Age of your basenji?

My beautiful sweet boy is turning 17 this month. Still runs and jumps, plays with others like a three year old. He has a bit of arthritis but we take care of that to ensure his health and comfort. Looking for your experiences with longevity?

@ashley33 You’re doing really well! My first boy got diabetes at 6, then passed at 11 from cancer. My second girl had liver enzyme problems from 5 yrs old and passed at 12 from complications of that. I gather I have been somewhat unlucky as there are many that live to 18/19/20+ years. My current boy will be 7 this year, just had his check up and full bloodwork. He is very healthy, so I am hopeful he will live a long life.

I think it really depends on genetics, good food, good care and some luck. Sounds like you are doing everything right!

On an aside my girl requires sedation on visits that blood work is due. Is that normal for this breed?

@chrisf Why does she need sedation? They just take the blood, unless the dogs is aggressive, in which case I muzzle.

Taking blood shouldn't need sedation ! As Dagodingo says - muzzle if necessary but I am very surprised that a vet would be prepared to sedate a dog just to draw blood I certainly would not allow it and would change my vet if he/she couldn't get blood without medicating the animal.

Going back to the original question - I once did a survey of all my dogs - and there have been many since my first litter in the 1980s. Average age at death was 13.5 years. So that included several over 17 year olds and a few 10 year olds. The dam of my current two was 16.5.

I always say if there is re-incarnation, I would like to come back as a Basenji bred and owned by ME !

Piper is 2yrs old and I have changed vets twice because if she feels cornered she growls and everyone is intimidated by her. She is getting much better and last month her annuals were due they did make an attempt, but a muzzle is not an option because she sees it coming and freaks. And she has only had it on once, but she was very stressed at that time, in the vets office when a puppy. She is so smart and forgets nothing.

@dagodingo Thank you for sharing! I am so happy I can expect him to stay healthy and happy a few more years.

@chrisf Never in 17 years has my pup ever given any trouble to anyone at the vet clinic. Just sharing my experience for comparison.

@chrisf My Suzy hated the muzzle and would try to bite it when you went to put it on. I got her a basket muzzle and even though she still didn’t like it much, it was easy to put on. Far safer and better for the dog to use a muzzle than sedating in my opinion.

@chrisf

We just adopted a 2yr and one of the first things I did was bring her to our Vet for ‘getting to know you visits’. Our Vet & her assistants get down on the floor with Jazz & talk to her & give her treats. Then our Vet slowly takes a look at her & they weigh her & just make it a pleasant experience. Did this three times & now we don’t have any trouble when I take her for grooming or to be checked.

To make you feel better I have a 5 year old boy that growls at everything. He has been like it since he was a puppy. At vets office they ask me to put the muzzle on because his growl doesn’t bother me. He is very friendly but as soon as you do something he doesn’t like he growls. I guess his way of letting you know his feelings. My other is a 7 year old girl and growls at nothing!!

Get your dog used to a muzzle at home . Basket muzzles are the least confining . There are some things that dogs do not get to be the boss , and vet visits and vaccines are some of them . Make the muzzle training and tiny steps .

Show the dog the muzzle and let it get close to it give it a treat and praise, show the muzzle, when the dog comes to you, treat and praise . Once the dog is used to seeing the muzzle then you touch the dog with the muzzle or possible just lightly put over the nose and then take back . You have to keep building on this until you're able to put the muzzle on the dog and build up time until the dog is not reactive to muzzle .

Sedation is a risk of death however small each time you do it. Like the others I cannot imagine allowing a vet to do it to my dog to pull blood.

My oldest basenji was 13. Hopefully your dog will make it far beyond that..

last edited by DebraDownSouth

@chrisf - That is not normal....sedation to take blood...

@tanza said in Age of your basenji?:

@chrisf - That is not normal....sedation to take blood...

In fact - nor is muzzling ! Not is my experience anyway -

@zande - Agree fully.... Zande... I have never had to have muzzling at the Vets... especially when I am in control of the Basenji. They trust me and will just look at me... and I take them as young dogs for fun experience at the Vet office.... so that they know that it is not a bad place. Kudos to Ashley33 and her 17 yr old... that is super! My oldest lived till 17 1/2.... the other averages on my Basenjis have been between 14 and 16yrs. One of the most important things that I have learned early on in 30+ years in the breed (this goes for any breed, however) is teeth brushing... it is important that you keep the teeth clean.

last edited by tanza

Yes, in my experience age at death does vary. It was always said (at least as far back as I remember) that a Basenji's average is 13. This despite the fact that there were records of them living much longer. The oldest authenticated age was 23 but I would say that is an exception. Despite many very long lives, there are also those that die quite young. Mine have varied between 12 months and 18 years.
Your boy sounds wonderful and may he have many more years.

DebraDownSouth had good advice about the muzzle. I would only add that you can smear peanut butter to the front of the basket. This will keep your b's mind on trying to lick the peanut butter (or cream cheese) rather than what's being done to him/her. Practice at home and make it a happy thing if you can. Keep giving her "good stuff" as long as she settles down.

Anesthesia is dangerous. I would avoid it when possible and never agree to its use after age 8 without a serious reason. 2 of my prior b's lived to 13+, and my last made it to one month prior to his 15th birthday.

Load the cream cheese or peanut butter before you put the muzzle on.

Thanks for the tips, she is 2 yrs old and is making progress. I think the one problem is my vets philosophy is to take her in a separate room from where I am. So I can't soothe her. I do like this vet however.thanks all. The peanut butter is ingenious.

@chrisf said in Age of your basenji?:

I think the one problem is my vets philosophy is to take her in a separate room from where I am.

A new vet at the Practice I use and have used for many years, tried to do that. Just once. From then on, I refuse to let her see any of my dogs, I prefer to make appointments with the other vets in the Practice.

When they are at the Vet's - my place is with them. The rest of the Practice understands that.

last edited by Zande

Congratulations on 17 yrs. I love my long, happy- lived basenjis. Boys usually live longer. My Sonny is a healthy 13.5 yrs. old. He was perfectly trained before given to me at a year old to be a companion to my Nana who passed away a few yrs. later at 18. It was his kidneys. Sonny remains intact. He's too old now for that stressful surgery. He is a beautiful R/W. Sorry I don't have a camera. Have to scour my email for photos that may have dropped out. You seem as lucky as I giving your basenji a long, healthy life. I find them to be a very healthy breed if well cared for.

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