7 yr old Basenji sick - HELP PLEASE
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    Hello all, thank you so much for the support of this community.

    My 7 year old basenji has been suffering from an unexplained weight gain since early in the year so by the advice of our vet, we put her on Prescription Diet Metabolic food. Unfortunately our girl continued to gain weight on the food. Our vet tested her for hypothyroid and cardiac issues but neither showed definitiveness. Her thyroid was slightly out of range but not enough to warrant medication. She did show elevated liver enzymes, triglycerides, reticulocytes, and other things but the vet felt no immediate action was warranted. The vet said we could test for cushing's should I wish to but as he felt she was not showing other cushingoid like symptoms, he thought the test was not likely to reveal anything and suggested we test her thyroid levels again in 6 months’ time.

    The first week of Sept 2017, however, we noticed that our dog's sight had changed drastically in that it appeared she was unable to see up close at all. It appeared she may be able to see some movement from far away but we were unsure. We rushed her to an eye care clinic in western New York where she was diagnosed with SARDS on September 5, 2017. The vet ophthalmologist agreed to try our dog on prednisone for a week to see if any improvement is noticed and report back to her. If improvement is made, I anticipate the plan would be to keep her on prednisone but if no improvement is realized, the steroid discontinued and learn to adapt to living with a blind dog.

    I can absolutely live and love my dog regardless of sight but my fear and my nagging gut feeling just kept me thinking that surely there must be an underlying reason for her to lose sight suddenly and have a weight issue that would not respond to diet. And if I did nothing, would additional, dire issues be sure to follow?
    I have done nothing but research since this devastating turn of events and was able to find some information where, through an unorthodox method of treatment, a vet in California reported some success in restoring vision (in some cases) but keeping other underlying issues at bay. I have spoken and/or emailed with pet owners whose pets had done the treatment and felt it had been successful in their pets' overall health (even if it did not restore vision for some of their pets).

    In doing my due diligence with having my girl's blood screened, ultrasounded, uninalysis, etc, the vet internist has informed me that my girl has regenerative anemia and suspects she also has Fanconi Syndrome since her resting and blood glucose levels range from low to normal but has protein in her urine.
    I am left wondering if the sudden blindness is affiliated to Fanconi? The vet mentioned that treatment of bicarbonate sodium treatment can be damaging in and of itself? Can anyone offer any insight and/or first-hand experience?

    I want to do the absolute best thing for my dog, don't want to cause her any harm and she seems to have so much working against her.

    I have attached a snapshot of her most recent values should you wish to review/comment.

    My heart is absolutely breaking! I would really appreciate any advice!

    Thank you
    0_1505591613388_Sept 2017_001.png
    [0_1505590907266_Sept 2017.docx](Uploading 100%)0_1505591569453_Sept 2017_002.png

    last edited by GloGlo
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  • Get a DNA test done asap to test for Fanconi. If she is, I actually agree with your vet... so contact Camp Basenji, Pam Hamilton at flbasenjis@gmail.com , web page: http://www.campbasenji.org/

    I have notified her you will contact her.

    Thyroid can cause weight gain, so even if slightly high, discuss trying meds.

    As for restoring sight with Sards, there is research indicating it can be done, but it was limited, back in 2007, and no progress made since. Absolutely no proof since that it works, though there are people out there treating anyway. Sadly, the truth is, if it worked, they could prove it. All I find are people saying they FELT it helped, but their dogs didn't really recover their vision.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070531094241.htm limited study

    reputable research:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26096588

    The pathogenesis of SARDS is unknown, but neuroendocrine and autoimmune mechanisms have been suggested. Therapies that target these disease pathways have been proposed to reverse or prevent further vision loss in SARDS-affected dogs, but these treatments are controversial. In November 2014, the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists' Vision for Animals Foundation organized and funded a Think Tank to review the current knowledge and recently proposed ideas about disease mechanisms and treatment of SARDS. These panel discussions resulted in recommendations for future research strategies toward a better understanding of pathogenesis, early diagnosis, and potential therapy for this condition.<<

    You might also join the Facebook group for SARDS: https://www.facebook.com/SardsDogs/

    The weight gain is not uncommon with SARDS. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258202067_Long-term_outcome_of_sudden_acquired_retinal_degeneration_syndrome_in_dogs

    Pam said her internet not good (she is in Florida) so can't get online but she asked where you are? In the US or elsewhere?

    She doesn't think the problem is Fanconi, but Fanconi may be accelerating it. To determine:
    Needs venous blood gas test, checks blood pH, bicarb level, which will tell if the dog needs some sort of supplements at this time.
    DNA Fanconi test to verify.. don't wait for it to get back.

    She said getting cushings test is important because more steroids can make things much worse.

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  • I sent you a couple of messages... check them please :) (click on the little bell on the top right.

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