• My two senior basenjis have had food challenges since they were little. It's always been a struggle and they had pretty regular bouts of refusing to eat, itching and diarrhea from us switching the food or some food ingredients. We tried a lot of foods recommended on this forum, including home-cooked meals.

    For many years we ended up settling on Acana Regionals Grasslands which is recommended by some here, is grain free and has mostly natural ingredients. It was the best food by far for our basenjis out of everything we tried. It is pretty high on protein so may not be the best for senior dogs.

    Over the last year, we switched to Dr. Harvey's Canine Health Miracle Dog Food, Human Grade Dehydrated Base Mix for Dogs with Organic Whole Grains and Vegetables + ground turkey and coconut oil. It's been working great, they both enjoy it, are active, their weight is normal, and no more upset stomachs. I usually premake a batch for a week for both. 4.5 cups of Dr. Harveys dry mix + 2.6lbs of ground turkey (cooked, buy in bulk) + 3tbsps coconut oil (costco). Keep it in the refrigerator for a week.

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  • @alex

    Your dogs eat better than I do!


  • @bill-t sometimes I sneak in a taste, while making it. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Got Brody's blood work back and there is some concerns here.. Contacted our breeder but curious if anyone has any insight on these numbers. Hemoglobin has bee in the 9's since Nov 2020 (I compared a vet visit records against recent results).

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  • @tanza curious if you've run into this ever? Talked to my breeder (bloodline/siblings are good) and we just need to leave it to the doctors. Unfortunately my first vet said, allergies but I did not feel good about that diagnosis. He's at the hospital now getting another blood test/ stool. Gums were very white which is concerning me and still very sleepy/lethargic..


  • Did the disinterest in food start shortly after any vaccinations he received? Pale gums and the hemoglobin values suggest anemia. Hopefully the further tests will give you a better idea of what is going on.


  • Update.. His new blood results are event worst with his RBC count nearing blood transfusion levels. They are watching him incase he destabilizes. He seemed in very good spirts leaving him and even ate this morning (chicken and rice) as I've moved him off any kibble.

    The very picky eater thing started a month or so ago and anemia signs always seemed present (shivering ect) but not to this level .. No recent vaccination that triggered this... I honestly thought it was the food! They are keeping him overnight and will be doing a scan and more analysis on his RBC. 8 months young and he doesn't deserve this ๐Ÿ˜ž


  • Very sorry you are having to deal with this, even tougher with a young dog as you expect them to be healthy. Do you live anywhere where ticks are prevalent? They can cause all kinds of problems depending on the type. I asked about vaccinations as Lepto shots have been known to trigger immune mediated hemolytic anemia.


  • His new blood work report is even worst in 3 days ๐Ÿ˜ž
    Just curious if anyone ever ran into this one! His WBC is up but no clue how all of this correlates. UGH

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  • @eeeefarm We did hike a bit in the woods but not in tall grass or anything like that. I also checked him afterwards (easy with the shorter hair). Im lost. Hate that I am not with him in the hospital


  • @mmasco said in Not Interested In Eating His Food!:

    @tanza curious if you've run into this ever? Talked to my breeder (bloodline/siblings are good) and we just need to leave it to the doctors. Unfortunately my first vet said, allergies but I did not feel good about that diagnosis. He's at the hospital now getting another blood test/ stool. Gums were very white which is concerning me and still very sleepy/lethargic..

    mmasco: I have not in all the years in the breed had this issue, I have had poor eaters in the past as puppies but they grew out of it with age and by age 4 (of course by that time he was finished in the show ring) but the only thing that I can relate this to is as a 5 month old he got a dog show virus from my girl that was on doggy day care with her breeder after she broke her leg.... she was uneffected but he was really ill for quite a while. Blood work was never this bad, however. Is this now with a different vet than the one that said it was food allergies? And maybe you need to see a specialist?


  • Has your vet mentioned immune mediated hemolytic anemia? Usually if the cause can't be identified and remedied corticosteroids are used to calm down the immune system.


  • @tanza He's at a hospital with a few specialists/pathologists. This is what was itemized for me.. Unsure what else to request. Looking back at blood work from Nov 2020 (when he was 9 wks) he had a lower hemoglobin and RBC count ... obviously nothing as severe as now. Yes, I moved him to the hospital; I was very concerned that a. they never initially told me how bad his blood test was until I requested it (because something didn't feel right) and b. that vet seemed unfazed by the first readings to just suggest allergies!! I'm glad I read the report to take him this morning.. Who knows what could have happened next Screen Shot 2021-06-02 at 4.38.37 PM.png


  • @eeeefarm I am leaning towards hemolytic anemia based on google searching and mapping his blood word results.. but I just don't know which is the most frustrating part of the waiting game


  • @Mmasco, my thoughts are with you. Never an easy time when they are sick. Hang in there, hopefully they will find the problem and start on getting him well!


  • @mmasco - HA in Basenjis is a recessive gene not unlike Fanconi. I have not seen or heard of HA in Basenjis for over 40yrs.... Same as Fanconi there were Clears/Carriers/Affected. Here is a link for HA in Basenji from many years ago https://www.basenji.org/PUBLIC/BasenjiHealthPages.pdf
    HA is different than idiopathic autoimmune hemopytic anemia (IAHA)

    Pyruvate kinase-deficient hemolytic anemia was first diagnosed in Basenjis in the 1960s, although
    prior to that date Basenjis had died of a then-unknown form of anemia. Research on this anemia
    began in the 1960s, culminating with a carrier test available in 1972. At that time, incidence was
    around 4%, with about 18% being carriers. The inherited form of the disease now is extremely
    rare.
    Pk-deficient HA is different from idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia (IAHA), a non-inherited
    hemolytic anemia that occurs in all breeds of dogs. Because of the great reduction in the
    frequency of the inherited form, the non-inherited form is now the likeliest cause of any hemolytic
    anemia in Basenjis
    For the owner
    The disorder has been virtually eliminated from the breed, and testing has been largely
    discontinued. Owners can ask for information about whether or not the dogs have been tested or
    are entirely descended from tested clear stock. Because a DNA test is available, a definitive
    diagnosis can be made to rule out pk-deficient HA.


  • @tanza There were five cases of HA in Veronica's earlier litters, Pongo of the Congo was alleged by VTW to be a carrier. Pickapepper of the Congo was a sufferer, as was Petal of the Congo but she lived to a great age. These were in the early 1950s.

    @Mmasco I feel for you. There is nothing like not being with them when they are sick. But HA hasn't been around in Basenjis for many years. We have to hope it is not re-surfacing.


  • @tanza / @Zande we got the news that they are leaning towards PK pyruvate kinase deficiency seeing as ultrasound and xray came up empty, bone marrow to make reticulocytes are normal BUT Rbc's not being made. Labs not showing hemolytic anemia. The breeder DID NOT test for PK leaving me either to dig into the entire family tree (which who knows accuracy in testing) or wait 1-2 weeks for the PK test to come back.
    Not sure if there is anything you both know that will help sway me away from PK .... or if there is any experimental treatment you've heard about. I just don't know how to process this TBH. His blood transfusion seemed to stablize him w/ numbers back into the 30s for RBC counts.. He will likely come home tomorrow.


  • It would be unusual but not impossible, not common in Basenjis but not unheard of, either. Apparently more common in Beagle, Pug, Cairn, and West Highland White. DNA testing can detect it, also whether the dog is a carrier, clear, or affected. I would think his breeder would want to know the status of his sire and dam. I am hoping they come up with something easier to manage or cure.


  • @mmasco You can find the PK test results on OFA website. I don't include them in the on-line database, but if you have that open as well you can then check parents line by line as you will have their registration number in front of you.

    Good luck and cuddles and tummy rubs to the little one when he is home.

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