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posted in Behavioral Issues read more

@khaipan A few additional thoughts after yesterday's reply:

I've found that CBD oil is very dose-dependent and may require gradual increases to find an effective amount. I put it in the inside of lips when I give it. Some information I've seen online suggests that it is not as effective if given in treats or on food.

Former fosters have become much more anxious when given the usual sedatives. Benadryl seemed to provide a better response. One of those fosters was extremely anxious because one of her humans was ill. Max could be more anxious if one of his humans is ill - take care of yourselves!

What kind of mental stimulation are you providing? A routine that includes more obedience-type time (more frequent, very short sessions) can help to generally calm Max while building more confidence. Our guys go through a series of commands before every meal. Max may benefit from that communication more frequently.

posted in Behavioral Issues read more

Sorry to read he is having difficulties alone. I do not recommend the Impact crates, based on the experiences and conditions of one of my former fosters who was returned to me after the crate did not help in that home. He has a leg issue now. I'm not sure if it is a result of panicking in the crate. I have seen dogs damage, even bloody, themselves in crates, including soft plastic. I've also seen teeth damage and damage to some very expensive crates. There is one, a ZenCrate, that is designed to provide relief to those with separation anxiety, though the effect may be realized by leaving music on in the room with the crate. I have no experience with it. I did have one foster who was actually much calmer in his crate and very anxious (and destructive) if left outside of his crate. He was an exception...

Do you currently leave music or tv on? I find they do well when it is just loud enough to cover outside noises - not too loud. Depending on the dog's needs, I find different music or tv shows to be helpful. Happy sitcoms cover the silence with the sounds of people still in the house doing things. 'The Golden Girls' does that while also providing a soothing soundtrack that has put many of our basenjis to sleep. Soft rock has been shown to be soothing in canine studies.

How much in and out practice have you done? By that, I mean going in and out so many times starting with just a very short period of time that your boy won't know if you will be back in two seconds, two minutes, or ten minutes - starting out with just seconds, long enough to lock the door. I don't acknowledge anyone when coming or going when I'm doing this training until we are sitting down, relaxed, on my schedule. First times in and out should be so short that you are back and sitting down before he appears to react. This may mean that you pick up your keys, grab the doorknob, then go sit down. Lots of baby steps.

I prefer to have windows set so that they can watch squirrels, etc., out a back window, yet not see me going and coming out the front window. Blinds can be a safety hazard and face destruction. Our blinds on the front window are on the road side (which cuts down the solar heat load in the house while keeping the blinds out of reach), but you might need to fence off front blinds in your home. Sills may be destroyed.

Two way communication monitoring may help if there is enough noise at your work and during your commute for him to feel like he is still surrounded by life.

I've never not allowed a b to sleep with me unless he had to learn to be less defensive while sleeping first. If I can move them or have them move without being defensive, they are allowed on with everyone else. I don't make a big deal about it. Rather than keeping them out of the bed, I will block them from accompanying me to the bathroom, garage, kitchen, etc.

Since he has been good with just one one companion, adding a new one to the pack may do the trick. You could foster or 'borrow' a friend's dog for a couple of days first to see if this might work before committing to another companion. I do have one basenji who has not been happy when left home alone even if there is another b in the house. He is fine here, though, where there is a pack. One is not enough for him. He needs lots of company..

I hope you find the magic he needs!

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 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.


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