blood and pee- I asked the vet to send me a copy of the results. She did call to let us know his potassium was borderline/low but everything else looked good. I will share as soon as I have them

    Jimmy has always been quick to gain and loose weight usually in the summer to winter transition due to not being able to go run like a crazy guy in the snow. Him and his brother just don't like the snow or boots or coats for that matter 🙂

    We (the vet not myself) have not called Dr Gonto regarding the protocol we just got a copy of the treatment plan for vets thru BRaT. They just started Fanconi DNA testing all of the dogs that come thru the organization 🙂

    I did look thru Camp Basenji and found some interesting information regarding diet/supplements that I have shared with the vet- she has treated one other Fanconi dog that was induced by those jerky treats- the humans didn't bring the dog in until it was too late to do anything.

    How are we supposed to monitor his levels all the time without a vet visit? The levels would change daily anyway....
    our plan is to go every 4-6 weeks until he levels off without a change but, I am open to suggestions on that as well.

  • Also- the vet suggested we use TUMS 250 two times a day( we cut a 500 in half)instead of sodium bicarbonate

  • I am glad that BRAT is now testing...I am wildly grateful they finally made that choice.

    But before, it was a point that caused me to stop recommending them unless the dog had already had testing done by the owners who turned them in. The disagreement resulted in them no longer even asking me to foster or transport.

    Sadly, many like you got caught up in the years before they did change their minds. My own rescued dog, Cara... I begged Brat to let me pay to test the dam... they refused. Said I could adopt her and test, but not test. My dog is a carrier, but nearly a quarter of the puppies from that hoarder are AFFECTED, more than that carriers, and 8 have never been tested, can't get the owners to do so. We've had owners offer to PAY for the testing.

    After the Wimauma pack rescue issues, Pam left BRAT and formed Camp Basenji and began testing every dog she gets. That doesn't help those that weren't tested, who may suffer and die without preventative early care.

    The pretense that just strip testing was responsible makes me angry still. By the time they are spilling, you can potentially have had a lot of damage. Owners had a right to know before adopting, and the dogs had a right to be tested so that people who got them could do so knowing, educated and prepared. Or, put down. Yes, I'd rather see some dogs put down (Brat's justification for not testing... and cost but we won't go there) .. rather than do that to the owners or have the dogs suffer because they didn't get in homes who willingly took them on and would take care of them. Do I sound bitter? I am. I love some of the BRAT people... a couple I consider friends and care about deeply. But I will obviously never get over their stance that hurt dogs and owners.

    Bless you for being one that does.

    As for testing, contact Pam. She may have ideas or ways to get cheaper testing done on a regular basis. When I tell you she is always there for these dogs and won't mind, trust me.

  • Well Pam has already replied to me! She has already been a comforting force amidst this whirlwind we are navigating 🙂
    I will keep everyone posted on the progress and updates with Jimmy Dog
    Thank you again for the connection!!

  • @KhaiPan Pam and I are both stubborn opinionated people and without mutual respect, we'd be in constant battle. Instead, I love her. I watch her utter devotion to the dogs, to doing things right, to helping anyone who needs help. She isn't stuck in any idea... given proof and research, she'll reconsider. She is calming. 🙂 Knowing you have someone personally in your corner navigating this helps a lot. Glad you contacted her.

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