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posted in Behavioral Issues read more

@khaipan You are lucky to be able to take Max to work with you. That will allow you to make a home alone transition when you are all ready. He will be sensitive to your feelings, so you need to be ready as much as he is. As long as you don't make a big deal about it, he will be less likely to get excessively attached. My guys are quite attached to me (and, if they are awake, will stay at the window, watching me leave even if my S.O. is here), but they are fine when I'm not here. I've not really acknowledged them when I've left, so they can think that I'm just out on one of many short errands. I can frequently 'sneak out' without them even getting up. Not a big deal.

Before trying daycare again, you might want to approach that at least as slowly as leaving him alone if he's not had the routine of getting together with other dogs. It might also be good to spend the first couple of 'retry' visits with him (hopefully the facility allows for this), letting him have a little fun before leaving. If he's not into other dogs, he will probably be happier home alone. Even if you don't plan on leaving him at daycare regularly, it doesn't hurt to help him learn to like a place just in case you have an emergency need for him to stay.

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

Whenever we leave, we keep the tv or music going so that they never really feel like we left. They are so used to us coming and going for shorter spells or just going outside to take care of outside chores that they don't get worked up when we go. Of course, we do have quite a few in the house, so they do have company. Even those that have had separation issues in other homes where they have had companions do well here, though, perhaps because we are in and out so frequently. Since you only have a day to come up with a solution, you won't be able to 'practice' the frequent going and coming that we do.
For some, the tv playing sitcom shows may make them feel like family is still 'living around them' even when they are left alone. A quick solution may be doggy daycare until you have more time to do the frequent going and coming practice. You can also set up to have a two-way communication with him instead of just a camera check. I've used Skype and FaceTime to do this. Just hearing our casual talking on FT seems to make a difference for some who didn't stir for hours until the FT audio was muted. There are also remote controlled treat dispensers so they can really think you are magic and always with them even when they can't smell you.
Hope you and Max find a solution that works!

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

@reneemay You've already had a lot of great input. Thanks for not giving up on him!
I've had around 200 basenji fosters, including many formerly owned by elderly folks. The lifestyle change was mind-blowing for them. To help them cope, I set up pens (safe spaces) that allowed them to watch everything we do from the sidelines. Even outside in our yard, I have separate pens for those that haven't been socialized. They do have the benefit here of having many positive examples to follow - now you have the pup for a positive example.
For training, I've found that less is more. I may hope for more, but expect less. Our sessions are very short, often just a few minutes before every meal, ending on something I know they will do, even if it is just to look at me. I 'teach' commands that they already 'know' by saying a word to match their action, then praising.
I've had horses teach me about how loud our body language can be. I've learned to roll my shoulders and head or wiggle my jaw to release tension. If I have a concern in my head, many basenjis will act on it like they are reading my mind, so I've worked on having the right image in my head. I talked myself and the basenjis through things to set us up for success. It was easy to see how damaged they were, but I had to have the picture in my head of how they will be after their rehab. There are so many positive images now available on the internet that it's a bit easier now to get the right image in my head.
I hope you are able to help him to settle into happier ways.

posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions read more

@ripthebasenji, bloody discharge will come from the vulva, which will also appear swollen. No questions are dumb!
Hope you can get her into your vet quickly.

posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions read more

We've had a couple of diabetic basenjis come into rescue. One was around nine years old. Odd case - she never spilled more than a trace of glucose (and is also Fanconi DNA affected), yet her blood glucose when she arrived was 467! She was pretty obese. Not only is she not spilling glucose now, her blood glucose is now normal without insulin and her weight has been healthy for years. We put her on a very rigid diet (Wellness CORE weight management - no change from day to day) and a small amount of exercise (any increase bottomed her blood glucose level while we were stabilizing her). The amount of insulin needed had to be tapered back until we finally had to stop it. Unfortunately, changes had already been significant in her eyes prior to arrival, so cataracts were removed to avoid future complications. She arrived more than three years ago. Was off insulin within half a year.

posted in Member Introductions read more

Handsome boy! I don't see any basenji, though. If you would like to do a DNA test for health that also tests for breeds, Embark, which is affiliated with Cornell University, is an option.
I hope you have a patient vet and that your boy learns to settle down and be cooperative there. I've had dozens of fosters who started out as real challenges for the vets, yet they all got over it and became good citizens with the vets. They don't necessarily love the visits, but they cooperate calmly.

posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions read more

For no-see'ums in Florida, I use white vinegar and water, 50-50 mix. It works for about an hour or so. I keep a spray bottle outside with me when working with horses, who I also spray. I do wish it would last longer, since one of my horses is extremely sensitive to the no-see'ums who don't seem to be bothered by fly sprays for horses. The white vinegar mix gives him better protection for the hour or so that it lasts. For the dogs, I've sprayed my hand, then wiped the dogs. I do have a couple of dogs who are very sensitive to bites and a few who are sensitive to most of the other repellency options, so, though more labour-intensive for the number of dogs I have, white vinegar has been the one thing I can use to help everyone.

posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions read more

@tayda_lenny - I see Tony has now responded.

My approach to helping basenjis with kidney issues covers everything in basenjis' lives - a base of healthy home management supporting a vet & owner team resolving specific medical issues. I've had around 200 basenji fosters from all kinds of breeding, from many different home environments and with many different health issues. Many issues (health and behavioral) that they have when they first arrive are improved just by changing the environment to suit what each individual needs (not always easy to figure out what is best for each). Anything I do medically ends up being more effective with less vetting effort or medication.

I do whatever I can to minimize stress, including heat stress. Our basenjis are not allowed to spend much time sun-bathing (or time under heavy covers, though I will cover them with light covers if it is too cool). Those with health issues spend just enough time out during the middle of the day to take care of potty business. Of course, in our house, everyone always has companions. While some may tolerate being alone and may have difficulty getting along with others initially, b's are pack animals. Being alone is stressful for most. For those that might have to be separated, I use music or tv to sub as companionship. Something with talking (in the middle of music or on tv) can make them feel like humans are around even if they aren't. The noise also helps to reduce stress by eliminating silence. Basenjis will listen for something exciting to break the silence - hunter listening for prey - so a constant drone of noise reduces the strain of anticipation. There is the stress of aging as well. Eyesight changes will affect some more than others. To help minimize the stress, particularly when traveling, making sure he is surrounded by familiar scents can help. Some folks think that DAP or some oils, like lavender, are soothing. CBD oil may also help. I am trying CBD oil for the first time on my senior miracle Fanconi b. He's not impressed with the taste based on the faces he makes, but he does seek it out, reminding me if I'm behind schedule. It is one of those things I'm trying because I've found nothing to suggest that it will hurt.

Basenjis share many cat-like characteristics. One most likely to be quietly harmful to them is the tendency to not drink enough. Vets now associate the large increase in cats with kidney disease to the major use of dry kibble as a cat's diet. They evolved to get a large portion of their needed moisture intake from their food, so they tend to not drink enough to make up for the lack of moisture in kibble. I have found basenjis to be the same way and have had many fosters who didn't drink enough, including many NON-Fanconi b's. One thing that I do for all of my guys is that I never feed dry kibble (if you can home-cook, that's great - with the number I have and considering some are fosters who may be adopted by someone who can't cook for them, kibble is my compromise). I always soak it in boiling hot water for at least 20 minutes, then make sure it is cool prior to feeding. 1:1 kibble:water generally makes the kibble moisture equivalent to cooked food; 1:2 ≈ raw food; 1:3 ≈ renal diet canned food. We are in the heat of the summer and I do have an aging pack, so everyone is getting at least a 1:2 kibble:water ratio. For those that I still worry about dehydrating, like my senior Fanconi b, I use a rabbit water bottle in addition to having multiple water dishes which are changed a few times a day. B's like to lick and can't stand 'stray' water, so the Lixit-like nipple slightly dripping water from the rabbit bottle encourages them to drink. A plastic bottle allows me to increase the watering rate by squeezing the bottle. It has been the perfect fix to a serious problem with my old Fanconi boy, helping me to avoid having to do sub-q fluids (which I do have on hand just in case). I have given my old guy sub-q fluids by myself when it was not critical so that I know what he will tolerate and how I can handle his future care needs. In case you haven't noticed, I am very concerned about sufficient water consumption...

As for food, I have so many b's needing help and under my care now that I haven't had time to go through specifics of what I'd need to switch to homemade diets. For now, I still rely on kibble, even for my old Fanconi b (though added sweet potato makes it more palatable for him). Once I could get him to eat normally (he arrived as an anorexic and had to learn how to be a 'normal' b...), he was on the same kibble as everyone else in our pack, Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast (26% protein, 1%min phosphorus). His phosphorus level just shifted into the 'needs binder' range, so I have incorporated aluminum hydroxide and switched to a weight management formula (Wellness, 24% protein, 0.6%min phosphorus - I've noted renal formulas at 0.4%), noting the phosphorus level is almost as low as the renal formulated kibble. Unfortunately, we also need to address an elevated calcium level. We will run more bloodwork before deciding what else needs to be done for that (though he is, of course, getting no calcium supplement now and the kibble has a lower percentage than the previous kibble). I give my old guy a multivitamin once a week. He also requires a potassium supplement, which I administer four times a day. I give him a bicarb or two four times a day, but I use that with caution. Needs vary, depending on stress (heat or challenging activities) and hydration. He is close to anemic, so I'm giving him B vitamins with iron specifically formulated for dogs needing more health support. He's also on antibiotics now, not given with anything else. He is more sensitive to everything now, so I watch for changes throughout the day.

Bloodwork test results are just a snapshot of a very dynamic system. I appreciate the vets who want to treat the individual, not just the numbers. I've had many other b's who were much less sensitive than my old Fanconi boy (well, every other b has been less sensitive - this boy takes it all to a new level...). I've had senior non-Fanconi b's who, with all of the testing and interpretation now available, might have been diagnosed with kidney disease, though vet exams suggested no problems. I am very conscious, though, of hydration levels, adding more water to kibble if I'm even slightly concerned.

posted in Basenji Health Issues & Questions read more

I've found a FaceBook group with files (with references) that are very helpful. I don't think you have to join to go through all of the files. They may also offer more advice if you join and post, but won't necessarily provide a specific diet: https://www.facebook.com/groups/211455130573/
I've had around a dozen Fanconi b's spend time in my home. Currently, I have an 11.5 year old Fanconi b boy who has been at stage 3 CKD for at least 4.5 years. He first came to me the day he was to be euthanized 5.5 years ago at 2/3 of his current 'healthy' weight. He was scheduled to be euthanized because of his poor condition. Just recently, he has tested at the top end of the range for stage 3 CKD, so I am just now modifying his diet. He has not been on a kidney diet for all of the years (5.5) that he has been with me. I did, however, always make sure that his meals were well-hydrated. He has been on a kibble diet with 26% protein - kibble always soaked in water prior to feeding (amount of water has been increased so that the relative moisture went from being like cooked food to raw food and now, with more water added, like renal canned food). His environment and handling has been much more important to his overall health than a kidney diet - he was extremely stressed and very untrusting of vets prior to his arrival here. He has a couple of other issues that are currently affecting his Fanconi (and kidney) condition.
While dealing with his issues and the kidney disease of other dogs, I've found that the knowledge and practice in the vetting community varies greatly and have seen varying consequences because of it. I've also found that getting the right supplies can be a challenge. It sounds like you are well-equipped to be your canine patient's advocate. Keep asking lots of questions. If you would like any more feedback from me, please let me know.

posted in Member Introductions read more

One of my b boys started having seizures a few years ago. He has them in pairs roughly every nine months. The first pair was just tonic (frozen) separated by a week. The second pair was tonic-clonic (grand mal) separated by a day. The third pair was also tonic-clonic, separated by ~12 hours. The disorientation period after is quite long and significant - he is frantically scrambling to get away from 'it' but can't even stand properly. He will flip himself all over the place. I keep pure frankincense oil (2mL from www.animaleo.info/a-to-f-singles.html) handy now. I put a drop on a finger to stick in his ear to stop the seizure in about 30 seconds (I know of parents who have had to do this for their child - it worked quickly for the child - as well as other b owners who have found it to stop seizures). Unfortunately, the disorientation period is still strong and long, very violent. I do recognize when his seizures are coming and can now get him in a safe, soft spot and safely hold him down (so that I don't get accidentally bitten and he doesn't hurt himself). Even though the disorientation period is quite violent and lengthy, the frequency is so low that I'm not willing to put him on medication at this point. I am working to minimize stress in our home, since that may have been a trigger for each of the pairs (we do a lot of fostering - the energy of some new arrivals can be stressful, so I'm working to make newbies happy faster...). I will repeat bloodwork after more time has passed to see if the values we saw after the last seizure were caused by the seizure or may have led to the seizures.


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