• Hi all,

    It’s been far too long since I’ve posted. I am sure there’s been a lot of new posters in the last few years, but I’m hoping to update the OG’s!

    Oakley is 10.5 (11 on Nov 30th). I cannot believe what a long and arduous a journey it’s been with my medically/behaviorally challenged boy.

    I’ve been a bit nostalgic lately as he’s shown signs of aging. I won’t lie, for those who know the many struggles I’ve had, there’s a part of me that is okay with seeing him age—but it’s always tough. His face started getting white around 10. He’s sleeping more and moving ever so slightly less. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a pain in the ass and into everything!

    He was sick with another big bout of gastro October-December, in which because we moved from Boston to Maryland his doctors and the local ER weren’t familiar with us like his team at home, and so it took longer to diagnose and treat him properly. Ever since he’s been a little different. Drinking a lot more water, burping something nasty, more gassy and definitely has not regained all that lost weight despite eating like a horse. I have him scheduled for a senior exam and to discuss these newer things (although I don’t have a lot of trust in this new team of his).

    Enjoy some pictures of him over the last few years. Sending all of you who I’ve conversed with and sought advice from over the years, well wishes ❤

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  • I can't believe it's been that long! I hope you get things sorted with his new health team and you enjoy (sometimes endure?) many more years together.


  • @eeeefarm

    I know! With him the days are always long, but when I look back at the years they seem to pass quickly. I don’t even know what I’ll do with my freedom back once he goes! That said, knowing him..he’s going to live forever 😂

    The secret to everlasting life is nightly toilet paper eating after dinner. Every. Single. Night

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  • Great pics of Oakley - he is adorable! It is sad when they age - enjoy every moment w/ him. He is precious!🐾❤


  • Good to hear from you Chealsie508... question, did your prior Vets send his records to the new vet? Have they done a full blood panel yet? That would be important. And I hear you about them aging.... my girls will be 12 in December and January....


  • Pain in the ass… Lol! I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through, are going through, and… well…

    That said, I like him! I can only imagine the nick names. 🤣

    I edited your pic a bit. May be one of my favs…

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  • @jengosmonkey

    He has a decade of endless nicknames. I think we all probably call our dogs names other than their real names more than anything else. Some are cute, like ‘cookie bean’ and others may or may not involve the word, Menace. 😂


  • @tanza

    Great to hear from you!

    Yes, they were great and gave me a physical copy of all his records. I doubt my vet has really looked them over, and as such I seem to be doing a lot of advocating for certain situations, sigh.

    His last full blood panel was done in the middle of his last bout of sickness the end of 2020, which involves two ER visits. I had my vet run the full bloodwork and all that was off were a few things we would expect (electrolytes etc)…but given the amount of persistent vomiting I wasn’t surprised.

    Our new appt is 9-7 and I imagine we will need to do another full panel, or perhaps something kidney related. The uptick in water is the most discernible change tbh. At first I thought he was just recovering and trying to rehydrate, flush the meds (especially as he’s always sensitive to medicines), but he drinks throughout the day and now requires a bowl in my bedroom at night. His appetite is fantastic, but he’s still skinny to me (maybe that’s older age, idk). And for sure, he’s never had consistent burping in which it smells awful. And lastly, he is much more gassy…

    For anyone thinking food related, we spent his early years trying every premium food available and he couldn’t tolerate any. At 2 we had an incident that led to us seeing the best behaviorist in the US, Dr. Dodman (Tufts) and I learned that for dogs predisposed to aggressive tendencies, higher protein diets exacerbate the behavior..so he was put on a lower protein food. Finding one with the protein content recommended isn’t easy and the one he’s on is by no means a great food, but he’s loved it and done well GI wise and allergy wise. I don’t want to think his foods now an issue as it never has been, but I’m open to the fact that his body could be responding differently now that he’s a)‘older b) gone through some recent med stuff that’s changed things for him.

    I am also struggling with my vet wanting to provide a rabies exemption for him. He’s had serious vaccine reactions his whole life, well documented. Even the bet commented at his hair loss in his haunches from reactions: he was on a 3 year protocol to space them out and while he’s due, I don’t want him to get it. He’s 10.5, he’s not in optimal health and for anyone who knows us, oakleys environment is always strictly controlled due to his issues, so he’s not at risk for rabies…


  • @chealsie508 - Glad that you got a copy of all his records.... if they (Vets) continue to really NOT read them, have you considered finding another Vet? There are breeders in the Mid Atlantic that might be able to refer you to another vet? I can ask for you if you like? And I fully agree that he should be exempt from Rabies, especially since you have his records. Of course the issue with rabies if by chance he bites someone by accident, even you, there are issues with animal control. I would suggest that you do a titer for rabies (and all other coverage by shots) and carry that. Hopefully you can talk the Vets into issue him a exemption....Let me know if you want me to contact the breeders I know for a possible referral. You can send me an email, my email can be found on my website, link below, please let me know in that email exactly where you are located. Just a quick question, I assume that he was DNA tested for Fanconi?


  • @tanza

    I’ve considered it, it’s just a big task that I’m dreading because it’s hard to find someone whose good at what they do and good with Oakley. On the surface I landed at the vets because one of the techs has two basenjis (has since moved on), and I assume they could be from the local breeder here. I just figured if a staff member had basenjis that they would have some experience.

    I’ll reach out, I’m open to suggestions. It’s a challenge here in MD right now that most vets are still doing curbside service and that definitely doesn’t work for our situation 😒

    Oakleys been tested for Fanconi as well as had some additional AKC suggested tests.

    Lastly, I wholeheartedly agree with you on the titer. Titers are my preference. For the majority of his years now I’ve only gotten him rabies and distemper, but since only rabies is required here I didn’t even flinch at the idea of letting the distemper lapse, especially knowing that one tends to be the most reactive.
    He is behavioral, and that’s the challenge I could see in regards to animal control, but I go to great lengths to ensure he’s always safe and so are others (to include the ridiculous loose dog and such)…but I would still rather risk being in violation than getting him vaccinated.
    I’ve printed the exemption form my vet said she “couldn’t authorize” to show it to her and ask her if she can’t or wont.


  • @chealsie508 - Wow with all the information you have from prior Vets, the response, either "won't or can't" is really not acceptable in my opinion. Go to www.basenji.org and you can find a breeder in Maryland, Laura Gilchrist - Glen Burnie, Maryland... she might be able to help you find a new vet....


  • @chealsie508 - I just heard from the breeder in MD that I spoke about.... can I get your email so I can connect the both of you? She might be able to help with finding a good vet for Oakley. You can email me, address you can find on my website, link below.

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