• Just signed up . . . Live in Kansas City. Have a male and a female Basenji. Both 9 years old, see attached picture.

    Skeeter is the male and last year we noticed he was looking thinner and was always drinking water. As much as he could find and then would need to go potty quite alot. Took him to the Vet and yes he is Diabetic. The Vet did an all day testing to see how much insulin he would need and we use human insulin purchased from WalMart (Novolin N). He suggested 5 units twice a day at 12 hour intervals.

    So, that became his daily routine. I pinch the skin on his neck and give him his shot, with no problem. He did seem to put some weight back on, but it seemed like he still couldn't get enough water, so I increased his insulin slightly and I found the right level to give him and he seemed to stop the continous drinking.

    OK, so now after about six months we noticed he was stumbling around and it didn't make sense. One thing the Vet did mention was that he would probably get cataracts or could go blind. You can even see the glaze in his eyes and now after a month or so of that he almost acts blind. I have an appt to the Vets on Saturday and we'll see what he thinks. He did say there are Vet surgeons if we want to take care of the cataracts, so we'll see. But, my heart is just broken to see him stumble around.

    We have an enclosed back yard, so whenever our babes want out, I just open the patio door. If Skeeter wants to go out on his own, he seems to find his way, but once when I walked away from the door, but remembered about10 minutes later, instead of him scratching at the door he was aimlessly pacing around in the back yard, poor guy. Once he heard my voice, he found his way back in. He does OK if Heidi the girl goes out with him. When I try to give him a treat, he has to find it by smell.

    So, just wondered if anyone has had this situation and wondered what ended up happening. Thanks

    Jerry and Dana

  • Your fur-babies are adorable. Thank you for sharing your story, it touched me.

    You could try scent items from mid yard to patio doors. Stinky socks come to mind. I keep old socks for furniture polishing. I'd wear these on the weekend then place pieces of them as a path to the house doors. Once a path is established, Skeeter should be able to follow his own scent to the house. It shouldn't take long for a little smartie-pants Basenji to pick up on this.

    I also found this site that may be helpful. http://www.blinddogs.net/blind_dog_tips.html

    Best of luck and keep us posted. I'd love to hear what does and doesn't work as I have an older boy that's starting to look a little cloudy over the eye.


  • Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear about your Basenji Boy's problem. I agree it's very upsetting to see a Dog go blind but it may help to remember that dogs dont think like us so i guess he wont think about his loss like a human would, he will just deal with it.
    Our last Basenji had visual problems, he sometimes bumped into things but we were never sure how much vision he had, he also had other problems.Mostly he managed well.
    It helps if furniture etc is kept in the same place and remember that a dog uses its nose more than us humans as well.

  • I had a blind dog, I went outside in the fenced backyard with her, and helped her get back inside. I made sure the "stuff" was picked up from the floor so she wouldn't trip on it, and talked to her when I moved from her room, she often wanted to be with me.
    Sorry you have these issues, but glad you found us. You will find a lot of good friends here.

  • We had a diabetic dog who went blind, fortunately she did very well in the house and yard with the dog door. Keep furniture, water bowls, everything in the same place, hopefully he will adjust. Good luck to you, your dogs are beautiful.


  • I did take Skeeter back to the Vet for a follow-up after his being diagnosed diabetic 6 months ago. He did warn me at that time about what would be happening to his eyesite and it has happened, so I just wanted to bring the Vet up-to-date. We checked his blood sugar and it was at that time a little low (70), which can be dangerous. Originally the Vet did a whole day test with him (not sure what they do) to establish how much insulin to use and he figured 5 units twice a day. I buy it at Walmart, Novolin "N" for just under $25 a bottle and that lasts for almost three months. The Vet doesn't approve the insulin made for dogs and said the Human type at Walmart is the best bet and the lower price. Since Skeeter is always drinking water as fast as he can get it, I tried to raise the amount of insulin a bit to see if his thirst would give me an indication of his blood sugar. Well, it didn't seem to matter and after seeing he was too low, I am sticking with the Vets recommended amount.

    So, all things considered he said Skeeter seems OK, but now that he seems to have lost about 80 to 90% of his site, he has become very inactive. When I offer him a treat, I put it right in front of his face and he can't see it. Once I get it within his smell, he hunts for it and gets it, very sad. The Vet gave me the low down on cataract surgery. A Vet about 50 miles away, does it and the patients he sends there are very happy with the results. I guess once you remove them, they do not come back. The only problem is the cost, about $3,000. I have not been working after losing my job with IBM a few months ago. He deserves the surgery and hopefully things will change for us, financially.

    But, one of the problems that has developed is, he's now peeing in the house almost daily. We have a fenced in yard and leave the outside door open most of the day. But, still we find alot of spots on the rugs and it's really becoming a problem. I guess he would rather not have to navigate his way outside to go, so he does it inside. I wish there was some way for him to understand. Because, if this continues, we will have to buy a doghouse and he'll have to stay outside in the backyard. And that will just break his heart, cause he's a couch potato normally. Our female Basenji Heidi, goes in and out constantly, but Skeeter is not as active.

    So, that's where we are now with the issues and any advise from the group, is appreciated. Thanks

    Jerry & Dana in KC

  • Was your boy DNA tested for Fanconi Syndrome or did your vet run blood gases to see if that may also be a problem for your boy? It may be that though he is diabetic that he is also Fanconi Affected which may be why even with his blood sugar under control he is still drinking so much.

  • He sounds like a text book Fanconi case. Please get him tested, and if your vet refuses, get a second opinion.

  • I agree something is wrong, please look into Fanconi.

    Now, maybe because Digital my brindlewonderkid is 13, but I don't think 10 is really that old for most basenjis. Dogs with hard lives or hard starts, tend to age quicker (think puppymill type dogs) and genetics does play a part as to how we all (humans and dogs included) age. But honestly when Digital was 10, he had his very best year of doing agility (judging by qualifying runs anyway). Even at 13, he's pretty active and loves to do some backyard agility. He's retired from competing because his hearing isn't very good (of course, being a basenji it's hard to tell) and some noises really bother/scare him, but he's quite active. Yes, he does sleep more and harder, but he still trots around the yard, enjoys flushing bunnies and playing with the 3 year olds - one basenji and one malinois.

    It sounds like your boy flat does not feel good. Please let us know how things progress. Good luck with the cataract surgery. A friend had her dog done and said it was the best $ she'd ever spent.

  • In the meantime, is there any way you can keep him in an area that is tile, or wood for easy pee clean up?
    Put his dog bed in there, and get some puppy pee pads.
    Babygate the rest of the house off and let him stay inside.
    It would be very hard on him to put him outside…

  • I totally agree with Sharron - please I beg you, don't put him to live outside just because he pees indoors. He can't help it I'm sure.

    To disguise the smell (after clean-up) spray a little white vinegar on the spot.

    Ivoss, Quercus - do Fancni affected Basenjis lose their sight? I know diabetes can cause loss of sight.

  • This boy had elevated blood sugar so is diabetic but that doesn't mean he isn't also Fanconi Affected. Even when treated, a Fanconi basenji will still have the polydypsia and polyuria symptoms.

  • Welcome and hello, My brother lives in Shawnee and has a 18 mo. old basenji, Hank and we are close to Topeka and have 2, Jonny and Hansel.

  • Testing for the fanconi is the way to start.

  • Ivoss - I wasn't actually querying the the fact that a Basenji could develop both but I was asking whether blindness is one of the Fanconi Syndromes? In my reading of Fanconi which I admit is quite lmited - (I've learnt such a lot about it too on this forum) I hadn't seen blindness mentioned. Perhaps you could enlighten me ? I'm particularly interested because a descendant of my dogs has tested possibly affected and I want to find out as much as possible. That is apart from my lifetime quest for more information on the Basenji!!!!

  • There are many things that can to go wrong with Basenjis that have Fanconi… but I have not heard of any that I can remember that have gone blind.

  • What concerns me is the excessive peeing and drinking.
    I have never seen that go hand-in-hand with diabetes.
    I agree with Lisa, he definitely sounds like he has Fanconi Syndrome.
    You can get strips yourself and test him for that…
    if you need help, check back here.
    I have lived with multiple Fanconi Affecteds.
    What you have described about Skeeter really sounds like Fanconi Syndrome.

  • How about a doggie diaper for accidents until the problem is resolved? Any other meds the dog is on? Certain meds can make them drink and pee more. My Katie has accidents when on prednisone or benedryl .

    Another thought: are there any slippery floors between the carpet where he pees and the alternative, the back patio doors/back yard? Many blind dogs have a fear of slipping and falling (not unlike my elderly mother:)) They make a no skid, cut to size rug backer. It washes up easily and could provide a tactile path across slippery floors for your dog. Blind dogs do use nose and paw sensation to navigate. One slip on a wood or linoleum floor can create lasting fear, especially for a blind dog.

    Best wishes and prayers to you. Keep us updated.


  • Thanks for all the comments and thoughts from the group. It's very easy to see how important these dogs are to all their owners and how loved they are! The almost eleven years we?ve had Skeeter and Heidi has been mostly rewarding and even as they age things change and issues do come up, we would never falter in our responsibility of giving them the best we can for their whole lives. I remember when we decided to get a dog back in 2000, we had no idea what type or breed of dog to get. I just got on the internet and went to Dogs.com and just clicked through the pictures of all breeds. Ha, when the picture popped-up of a Basenji, I was instantly impressed. I knew absolutely nothing about them, but something about the looks, the tail, the ears, heck I dunno, I was just very impressed. So, I started reading and it was a little strange seeing all the references and warnings about owning a Basenji and trying to explain the good and the bad and making sure we knew we were sure, etc. It almost seemed like we were being warned and to really be aware of the issues, before deciding. I couldn?t imagine what could be so bad . . . but eventually I found out.

    I did a little more research and found a breeder down in Warrensburg, Missouri, about an hour's drive from Kansas City. And again I was told by the breeder to read up about Basenji?s and make sure I knew what I was doing. So, my wife Dana and I drove down to take a look. Linda Ehlers was the breeder and she had a few Basenji?s that were just weeks old for us to look at. Out of a group of 4 or 5 we instantly saw one that was a chestnut red female and had a very nice pattern on her coat. She came right up to us and we knew right away she would be perfect. So, Linda explained how the father of these new pups came from Denmark (getting in some new blood) and the mother dog was hers. We met the mother and made arrangements to come back the next week to pick up our new pup. That gave us a week to pick a name and get supplies a crate and whatever we needed. So, we came back the next week, paid the agreed amount (gulp) and got some initial verbal training on what to expect. Linda gave us some pictures she had from the birth and early days and she explained we would get her papers after we had her spayed. We were instructed to get it done before the first time the dog goes into heat. She had some real fancy name on her papers, but I had picked the name Heidi and my wife liked it too. So, off we went with our newest family member, Heidi.

    We have a fairly large back yard, but no fence so we were taking Heidi out with a leash a few times a day to go potty. For the first few nights we had Heidi in her crate to sleep. But we could tell she didn?t like it, so that ended rather quickly and she only goes into a crate now, if we?re leaving the house for more than a few hours. Within a few months we got a 6? privacy fence and things got a lot better. She was house broken very quickly and was quite an active girl. We had a patio and to this day Heidi loves to lay in the direct sun light. And if a squirrel or bird dares to land in our back yard she?ll be chasing after them. Her worst trait is chewing on material. We have a collection of sheets, blankets, underwear, socks and more than I can think of, she has chewed through over the years. I get upset for not keeping most of it out of her reach, but I know she'll never grow out of it, at this point. We were BRAT volunteers for a while and during a transport we ran into Skeeter and added him to our Family. We knew having a companion for Heidi would be good and he was her same age at that time 1.5 years old. Skeeter has the same coloring as Heidi but is much more laid back. Heidi is definitely the Alpha dog in this family! They've gotten along very well over the years and have never had a serious fight. After spending over 10 years with these guys, you really learn their idiosyncrasies. Their personalities are just as complex as a human. To this day we have never regretted adding these wonderful animals to our family!

    So now you can appreciate how sad we are to see Skeeter going blind from Diabetes. We are going to do our best to get his Cataracts removed as soon as we can financially deal with it. My wife did say Skeeter was checked for Fanconi when we first took him to the Vets with Diabetes. At that time, it was negative, but I will certainly have him checked again as soon as I can. One comment said, drinking a lot of water is not a trait of Diabetes, but that is incorrect. I am a type II Diabetic myself and when you have a high blood sugar reading you do get very thirsty and my Vet agrees to that as well. As far as going potty in the house, we've noticed that even after going outside he will at times go potty inside within a few minutes, strange? In the past he would be prancing all around to let us know when he needed to go out and hold it until we let him out. Now, he seems to not even care? It's one thing to not want to navigate his way out, but why go again inside, after just being outside? Heidi doesn't seem to realize the situation and since Skeeter has always been laid back, nothing seems different to her.

    Thanks again for all the feedback and support. I'll post any changes in the future, right here . . .

    Jerry and Dana in KC

  • Has he been checked for a UTI? When they are spilling sugar in their urine there is a much higher likelihood of them developing UTIs. Alot of inappropriate peeing in housebroken adults is from UTIs.

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