Age of your basenji?

@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.


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.

@chrisf said in Age of your basenji?:

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.

It is YOUR dog. No matter the vet's "philosophy" it is your dog and your vet is disrespecting you and the fact they are putting your dog through dangerous anesthesia makes me wonder what manhandling went on to make the dog so distressed it is the only way to do it. Please, get a new vet or tell this one your dog goes NO WHERE without you other than surgery or x-rays.

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

Honestly, find a new vet. I can appreciate some vets like to do this and it’s fine it it works. However if you have to sedate the dog, it is not working.

I took my dog a couple of weeks ago to the vets for his annual check up and bloodwork. (Everything came back excellent) :). The vet tech took him back to get bloodwork, two minutes later four of them brought him back in the room and asked if I could get a muzzle on him. We used to muzzle Suzy in the waiting room and even that was hard as she would bite the muzzle or your hand if you weren’t carful before the basket muzzle. It was all I could do not to laugh at them, never mind aggression lol, he is all upset and sulks if I scold him, which happens maybe once a year. I held him without the muzzle on and they took the blood sample without a problem. They were all amazed and said from now on they will have me hold him lol. He has never shown any signs of aggression, but he must have panicked going back there on his own.

I had another vet tech tell me with a prior dog that they “had” to take my dog back there to get a sample. For some reason I didn’t feel she was trustworthy from her manner. I changed the vets the week after. If they won’t work with you and don’t have the dogs interest at heart, then you need a new vet.

My first Basenji was prone to pancreatitis and during an outbreak one of the vets diagnosed it as a back problem. I brought him back as it was not improving, the vet stuck obstinately to his diagnosis. It took several visits before I got another vet, who then realized the problem and gave him Baytril, he got better within a day but after a week of suffering his pancreas was damaged and he became diabetic. Don’t risk your dogs health on an incompetent vet, some are amazingly good, others should not be practicing. You are your dogs advocate, using unnecessary drugs to get bloodwork is unacceptable.

last edited by Dagodingo

My Basenjis have varied from 12 years to just over 16.

Count me among those who will not allow the vet to take my dog into a separate room for treatment. I have always held my dogs for treatment and have never, ever muzzled them. No problems with biting or attempted biting.

@zande - Totally agree!

My first love was 11 when he passed but he had health issues. 😞 His hocks had fallen and he walked on "feet" - like a person. He also had a growth protruding from his rear that was most likely cancer; congestive heart failure too. UGH.
My current love turned eight in January and is healthy, has his smarts, chases squirrels, cats, deer, etc., and runs the B-500! I am thinking/praying he will live a very long life.
As far as muzzles - I used to have to put one on at the vet, but now he doesn't mind her poking and prodding. But being a typical Basenji, he growls at whatever displeases him - even if it's his mommy or daddy. That used to intimidate us with our first baby, this one we just say "REALLY?" and laugh.

My little "niño" has 17 years and 4 months! his paws are really bad for arthritis, I feel he is about to leave me, but I block those thoughts, I not even want to think how will be my life without him. ..:( ![alt text](image url)

last edited by Mariela

@mariela said in Age of your basenji?:

his paws are really bad for arthritis

Even at that age, I have taken a couple of mine for acupuncture. It doesn't hurt the dog at all, and an experienced veterinary acupuncturist can REALLY make a difference to arthritis.

At least talk to your vet and see if you can make the old darling's last months really comfortable. If your own Vet doesn't do acupuncture - he will surely know who does and refer you.

Good luck !

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