Blind, diabetic 11 year old Basenji

My basenji was diagnosed with diabetes about 2.5 years ago. He went blind about 2 years ago. Within the last year, he has suffered about 4 seizures. I brough up Fanconi with the vet in the past and he said that Ramsey doesn't have that because he has sugar in his blood. The only problem is that it seems we just can't get his insulin dosage just right. He tests positive for the sugar in the urine so then we increase the insulin slightly…but then he suffers a seizure and we go back down in insulin. We thought the seizures may be due to low blood sugar therefore meaning he is getting too much insulin but his urine strips still show high and one time I got him in right after a seizure for glucose check and it showed really high blood glucose (but I had given him Karo syrup right after the seizure). Ramsey look so awful -- super thin, no muscle tone left. Anyways, I'm just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience with their basenji.

I'm sorry to hear about Ramseys issues and kudos to you for looking for more information…..

I don't know much about diabetes but I do have a B with Fanconi - If Ramsey is spilling ANY sugar in his urine and has EITHER normal or low blood sugar - it is Fanconi....

She is peeing and drinking a lot? Those are also symptoms to look out for.

Do you and your vet have a copy of the Gonto Protocol?

http://www.zandebasenjis.com/protocol.htm

Oh I just reread your post and read that Ramsey does have LOW blood sugar????

Ok, this is mission critical - please please please… if the vet you have been seeing refuses to entertain that it is Fanconi and keeps wanting to treat the symptoms with other medicines... please find another vet.

There is a yahoo group also that is a WEALTH of information... there may even be someone on there from Wisconsin that could recommend a vet in your area.....

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/fanconidogs/

Also, Dr. Gonto is also available to consult you and/or your vet.

please keep us updated. If treated properly, Fanconi is manageable. But treating a Fanconi dog as if it has Diabetes is not going to work. I'm not saying she definitely does not have diabetes, but from what you have written - it sure seems like Fanconi is a possibility….

What a great owner you are to find the right vet to treat your old dear basenji.
Hugs

His blood glucose is always high but I guess we assume when he has a seizure that it is due to low blood glucose. However, that hasn't been proven. The vet suggested I take a blood sample immediately after he has a seizure so I can see his glucose level. He hasn't had a seizure in months but last night at 1am he had one again! It is just so awful to see. At least I'm more calm now with it and I try to talk calmly to him while he is seizuring (the first time it happened I was really frightened/somewhat hysterical and I'm sure that didn't help the situation any). I woke up later in the night and found he had accidents all over the house. I cleaned those up at 3am, then this morning I woke up to more puddles all over the house. I am amazed he had that much in him. Almost everynight for the last 1 - 2 months, he urinates in the house but last night it was ALL over. He does drink a ton of water but that was one of the clues that led to the diabetes diagnosis.

I printed out a lot of information about Fanconi and I'm going to bring it into the vet next week to talk about again. I guess I have my doubts that it is Fanconi because of his high blood glucose levels but it wouldn't hurt to bring it up again with the vet. I'm taking Ramsey in next week so the vet can show me how to get blood out of his leg. He wants me to do a 12 hour blood glucose curve at home. We had done one in the vet's office last May but I guess the results were odd…so he wants me to do one at home when Ramsey is relaxed (vs stressed in the vet clinic).

Oh I'm so sorry you are going through this with Ramsey - hugs. He is lucky to have you!

ok - yeah, if there is high blood glucose that would be diabetes, but since it is fluctuating - I'm not sure what that means.

It wouldn't hurt to email dr. gonto with Ramsey's history and see his opinion…. his email/phone number are in that protocol link.

Good luck! Please keep us posted! And we'd love to see pictures of Ramsey!

Ok, I think I will email Dr. Gonto. Thank you so much!
I love your picture…so funny with the rabbit ears!! I'll try to get some pictures up here soon.

I just got a picture up -- I have two basenjis but I can't find a good one of them together. My black and white one is Clea and my red and white is Ramsey.

Thanks! Good Luck with Ramsey - It does sound like your vet is doing some good testing. I got panicked when I read that he was spilling sugar in his urine and had low blood glucose…. but if his glucose is normally high - I really don't know anymore. Hopefully Dr. Gonto can offer some insight.

Hang in there - he can't tell you himself but Ramsey loves you!

I know a couple of people with diabetic dogs (one which is a Basenji) and they have always had problems with the insulin. So seeing that his blood sugar is high, I would not think it is Fanconi

Our 8 year old little Basenji has almost the same symptoms. She suddenly started drinking enormous amounts of water and peeing almost constantly. She was diagnosed with Cushings and Diabetes. Now we are told that she has cataracts. Her blood sugar runs high late in the afternoons. She is on 11 units of insulin in the am and 6 units in the pm. No sugar shows up in her urine. They cannot regulate her sugar. No one can tell us if it is the Cushings, Diabetes, both or something else.

I was told about a year ago that she had a thyroid problem but the levels were low. Her symptoms seem to be worse, listless, no appetite, drinks enormous amounts of water, dry patch with hair loss.

We are doing all we can but are not certain if we are using the correct protocol.

If her thyroid levels are low then she needs to supplemented to get that under control. Since hypothyroidism will interfere with how well the insulin can do its job.

Were either of these dogs tested for Fanconi using the DNA test? I don't know how likely but could they be experiencing diabetes and fanconi?

@cwilder:

Our 8 year old little Basenji has almost the same symptoms. She suddenly started drinking enormous amounts of water and peeing almost constantly. She was diagnosed with Cushings and Diabetes. Now we are told that she has cataracts. Her blood sugar runs high late in the afternoons. She is on 11 units of insulin in the am and 6 units in the pm. No sugar shows up in her urine. They cannot regulate her sugar. No one can tell us if it is the Cushings, Diabetes, both or something else.

I was told about a year ago that she had a thyroid problem but the levels were low. Her symptoms seem to be worse, listless, no appetite, drinks enormous amounts of water, dry patch with hair loss.

We are doing all we can but are not certain if we are using the correct protocol.

From your description, it would suggest cushings
I think the first thing is to find out if it is one or the other or both… There are tests for Cushings. There is a urine cortisol:creatinine ratio test and Low dose Dexamethasone Suppression test... of course along with complete blood panels.

Here is a good site on cushings
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1597&aid=416

I agree with lvoss, if her thyroid is low, then it must be treated….but along with that you need to find out what she really has...

Hi,

I have had a similar problem with my (11-13? Y/O) Basenji female, Zeenie. She isn't blind but I know her vision isn't good. I know her blood sugar was somewhat abnormal at her last blood test, but like your dog, it was right after a seizure and I understand that is to be expected. Her first seizure was this past August and she has been to the vet several times for testing, etc. since. There is no conclusive diagnosis but 1/2 the dose of a 32.4 mcg pill of Phenobarbital twice daily (given religiously at 12 hour intervals) seems to eliminate the seizures altogether (knock on wood.)

I don't know what our next step is. I know I don't want any thing invasive, but I also can't afford an MRI: maybe an EEG or CT scan? If there is anyone else out there with advice, that would be welcome.

Anyway, if you need support or just want to vent or brainstorm together, please let me know. I am in NC in the US (EST.) and maybe we can exchange phone info later.

Best of luck to you. I know how you feel.

Lauma

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