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Houston

You are right, fanconi is not something I would wish on any dog or dog owner..
So what should be done, let's say if brat and the like were doing the tests and several dogs did come back as affected? They robably wouldn't get adopted, should they be put down? Where do you place this dogs, in forever fosters? I am just trying to grasp the problem as a whole, because it is a, like said before, double egded sword, no matter what, something/somebody is going to be left out..if that makes sense..

@Basenjimamma:

You are right, fanconi is not something I would wish on any dog or dog owner..
So what should be done, let's say if brat and the like were doing the tests and several dogs did come back as affected? They robably wouldn't get adopted, should they be put down? Where do you place this dogs, in forever fosters? I am just trying to grasp the problem as a whole, because it is a, like said before, double egded sword, no matter what, something/somebody is going to be left out..if that makes sense..

While I know this sounds really cruel… but if they come back as Fanconi Affected and no one wants to adopt them... and the foster can't keep them.. then, sorry, I know this sounds really horrible.. but the kindest act of kindness could be to send them over the rainbow bridge.... I have been in that position.. While our No Cal club has been able to place a Fanconi dog (but only because it was with someone that already had a Fanconi dog when this rescue started to spill sugar)... we have had others that no one wanted... the kindest thing was to let them go over the rainbow bridge... they did not suffer... they were loved on till the end... it is a fact of life.. and at least something we can do to prevent suffering...

And to add to that... what if a potential Fanconi Affected is placed?...
Then they start to spill sugar and get sick?... Does that person have a Vet that knows about Fanconi?... maybe not.. ever worse for the Basenji... and in fact I know of a recent case just like that... the girl dog had Fanconi... the owner (and this was a rescue) had not idea.. (more like they didn't read about Fanconi)... her Vet had NOT a clue... this bitch suffered for 6 months and then died.....

So again... I do not know what the real answer is... but if me... I would test.. for Fanconi... disclose it.. and let the "chips" fall where they may... Not nice.. many of your would say??? Maybe... but again.. some of the most wonderful acts of kindness is to let that dog cross over the Rainbow Bridge

Houston

I respect your thoughts on this, and definitely think you are on to something..it is just a very hard pill to swallow..and I don't mean that as a pun..
Darn, I wish there was a "this is the way it is, and this is how we deal with it", it would be nice..

BRAT has to get Basenjis adopted and it's kind of "what you see is what you get and here's what we know about that Basenji". If the dog has not been tested for Faconi that will be up to you. So you either takes your chances like I did or look for a rescue that's been tested and you know the results. Anybody new to Basenjis looking to adopt better do their homework to find out the health issues so they don't get surprised later.

@lvoss:

My biggest problem is that BRAT still lists their strip test result so that it makes it seem like they are testing and their adopters don't necessarily know or understand the difference. So they get a dog that says "Fanconi tested? Yes, Negative" and do not realize that this statement was only good for the day it was strip tested and says nothing about whether this dog may be symptomatic later in its life. If BRAT is not going to test then they need to put a LARGE disclaimer next to this statement on their forms that says "DOGS ARE STRIP TESTED ONLY. RESULTS ONLY INDICATE WHETHER THE DOG WAS SYMPTOMATIC ON THE DAY TESTED AND DOES NOT INDICATE WHETHER THE DOG WILL BECOME AFFECTED IN ITS LIFETIME." Without this statement their forms are misleading and if people think the dog is "tested" so they are not testing then they are unlikely to catch the disease early if the dog does become symptomatic.

I sent an email and here is the new statement.

New sentence:

BRAT adopters receive a dog that has been spayed or neutered ($100.00-$250.00, depending on location), fully vaccinated, tested for heartworm, and strip-tested for Fanconi (negative unless otherwise noted), and temperament evaluated.

This is a great suggestion, thanks!

That is really nice Jennifer. Life just keeps getting better (some day's).

Rita Jean

But this is only a step in the right direction if the person reading it knows the difference between a strip test and the DNA test. There are still many people who do not know what the difference is and think a test is a test. Does BRAT educate potential adopters about strip testing and the importance of doing it monthly so they understand that negative test result only tells you about the dog's status on the day tested?

Are you surprised many vets are clueless and know nothing about Fanconi?

@Vicki:

Are you surprised many vets are clueless and know nothing about Fanconi?

Not any more…. However that said, I know many Vets that didn't really know that much about Fanconi, but were willing to learn, read about it, talk to Dr. Gonto... and become knowledgable about it and how it needs to be detected and treated....

@lvoss:

But this is only a step in the right direction if the person reading it knows the difference between a strip test and the DNA test. There are still many people who do not know what the difference is and think a test is a test. Does BRAT educate potential adopters about strip testing and the importance of doing it monthly so they understand that negative test result only tells you about the dog's status on the day tested?

The paperwork I received specifically says;" Testing is an ongoing process. A dog may test negative today but test positive next month. Please test your dog every month. " The letter also explains where to get the test strips, a link to the fanconi protocol for Dr. Gonto, 2 test strips, an explanation of what Fanconi is, what causes it, the success of the treatment if it is caught early, info on the DNA test , where to get more info, and more.

I think that is a very good start. They may not hold someone's hand, but I do think adopters should have some responsibility to do their homework also.

That is good that the paperwork explains strip testing and where to get the test strips. It is becoming harder and harder to get them.

Jennifer I think that is better than a good start. Your right you cannot hold there hand but if they love there dog then information is there then please use the information.

Rita Jean

Many years ago - I mention to some of the BRAT folks that the day was coming when we had to seriously look at rescue and the fanconi dog. We have limited spaces that will care for a fanconi dog - heck most people don't even want a dog over 2 let alone one with a disease. We expend limited resources of homes and money on old and infirm dogs to the detriment of those that are ok. We 'save' too many questionable temperament dogs (think KC rescue project) placing in homes that otherwise would have been available for reputable breeder puppies. So reputable breeders stop breeding. I have not bred a basenji litter since the KC rescue. I used every possible home I had to connect folks with dogs - including my own waiting list leaving me with 2 of 3 of my own puppies without homes - one of those puppies is now 7. Since I commit to taking every dog back - I don't have room to do that so - don't breed B's. (of course now I'm overfull with Podengos) but I share this as a slippery slope we navigate with infirm dogs.

IMO - I agree with Pat - rescue should test for Fanconi and put down the affecteds. That will at least give the more healthy in spirit and body dogs a better chance.

I can see your point Diana. But, I think that in practice, that would be very difficult. It is one thing to put down an aggressive dog…you can see that the dog will be dangerous...but for the people doing the fostering putting down a perfectly healthy, happy, sweet dog because it tested affected is going to be close to impossible...it would be for me. And I would guess that people would start to refuse to foster. if that was part of the job description.

Houston

I understand the point too, but you are right Andrea, how sad to foster and then know that you have to put a dog down knowing it might/will get fanconi many years from now. It would be very hard to do.

I just could not put a dog down knowing maybe it might get fanconi. Just to hard how do you look into that loving face and say SORRY but you might get sick.

Rita Jean

Since a dog does not have glucose in the urine until usually 5-7 years old, I cannot see euthanizing a young dog just because it DNA tests probably Fanconi affected. There are Bs that are killed by cars or by another illness or by chewing/swallowing an object like a towel before that age. All my rescues are DNA Fanconi tested. I also almost always have them thyroid tested and CERF'd for eye problems. These are just the expenses associated in owning/rescuing Bs.

I am taking care of my 3rd Fanconi affected who will be 11 in December and I do not have a problem in taking care of them. One of the six Amish rescues who was originally supposed to go to BRAT but did not because he had major socialization problems stayed at my own rescue. I had him DNA tested and he turned out to be affected. He will be two in November and will probably permanently live with me.

I train all my dogs, especially rescues, to take pills so that helps tremendously. I am able to come home on my lunch hour to let the dogs out. I have been able to travel via car with the Fanconi dogs.

Missy takes 10 bicarbs a day plus the other pills and supplements added to her food. She is able to see the regular vet, no specialists needed. She is able to eat regular food both dry and canned. She is not in renal failure and she is not having accidents in the house.

I have a rescue boy who has an esophagus problem and is mostly blind in one eye. He eats prescription intestinal dog food both dry and canned. He take Prilosec every day and Reglan every other day and he is also on enzymes and probiotics. He eats with his food bowl level as I place it on the living room coffee table. He sees an internist for ultrasounds and other tests as necessary. I am thankful he has a mild case for if not he would have to eat upright in a special chair. He tested probably Fanconi clear.

I just think there are other diseases that a dog could have that are worse than Fanconi. My elderly BRAT foster, who will be 16 in December, has more problems than a Fanconi dog. She has limited sight and hearing and has arthritis. If I do not take her out shortly after she wakes up and starts walking, she will urinate wherever she is at. She eats well, walks around fast, almost trots and had a complete workup a few months ago and the ultransound was normal for a dog her age. She is not in renal failure. She takes medications and supplements added to her food. She requires eye drops because of a previous eye condition.

If there are people willing to take a Fanconi dog or a young probably affected one, why euthanize them? I have thought about what I will do when Missy dies. I took Missy in when she was not doing well at the other co-owners place. Missy came soon after my other Fanconi dog Zippy passed away, not from Fanconi but from a tumor/growth in the nasal/facial region. Her Fanconi test results were completely normal the day I had to euthanize her because of breathing problems. I have the pill/feeding routine down so it would be easy to take in another Fanconi affected as long as the dog would get along with my other Bs.

Houston

Thank you for that post..I know there are people out here in the world that are ready to take on needing dogs, needing for whatever reason..you just did just that..thank you again..

While I admire your position, I do have a few comments I would like to make so I hope you do not mind me copying your quote and putting my responses in a different color to make it easier for others to follow.

@dcmclcm4:

Since a dog does not have glucose in the urine until usually 5-7 years old, I cannot see euthanizing a young dog just because it DNA tests probably Fanconi affected. There are Bs that are killed by cars or by another illness or by chewing/swallowing an object like a towel before that age. All my rescues are DNA Fanconi tested. I also almost always have them thyroid tested and CERF'd for eye problems. These are just the expenses associated in owning/rescuing Bs.

While I will not debate the age of when this might happen to a basenji, I would like to ask when has an animal has suffered enough and their quality of life has been degraded enough, before it becomes cruel to keep them alive either by machine, pill, or other means before euthanizing them becomes the humane thing to do?

I do agree that Basenjis are killed by cars, chewing/swallowing objects, eating poisons or other things disagreeable to their systems that can cut their life short at an early age. I think the big difference here is that a lot of what has mentioned in this paragraph is preventable. On the other hand illness is not something a dog can get into, be hit by, or consume. It is a natural process that is beyond the control of the owner. This is a very significant difference.

I am taking care of my 3rd Fanconi affected who will be 11 in December and I do not have a problem in taking care of them. One of the six Amish rescues who was originally supposed to go to BRAT but did not because he had major socialization problems stayed at my own rescue. I had him DNA tested and he turned out to be affected. He will be two in November and will probably permanently live with me.

Again while I admire your position, you are one out of how many thousands/millions of people that would take on this responsibility.

I train all my dogs, especially rescues, to take pills so that helps tremendously. I am able to come home on my lunch hour to let the dogs out. I have been able to travel via car with the Fanconi dogs.

Missy takes 10 bicarbs a day plus the other pills and supplements added to her food. She is able to see the regular vet, no specialists needed. She is able to eat regular food both dry and canned. She is not in renal failure and she is not having accidents in the house.

I think its great that you have been able to train your dogs to do all these things and that you have made progress with them. How much actual time have you had to spend training them to get them where they are today. Have you ever failed in your attempt to train a dog to do what wanted? Is there method that you are using that you think maybe others have missed? What about those who are not as successful as you? Should a dog be made to suffer because their owner may not be as capable a trainer as you?

I have a rescue boy who has an esophagus problem and is mostly blind in one eye. He eats prescription intestinal dog food both dry and canned. He take Prilosec every day and Reglan every other day and he is also on enzymes and probiotics. He eats with his food bowl level as I place it on the living room coffee table. He sees an internist for ultrasounds and other tests as necessary. I am thankful he has a mild case for if not he would have to eat upright in a special chair. He tested probably Fanconi clear.

Is this a Mega esophagus problem or something else. Many years ago I had a dog with a mega espohagus problem. After seeking out the advice of several different vets while the dogs health deteriorated, it was decided that is was in the best interest of the dog to euthanize him. I do not think I made the wrong decision in regard to doing what was humane for that dog.

I just think there are other diseases that a dog could have that are worse than Fanconi. My elderly BRAT foster, who will be 16 in December, has more problems than a Fanconi dog. She has limited sight and hearing and has arthritis. If I do not take her out shortly after she wakes up and starts walking, she will urinate wherever she is at. She eats well, walks around fast, almost trots and had a complete workup a few months ago and the ultransound was normal for a dog her age. She is not in renal failure. She takes medications and supplements added to her food. She requires eye drops because of a previous eye condition.

Are you a person who is home all day long so you have time to deal with these unique problems?

If there are people willing to take a Fanconi dog or a young probably affected one, why euthanize them? I have thought about what I will do when Missy dies. I took Missy in when she was not doing well at the other co-owners place. Missy came soon after my other Fanconi dog Zippy passed away, not from Fanconi but from a tumor/growth in the nasal/facial region. Her Fanconi test results were completely normal the day I had to euthanize her because of breathing problems. I have the pill/feeding routine down so it would be easy to take in another Fanconi affected as long as the dog would get along with my other Bs.

Once again I really admire your effort and devotion to these dogs. After reading through all of this more than once, it begs the question, who is that will be able to take care of these animals in the same way you do if something happens to you? If you become incapacitated, can a person without your experience step right in and continue to provide the same level of care as you have provided for these animals? How many other people do you think that are out there that have the same level of commitment that you have shared with us here? If there are not that many, then you can certainly see the problem!

Jason

dcmclcm4 you do a great job and my heart goes to you I wish more people could and would see things as you do.

Jason who is going to take care of you if something happens and if you get sick just tell people do not care for me just let me die in peace since you cannot put me down like a dog.

None of us can see into the future but caring and loving and never, never giving
up. This is some one special.

Rita Jean

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