Fanconi Disease

Can anyone shed some light on this disease? I read where Basenji owners should test their dog's urine on a MONTHLY basis in order to catch Fanconi Disease in it's early/treatable stages. Does anyone here do that? My b is a mix breed and I don't know if I should start testing her or not. I lost my last dog (poodle mix dog) to diabetes and can not stand the thought of going through something like that again. Thanks for any help!

Yes, yes, even though she is a mix, test her monthly!

It is a simple test; all you do is get the urine glucose test strips. I use Diastix by Bayer, available at WalMart. Then catch a small amount of urine; with girl dogs I will just slide a clean paper bowl under them as they start to go or use a soup ladle, dip the test strip in the urine and see if it changes color within 30 seconds. No change, no worry. If it does change, have your vet run a full blood panel to check for glucose in the blood. If blood glucose is normal or below, the odds are your dog has Fanconi. If blood glucose is elevated, something else is going on; possibly diabetes or Cushing's.

There is no cure for Fanconi, but there is a treatment protocol which has been very effective in managing the syndrome. Many dogs with Fanconi live long active lives, even lure coursing and other sports with the protocol.

Every single Basenji line has Fanconi somewhere. Remember, we started with an extremely small gene pool. Possibly some of the new African imports could be Fanconi free, but virtually all of them were bred to American stock, so there's no guarantees.

Research is ongoing; and it is possible that there may be a Fanconi test within the next year or two. All of us that love this breed are thinking BIG positive hopes!

Terry

Yes, everyone should test their basenjis monthly starting at three years old. It is very unlikely that a basenji mix would develop Fanconi, because it appears that it takes two to produce it. And there are so few other breeds that have it…I would say a mix is pretty safe.

And as Terry said, Fanconi appears in almost every American, domestic line. Some lines more heavily than others...but as of right now, we don't know how it is inherited, so it pops up rather unexpectedly sometimes.

And FTR, the new African stock or "Avongaras" (imported in '87 - '88 and their full bred descendants) do not seem to carry Fanconi. There has never been a case of an Avongara with Fanconi...nor has there been a reported case of Fanconi from a full "Af" bred to a domestic stock dog. There have been cases of Fanconi from half "Af"s bred to domestic stock though.

Andrea, can you tell me what is a normal blood sugar range for a dog? I'm a nurse but don't know a thing about dog blood sugar!

this confuses me should i test a basenji mix or no ???

@Lenora:

Andrea, can you tell me what is a normal blood sugar range for a dog? I'm a nurse but don't know a thing about dog blood sugar!

I don't know either 🙂 All I know is that if there is sugar in the urine, it is very likely that a basenji has Fanconi. Sorry I can't help you.

@Sunny:

this confuses me should i test a basenji mix or no ???

Well, I guess if you wanted to be on the super safe side you could test for your mix for Fanconi. But, in my opinion, and educated guess….it is virtually impossible for a dog that is half basenji or less to get Fanconi. The current understanding is it takes two basenjis that are carrying a gene/s for Fanconi to produce it in their offspring. So, *unless a Basenji mix has one parent that is full Basenji and one parent that is half or more Basenji, they shouldn't have the genetic combination that makes Fanconi.

If there is anybody out there that has contrary evidence, I would be open to listening...but most people are pretty sure it takes two to make Fanconi.

I don't want to tell you not to test your mix...because what if I am wrong? :eek: But so far, science is telling us it won't happen with a 1/2 Basenji mix. Clear as mud???

I believe she should still be tested. First of all, Basenjis are not the only breed to get Fanconi. On the Fanconi List, we have had German Shepherds, Bichons, Westies, Cocker Spaniels, a Chinese Crested and even a cat! Secondly, although it appears to take both parents contributing the gene, we really still do not know for certain.

I am currently treating my 4th Basenji with Fanconi. Her litter sister just tested positive yesterday. We just lost their mom in May - after she had had 2 litters with none of the pups testing positive until this August - and she was clear until she was 7 years old. We just had a new person join the Fanconi List - her Basenji was diagnosed at age 12.

Fanconi is not a common disease, uninformed vets and owners may often misdiagnose or never realize what's happening. So it's incumbent upon those who do to be proactive as well as educate every Basenji lover.

Terry

@Terry:

On the Fanconi List, we have had German Shepherds, Bichons, Westies, Cocker Spaniels, a Chinese Crested and even a cat! Terry

I don't disagree, Terry….in fact, there is human version of Fanconi syndrome. But in most other breeds (and other species) Fanconi is idiopathic, meaning not genetically inherited. It can be induced by outside factors, such as toxic exposure to certain elements. I believe that Norwegian Elkhounds are one of the other breeds where there is an inherited Fanconi syndrome like ours...but apparently it is not exactly like ours, from what I have been able to learn.

I do agree though, that it certainly can't hurt to test Basenji mixes.....and it certainly is important to get the word out that people should be testing every basenji, every month after age three.

@Lenora:

Andrea, can you tell me what is a normal blood sugar range for a dog? I'm a nurse but don't know a thing about dog blood sugar!

Normal BLOOD glucose is about 70-138 for dogs. There is no such thing as normal URINE glucose. This should always be negative.


Yamaha ox99-11 history

@Quercus:

But, in my opinion, and educated guess….it is virtually impossible for a dog that is half basenji or less to get Fanconi. The current understanding is it takes two basenjis that are carrying a gene/s for Fanconi to produce it in their offspring. So, *unless a Basenji mix has one parent that is full Basenji and one parent that is half or more Basenji, they shouldn't have the genetic combination that makes Fanconi.

I agree with Andrea….it is highly unlikely for a dog that is Basenji only on one half of its ancestry to develop Fanconi. That said, urine test strips are very affordable and there is certainly no harm in using them on a mix.

Thanks for all the information! Although Hollie is a mix, I think I would prefer to be safe than sorry and start testing her when she is approximately three. I appreciate all the response and help.

Basenji Mix

What medicine is used to treat fanconi? How much and how often?

The primary and most important medication is sodium bicarbonate. (Yep, like you might use for an upset stomach) Basenjis with Fanconi become acidotic, and the bicarb corrects this. Other medications include Pet-Tab Plus vitamins or equivalent, Pet-Cal or dicalcium phosphate (which comes in a powder form and can be mixed right in with their food), human Centrum vitamins, Amino Fuel (to correct for protein lost in the urine), and sometimes potassium depending on the dog's blood chemistry results. Unless they are in renal failure, a high protein diet is also indicated.
All of the medications are relatively inexpensive - a bottle of 1000 sodium bicarbs is around $11 - 13 through Costco and most everything else can be found on line at reasonable prices.
The highest expenses are usually the venous blood gases which need to be done to determine initial dosages and to titer as the dog is on the Fanconi protocol over time. Fortunately, these usually only have to be done to begin with and then about every 4-6 months.
One thing to be aware of is that the sugary urine is a terrific medium for developing urinary tract infections which, due to the thickened kidney walls and the tendency to 'wall off' an infection, do not show up on urinanalysis. If left untreated, these infections can cause very serious and permanent kidney damage.
Go to the Basenji Club of America web-site to download a copy of the protocol.

Terry

Basenji Mix

So if not detected soon enough, my love could develop a urinary tract infection? Is that why it is important to test monthly after 3 years of age? But the biggest expense is the bi/tri-yearly vet visits to test QUOTE]The highest expenses are usually the venous blood gases which need to be done to determine initial dosages and to titer as the dog is on the Fanconi protocol over time.

I have to look up the definition of venous blood gases . . . I thought we were looking for sugar in the urine. <ggg>I'm sorry for my ignorance on medical terms. I don't know what VBG means. Is it the same thing?

Otherwise the treatment is inexpensive, but the dosage needs to be monitored. Do I got it?

Thanks Terry - I know you know what you're talking about . . . could you clarify and correct my understaning?</ggg>

The venous blood gases - they take blood from the dog and use a special analysis machine to determine the pH, the 'base excess', and several other blood chemistries. I don't pretend to know what they all mean, but I know what the important values are from experience and from reading the protocol. (Linda, maybe you can enlighten us more?) It takes a special machine to read this and not all vets have them. Many vet specialty groups do and so do some vet emergency clinics - in some areas, it has to be done at a people hospital. The machine is called an I-STAT. The blood gases are done after a diagnosis of Fanconi, which is made by finding sugar in the urine and normal or even low blood glucose in a regular blood panel.
The sugary urine is usually the first symptom - even a trace amount of sugar in the urine is NEVER a good thing. That's why we strip test monthly, to see if the dog is spilling sugar.
The UTIs have to be watched for in a dog with Fanconi. As I said, they frequently don't show up on urinanalysis; most of us with Fanconi dogs go by symptoms - depressed appetite, "accidents" or night leakage, general lethargy, and sometimes pain in the back or back legs. When we see these symptoms, we have the vet give us a 2 -3 week course of antibiotics (usually Clavamox or Baytril) even if the urinanalysis doesn't show an infection. There are some Fanconi dogs that are so prone to these hidden UTIs that they have been placed on 'pulse therapy' with a couple of weeks on antibiotics on a regular basis.
Hope this explains things better…there is a group for owners of Fanconi dogs, and there are people on there with much more knowledge than I have. Should any of you ever have to deal with this, it's a fabulous resource and a terrific support system.

I know this was long, sorry!

To me, this test is painless to the dogs, cheap to do, so, why not do it.
We do it the first of each month.
Any change in the dipstick, and the dogs are off to the vet.
This is something that can crop up in other breeds of dogs.
So, why not do it?

Basenji Mix

Terry, it's not too long . . . I appreciate your time to explain the testing procedure of VBG so I am familiarized for if and/or when I need to make sure proper testing is done for Duke. Thank you, as I seek responsibility in educating myself. I have opened a folder for Basenji Medical Care so I have reference as needed. An excellent question to ask a prospective vet is if they have a resource to an I-STAT machine for fanconi. If he doesn't know - then find one who does. Your explaination has helped me understand much better. You've also pointed out some of the symptoms to observe for fanconi. Thank you.

I am a new B owner. What is Fanconi? What are the symptoms?
At what age should I start testing my B? She is 1year 2 mos.
Any info on this would be appreciated. I want to make sure Maggie lives a long and happy life.

tHANKS

I am sad to read your post.
The breeder you got your dog from should have given you info on fanconis and any fanconis that runs in their line…
Who did you get your b from?
Fanconis is a kidney issue b's and even humans have.
The dogs drink vast amounts of water and flush all the chemicals they need to live, out in their pee.
Get some test strips, for humans spilling sugar, and put the strip under the dogs pee, or on the dogs privates right after they pee. Its not expensive, about $10 a jar...go to Walgreens or a drug store and ask. There are a few different brands...
If the strips change color, then you need to get to the vet and get your basenji on the fanconis protocal asap.
Its a bunch of pills you give the dog every day to keep the dogs body running properly.
At this time, there is no cure for fanconis...just treatment that slows the damage to the dogs kidneys down...but it is progressive and will shorten your b's life.
The person you got the dog from should have been upfront with you re this.
My advice is to phone them and find out how many dogs in their line have had this crop up.
If they say never, then I would not think they are being truthful.
I have seen wonderful breeders who do everything right, have this crop up.
BUT they stack the deck in favor of the dogs they breed and they tell the buyers what is happening.
Good luck.
I know of some wonderful fanconis support lists to suggest if this crops up in your basenji.
STRIP TEST every month! the first of every month is when we do it.
THe sooner you find out, the sooner you can slow the damage to your dogs kidneys.

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