This Was All Preventable

Jennifer Hill posts here sometimes, and I am sure she would be more than happy to share her experiences with Fanconi affected dogs. I know that she has had at least two…Zippy and Missy (our Querk's sister).

It could be that no one has stepped forward because it just isn't that dramatic, if the dog does well on the protocol? If your dog takes the pills, life just goes on like normal until it doesn't work anymore. If your dog doesn't take the pills, that is a different situation, and I know several people that were miserable, and their dogs were miserable trying to force down 20 plus pills a day.

I am not sure what the animosity is towards people who haven't stepped forward to share their story?

OK here goes….. like Quercus said - it's really not that dramatic. Tayda was just diagnosed in November so it's only been about 6 months that we have been managing her Fanconi. First - the pills she is on:

1/2 pet tab plus - twice a day
1/2 pet cal - twice a day
5 bicarbs - twice a day
1 potassium tablet - twice a day
1 fish oil - once a day (not for fanconi)
1 cranberry - once a day
1 centrum complete - once a week (wednesday)
1 amino fuel - once a week (friday)
1 scoopful of yogurt with probiotics in it (to help with UTIs))

So if you add it all up - she is taking somewhere between 18 - 19 pills per day, depending on which day of the week it is, separated between two meals. The good news is, all of these pills are available over the counter and are not expensive. The bicarbs and the potassium MUST be given intact, the rest can be ground up and mixed with food, provided she eats the food.

When we first started, she was on 1 bicarb 2x day. Since the bicarbs need to be given intact so I would cover them in cream cheese and she would just eat it without inspecting them. After about a week of that, she became wise to them so now I basically have to force her to eat them. It doens't matter what I hide them in, she will spit out the pill if I give them to her to eat on her own. So, I hide them in cream cheese, pry open her mouth, wipe them on the top of her mouth and she will reluctantly swallow them. As of a few days ago, I have started hiding all 5 bicarbs and the potassium in a big glop of the yogurt and if i can get that in her mouth, she will swallow it. Sometimes she spits it all out all over the floor, and I have to quickly scoop up all the pills before Lenny eats them all, and then start over again. I could grind the rest of the pills, but since she rarely finishes her food - I have been giving her the rest of the pills the same way, in case she decides she doesn't want to eat, which is most of the time.

Her food is a mix of dry and wet food. She is super picky so I am still trying to find the right foods that she will eat consistently.

I feed her one round of pills around 7am and food right after. Usually she doesn't touch the food.

I go to work and come home around 4:30pm. I check the crate she and Lenny are in for any wet spots to see if she has peed in the crate (signs of UTI). If she does have a UTI, I call the vet to get a course of Clavamox. Which means two extra pills per day for ~10 days. Luckily the vet has just trusted me that I know what a UTI looks like in Tayda - particularly since in Fanconi dogs a urinanalysis can come up normal even if a UTI exists.

Second round of pills at 7pm and food right after.

We are still getting her blood work done every 3 months until she is stabilized. Every vet visit is around $250 for the venous blood gasses and blood chemistry panel. The vet I found that has the blood gas machine is not familiar with Fanconi so I email all of Tayda's results to Dr. Gonto directly for his recommendation.

Other than the pill/meal times, everything is normal. She plays with me and Lenny, snuggles on the couch with me, gets grouchy at Lenny and turns him over on his back, chases squirrels in the yard, all the usual stuff.

i have a fenced yard so letting her out all the time is not an issue. She does drink a lot more than before, but so far there haven't been any accidents in the house that were not connected with a UTI.

Thats about it. Like I said, aside from keeping things organized with the pills and being more cognizant of what I feed her, it's all pretty much business as usual.

Oh, except - I have pretty much written off going on vacation anywhere. There is just no one around here I trust to take care of her. Which, from a selfish standpoint, SUCKS.

Michelle,
Thank you for posting about Tayda… and kudos to you for the time, effort that you have put into her...
Your post bring home the point of why now that we have testing that we should never produce another Fanconi affected dog... and your experience with not being able to find a Vet that is familar with Fanconi makes your job ever harder...

It is a credit to your dedication... and to all the people that have had to deal with a Fanconi affected dog... it is not fun.... to have to worry about... every day, "how am I going to get the pills into my dog"... if not something I would ever wish on anyone... and my heart goes out to all of you that have had to do so... and found ways of doing it..

I remember when Parry found out about Jaadii spilling... he was much like Tayda... at first he could hide the pills in treats... but after a week or so, he figured that out pretty quick... they came to an understanding that he would "let" Parry shove the pills down him.. but he was not happy about it...

Michelle,
Have you tried feeding her first and then doing the pills? I only ask because my Kristii is on daily meds and I have found that if I do the pills after she eats.. she doesn't relate the pills to her regular meals.... just a thought....
And I hear you about vacation.. "what is that?"...gggg Again, my heart goes out to you... and hugs to Tayda

IMO... any time that you have to start shoving 10 to 20 pills 2x's a day into a dog.. it is totally stressful...

if you have trouble with your dog eating, try the muttloaf.

http://www.maryshouse.us/Recipes.htm

I just suppliment my pups' regular meal with some muttloaf and they have yet to not clean their bowls. might be worth a try anyway. (i do not have a fanconi dog, but i do have a picky, picky eater.)

Michelle,

Thanks for having the courage to post your typical day in regard to Tayda and her treatment. Maybe this will open the eyes of others who have not taken dealing with Fanconi seriously.

As anyone can see, it takes a lot of love, patience and time to cope on a daily basis.

Jason

@tanza:

Michelle,

Michelle,
Have you tried feeding her first and then doing the pills? I only ask because my Kristii is on daily meds and I have found that if I do the pills after she eats.. she doesn't relate the pills to her regular meals…. just a thought....
And I hear you about vacation.. "what is that?"...gggg Again, my heart goes out to you... and hugs to Tayda

IMO... any time that you have to start shoving 10 to 20 pills 2x's a day into a dog.. it is totally stressful...

I have tried separating meal times from pill times, both trying pills first and then meal - as well as meal first and then pills. It doesn't seem to matter that much. I try to do the "put it down and wait 15 minutes" and then take it from her just to make sure I'm not just training her to be pickier than she already is. I do it about 3 times throughout the evening and usually right before I'm going to sleep around 10pm she will finally eat some of her food. She hasn't lost any weight since being diagnosed and her coat still healthy and she has the same amount of energy she always has (albeit that level is - lazy most of the time). You really wouldn't know there was anything going on with her unless you looked in the cupboard full of pills in my kitchen….

@agilebasenji:

if you have trouble with your dog eating, try the muttloaf.

http://www.maryshouse.us/Recipes.htm

I just suppliment my pups' regular meal with some muttloaf and they have yet to not clean their bowls. might be worth a try anyway. (i do not have a fanconi dog, but i do have a picky, picky eater.)

Well, although I'm sure Tayda (and Lenny) would LOVE this - the other thing I didnt mention is that Tayda needs a "lower" protein diet to keep her BUN and CREATININE levels down. So this recipe with 9 lbs of meat wouldn't exactly accomplish that… lol. I wish though!

I just suppliment their food with the muttloaf - say one or two spoonfuls with the evening meal - their kibble, suppliments and warm water . I'd love to be able to feed them just that, but . . .

And I cut the recipe in 1/2 and that is still a LOT. Otherwise, you could use different meat sources - say turkey instead of beef? I don't know how different meats compare in protein levels. I'm lucky enough to usually be able to buy a 1/4 of a longhorn steer my friend raises and that beef is very, very lean. So that's also part of the reason I use this recipe. (although last time I made it, I had to use grocery store meat since she didn't have an animal ready for the butcher) But I've found it to be pretty adaptable.

When I have to pill, I use cream cheese (my boyz don't like peanut butter), but I guess you've tried that.

@khanis:

I think that Parry (Jaadi), Tracy (Data), Susan (Nate), myself and many others would agree that they would NOT hate traded their Fanconi Affected dogs for the world.
Had we known of their affliction before they were bred, we all would have bred them in different directions.
But, I for one, would HATE to see this kind of thing become a law.
There is already a bill trying to be passed (in Oregon) so there is no line-breeding within several generations.
I find this total crap and would hate for it to happen.
While I do agree with many of the bills about limiting the number of dogs (I truly believe that no person needs up to 50 dogs), I don't think one should legislate how I follow my hobby.

Educating the public is the best thing we can do.
With the day and age of the internet, there is NO reason for someone to say that they did not learn about Fanconi Syndrome prior to purchasing their basenji.

With the number of ads out that talk about Fanconi, there is no reason for folks to be in the dark about it.

Just for accuracy's sake….

Kathy, I am pretty sure that Data was not affected. He died of lung cancer at about 10 years old, and I think he was stripping clean at that point. He also has a clear son, Merlin, so that confirmed my memory.

Clearly, though, he was a carrier since Jaadi was affected.

Thanks to all who have put questions and answers forward. I'm kind of glad I pushed the issue, I have learned much more about the syndrome from the people who actually have the experience. As Jason stated, there are a lot of questions that people have who have never had an afflicted dog. And as Andrea states, some do better on the protocol than others, while some have different organs affected over time. It's all a learning process for us. And, it opens our eyes to some of the more difficult aspects of Fanconi. This is the part of the education that I wanted-some real discussion on living with them. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, but I really want to know. I guess I have an enquiring mind and feel a need to understand.

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