My Skeeter is 17 years 2 and 1/2 months old. I have had her since she was 2 months old. She has gotten so skinny and is frail but she still eats and drinks and lets me know when she needs to go out. I have to keep her on a leash now because she tends to take off and we live out in the country but the other day she went down our driveway and out onto the gravel road. I'm not sure she knows where she is any more but she does find her way back. She can't see very well but her hearing is still pretty good, She always did have selective hearing. She has been a treasure and I love her dearly. I know she can't be here much longer and my goal is to keep her as comfortable as possible. She doesn't exhibit any signs of being in any kind of pain. It is my constant prayer that she will just slip away in her sleep and I won't have to make the decision to put her down. She was very sick 3 years ago and was diagnosed with a brain tumor and kidney failure but on the advice of a friend, I stopped any food or treat that had red dye in it and she stopped having seizures immediately and hasn't had one since.
I found when our basenji was young that the more high energy playing she did, the more wound up she got. She was a handful. I used to actually get ahold of her and hold her tight (not tight enough to hurt her) and she would squirm and want down but I would hold her and sit calmly with her and actually sang to her which seemed to calm her down.
My 15 year old basenji had seizures, she would bat her eyes and fall down, she never did become unconscious. This was over a year ago. I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and put on phenobarbital. However, she got in such terrible shape and sick to her stomach and I decided to take matters in to my own hands and stopped the medication and stopped giving her any food or treats with red dye or sodium nitrite in them. That was a year ago in Jan and she is still going. Although for the last month or so , she has what I think are mild seizures, she doesn't fall down but her head shakes and she bats her eyes but it just lasts for a few seconds. But until then she was seizure free. She has had food allergies all her life. I feed her Diamond Naturals dry dog food and have also found it canned, but most of the time she eats beef liver and beef heart which I purchase at the butcher shop and cook for her. She was also diagnosed with kidney failure a year ago but the vet told me to feed a lot of protein. She is now 16 years old and in pretty good shape for that age.
@bluebert I wish I could be of some help to you but having had just the one basenji , I don't have any advice for you. I'm so sorry that you are having these problems. I did notice at my local vets office that they have what they call calming jackets for dogs, I don't know if that would be of any help or not. You have my sympathy, I can only imagine how trying this must be. I know Skeeter has started howling when I leave since our other dog died and it just breaks my heart when I come home and my husband says, she's been crying for an hour. Good luck to you, I hope someone somewhere can help you.
I have read some comments about people getting a basenji and not being prepared for it at all. That was certainly the case with my husband and I. We had no idea whatsoever about how they behave. My husband just said let's get one of those dogs that don't bark, so I started looking for breeders. We drove nearly 200 miles one way to get one from a lady that said she had some that the broker wouldn't take and would sell us one for $50. I know now this was a despicable puppy mill. When we got there, she had 14 pups in a pen and told me to pick one of them and if we didn't want the papers on it she would just give it to us but if we wanted papers it would be $50. We said we didn't need the papers, she was just going to be a pet. So I picked one out, I had in mind on my way there that I would call the new dog Rosie but after I got acquainted with her, I said this dog is no Rose so I named her Skeeter. We had a 8 year old terrier mix at the time and the two of them bonded and she didn't show any signs of separation anxiety. She DID NOT like to ride in the car and still doesn't. She had a multitude of allergies, especially food allergies so I bought her special food at the vets office. I had no problem whatsoever getting her house broke and I have never crated her. Luckily, I dearly love dogs and my husband and I were very patient with her and wouldn't have dreamed of getting rid of her. She loved to pick on my husband, she would stand in a chair and wait until he walked by and then jerk his handkerchief out of his back pocket and run down the hall with it, she would chew it up if I didn't get it away from her. She has never given any sign of biting any one and I can even take food out of her mouth if it's something I don't want her to have. She loved to pull hair, when family visited that had long hair and sat on the couch, she would get up there and pull their hair. Not real hard the girls said it didn't hurt she would just tug on it. She also liked to groom my husband, she would get up on the arm of his chair and lick his head. She is a little over 16 years old now and is laying by my chair snoring as I write this. I have had a lot of different dogs in my life and I must say in my limited experience basenjis are very different than most dogs I've ever seen.
We had a bad time with our Skeeter at first. She was in to everything. She even tore curtains down. If she was doing something wrong and you scolded her, she would stop until you left the room and then she would go ahead and do whatever she started to do in the first place. When she was 3 years old a husky showed up at our house and we took him in. They were good friends, however, she only let him on the couch if it suited her and she would get very aggressive with him. Thankfully, he had so much hair that she didn't hurt him. I had a run built for them and let them run together for a few hours every day and that seemed to help a lot. She for the most part is a very high strung dog. She definitely has a personality all her own. Bless her heart, she is over 16 years old now and beginning to get stiff and hard to get around. Over a year ago, she was diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumor and got so sick that I had a vet scheduled to come and put her down and even had her grave dug but I opted not to give up on her, so I stopped all dog food and treats that contain red dye or sodium nitrite and she still has a very mild seizure once in a while, no falling down or shaking all over, just a shake of her head and blinking of her eyes. We lost the husky 4 weeks ago and since then when I leave the house my husband says she howls something terrible. I've thought of getting another dog to keep her company but I am 75 years old and my husband isn't well and I fear that if I got a pup, it could out live me and then what would happen to it and if I got an older dog, I might have to go through the heart ache of losing another one, so I've decided no more dogs but I know I'll be lost without her. She is the most independent, my way or not at all dog I've ever seen but I love her spirit.