Testing, Money, and the Basenji Fancy

  • I have posted before a thread about the cost of health testing and breeding a litter. I realize that it may seem repetitive to bring it up again but I don't want to see someone else's thread hijacked because people still have an issue with responsible breeders and what those active in the basenji community are striving for with basenji health. I hope those conversations can be redirected to this thread.

  • Good idea.

  • I have said before along with others on this forum that there is far more to health testing an responsible breeding than just doing the Fanconi Marker Test.

    The Basenji community through the Basenji Club of America and the Basenji Health Endowment have worked very hard for many years to try to improve the genetic health of the basenji breed. They have been extremely concerned about health issues and IMO have been very proactive in finding solutions. The basenji breed was one of the first to have a DNA based test for one their inherited diseases, Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency, the cause of inherited Hemolytic Anemia that was killing young basenji puppies. Because the basenji community worked hard in collaboration with researchers they were able to build pedigrees, determine mode of inheritance, and ultimately get a test for the disease. Many newcomers to the breed have very little knowledge of PKD and how hard the basenji community worked to irradicate though it still shows up in untested stock from unknown backgrounds.

    The Basenji community pulled together to gather pedigrees and DNA samples for the study into Fanconi Syndrome. Thanks to effort we now have a Marker Test and hope to have a direct gene test in the near future. DNA research takes time though and "near future" could still be 5 years off. In addition to funding this research the Basenji Health Endowment has also given grants for PRA research and hypothyroidism. They allow researchers to use the massive DNA database they put together because they are dedicated to doing right by the breed and eliminating as many genetic disorders as they can.

    The Basenji community has gone a step further than just looking for DNA tests, they are also working to increase the number of founders and gene diversity to insure a long future for the breed. We have opened our studbooks and are accepting new foundation stock.

    All of these things have been done because the fancy is dedicated and passionate about this breed.

  • I know I'm coming off harsh on people who are really nice and trying to do good, it's not what I want to do but I can't help it, the same way is hard if not impossible for people not to feel bad when the whole fanconi thing is told to them.

    And tanza, you can disagree that mixed breed dogs are healthier if you want but there are many studies that show that dogs who are not selectively bred are less prone to congenital diseases. You really need to do some research if you don't think a wider gene pool affects an animals health or not.

  • Add to that how the fancy has worked on temperaments and to breed a better Basenji without losing breed type… and function... Temperaments are so very critical in our breed... many, many years ago you were more likely to be bitten by a Basenji then kissed... the fancy has worked hard to breed good temperaments that make a Basenji a great family companion (in the right situation) that is loving, happy, well adjusted... while keeping that independent sprite that we all love about them. Responsible breeders take all that into consideration when planning a litter... not just mating the same sire to the same bitch year after year after year to push out pups to sell... While you see that BYB's or puppy mills use the the same combo of sire and dams... look at responsible breeders.. you will rarely find the same combo of sires and dams... why? Because the fancy is striving to improve the breed... expand the gene pool as we are now with foundation stock...
    And the DNA test for Fanconi gives us the opportunity to use dogs that in the past we might never have considered....

  • Most information out there about mixed breeds being healthier is flawed. Most of it incorrectly tries to apply "hybrid vigor" to dogs but that does not work because a fundamental assumption to hybrid vigor is that the animals do not share any common defect genes and that all disorders are recessive. That is not true with dogs, they do share common defect genes and several disorders are likely to be dominant traits. Many breeds have hip dysplasia, cataracts, PRA, etc, they are the same species with the same genes for these diseases. If you cross a Rottweiler with a Lab you still have a dog that is at high risk for hip dysplasia, my aunt's had severe dysplasia and was in a great deal of pain because of it. My mom's lab/shepherd mix got an aggressive form of cancer thought to be inherited in labradors being a mix didn't help prevent it.

    Another thing that must be taken into consideration is that most owners of mix breeds do not test for disorders either. They attribute things to "old age arthritis" or "old weak eyes" when the dogs are in fact dysplastic and blind with PRA. Purebred dogs get a bad rap because the responsible breeders want to best by their breed and learn more about how to prevent a disease from occurring than shoving their head in the sand.

  • @Danny:

    I know I'm coming off harsh on people who are really nice and trying to do good, it's not what I want to do but I can't help it, the same way is hard if not impossible for people not to feel bad when the whole fanconi thing is told to them.

    And tanza, you can disagree that mixed breed dogs are healthier if you want but there are many studies that show that dogs who are not selectively bred are less prone to congenital diseases. You really need to do some research if you don't think a wider gene pool affects an animals health or not.

    I have done lots of reseach.. and I know that mix breed mutts are not any healthier then pure breeds.. the difference is that with mix breeds there are no records kept.. there are no health tests published… there is no pedigree lines to gain information from... and while I am NOT saying that there are breeds of dogs that would not gain from what the Basenji Fancy is trying to do... because there is... it would be great if all pure breeds would take the line that our Fancy has and is doing... but in the end... cross breeding mixes does not knowing the genetic problems or how they are passed is not the answer.. you could get all the bad... or all the good or it could all show up in 3 generations if you continued with the same crosses.. and you never know about temperament.

    And people that bred pure breeds "know" the health problems and talk about them... people with mix breeds can't do that because they do not have the years and years of test records behind them... nor do they care.. (imo)

  • As for responsible breeders making a profit. Here is all of my expenses from my last litter in a single post instead of spread out through real time.

    Health testing for 1 parent:

    OFA Hip x-rays $75 + $30 OFA fee
    OFA Patella Check $10 + $15 OFA fee
    OFA Thyroid Panel $81 + $15 OFA fee
    Fanconi Marker Test $60
    CERF Exam $35 + $12 CERF fee for first time registration

    Shipping Costs

    Health Certificate $54
    Shipping Cost $219.48

    Insemination costs

    Cost of semen retrieval and transport $95
    Progesterone Testing Costs $75/test x 4 tests = $300
    $45 for semen preparation
    $450 for surgical implantation
    $90 for weekend/holiday service

    Prenatal Care

    Ultrasound at 30 days $148.75
    Wellness Check $25
    X-ray $75

    Post Natal Care

    Dew Claw removal and wellness check for mom and puppies - $90
    First Shots + Microchip - $310
    CERF Exams - $140
    Second Shots - $115
    Registration - $140
    AKC DNA Profile - $140

    Total - 2770.23

    TC's owner decided to take a puppy back instead of a lease fee. My mom kept one puppy so that left two puppies that were sold which offset the costs by $1700. Leaving us in the hole $1070.23 and that isn't even counting the puppy packs we sent home with each puppy.

    Here is the cost of the stuff in the Puppy Pack that we sent home with each puppy.

    Collar - $4.99
    Lead - $6.99
    Trial Bag of Food - $2.50
    Variety of Treats that the puppy likes - $5.99
    Nylabone - $3.50
    Toy that smell like home - $3.99
    Blanket that smells like home - $1.00
    The Puppy Primer by Patricia McConnell - $7.95
    Homemade Puppy Winter Coat - $5.00
    Homemade Adult Winter Coat - $10.00
    Snuggle Puppy - $13.95
    Rou's Tips for Basenjis - $13.00
    Total - $78.86 per Puppy Pack.

  • This all started because of the welcoming people get here which I don't agree with, the rest was total point derailment that I just went with. It's pretty eyeopening to see the expense list Lisa, sorry I even brought the whole profit thing up.

    And as far as the mix breeds, I think they are great but it is good to know what traits your dog will have before hand instead of having a big surprise. I had a MB that would escape the fence in my house, follow me to school which was a 30 minute walk, hang around and then come back home. He lived for 13 years. However I was not aware breeders go such long ways to ensure a wide gene pool, I think thats just if not more important than dna tests.

  • I am glad you found the cost breakdown eye opening but it does prove my point about people not looking at stickies. Those expenses are all listed in a Sticky in Breeder Talk.

    I am sorry that you do not like when people bring up proper screening of breeders and checking health testing but it truly is important and it can mean the difference between heartbreak and happiness down the road.

    Believe me, I understand just how much can come up in the normal lifespan of a well bred dog. If you have been following the forum, you know my 11 year old just had major surgery to remove a spindle cell sarcoma from his side. I am lucky, my dog is in exceptional shape and is often mistaken for a much younger dog than he acutally is. I know a good part of that is the work that his breeder put in 11 years ago when she planned his litter and chose the breeding she did to blend two healthy long lived lines. I believe in stacking the deck in my favor as much as possible and recommend that approach to anyone looking for their next companion.

  • I agree with "stacking" the deck… .... I lost 3 since May of 2008 at almost 17.. and over 17...yrs... that had been with me since between 8 and 12 wks.... the work that my mentors put into them gave me the chance for their long and great lives..... and I only hope that the litters that I have breed have the same long life span... and that when they want another or they have lost their companion... they know they can come to me for a new companion and regardless if I have a litter at that time... I will point them in the direction of another responsible breeder that has the same values in breeding that I have....

  • Danny perhaps you would like to see another view of expenses from a less profitable litter than Lisa's…..

    Shipping of bitch from Hawaii to Oregon $250
    (includes health certificate and rabies vaccination)

    Rabies Vaccination $41.50
    Thyroid panel $75
    OFA fee $15

    Progesterone testing ($75 x 10)
    Initial Vet exam $36.50

    Semen shipping (2 samples) $200

    Vet exam/pregnancy ultrasound $65

    TOTAL EXPENSES $1,433.00

    TOTAL PUPPIES = ZERO, yes that is a big 0

    More health testing:
    patella fee $15
    KSU serological titer $150
    eye exam $20
    CERF $10
    Total $195

    she LUCKILY came in season almost 6 months later....
    so I used a dog that I bred....
    Kona had to be completely tested:
    Hips/Elbows $150
    Thyroid/Patella $75
    Eyes $20
    CERF $10
    Semen Analysis $60…..............

    So Far $1,948.00

    PUPS are due in another week…. this time she is definitely pregnant...
    then her job on the mainland will be complete.
    I hope there are no major issues and a vet call is required....

    Which means there is still the expense to come to ship the bitch BACK to Hawaii.... another $250 plus travel expenses.... argh!

    still to come....guestimating 6 pups....
    puppy eyes....$120
    puppy health exams..... $49 + $60 for puppies
    2 shots per puppy (12 x $10 each) $120
    microchips ($25 per puppy) $150
    AKC registration....
    ACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is too mcuh to even WANT to think about!!!

  • Here is my question to Danny…....
    healthy appearing Labrador x healthy appearing Poodle =

    This is a mixed breed, what makes is healthier than the average purebred???

    I mean after all, these two breeds are a RECIPE FOR DISASTER when it comes to health....

    talk about a buffet of issues......

  • The cost breakdown in the US is also lower than that in Canada. Here's some of the breakdown for me:

    Thyroid Panel-$120
    Hips- xray $135 plus OFA Fee $40 (Don't forget I have US exchange as well)
    Eyes-$40 the first time, Vet recheck $40.
    Fanconi test $40 blood draw and OFA fee $65. (again US exchange)

    That's just the prelim BEFORE the actual breeding-costs go up from there. And as Kathy and Lisa stated, that's before the puppies and any problems with the bitch. I had some issues for a couple of weeks after the birth. Also, I shipped one puppy, so I also had the expense of driving to the airport which is about an hour and a half away. So, it was not cheap.

    Would I do it again even though I didn't keep any? Yup, although I didn't get what I wanted perfectly, I had the opportunity to give 3 people something that they may have otherwise not have had. Nicholas Dennis has Lilo, which when I talked to many other breeders, said they would not have shipped. I saw no problem with it. I talked to a lot of people at Air Canada and she was very well taken care of. Nicholas has a lovely little girl that has is the most loving little thing. Clar and Emm have Kairoe whom I love dearly and is the sweatest little boy. One other couple took two others and love them as well. I invested time in making sure they went to loving homes and yes, I spent money and time making sure that they were the right people.

    So, not only is it not cheap, but time consuming as well.

    I didn't breed for profit-I didn't get any!

  • Telling new folks about the difference between good breeders and breeders who are for profit not only helps them see there is a difference. It keeps them from getting a loving, and LOSING a beloved b years before they need to.
    Why put yourself and your family through that, if you can avoid it, but doing some research.

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