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Basenji Health Issues

Here you can find the most important issues concerning Basenji health and condition.
For detailed info about particular health problems see related webs below.

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Fanconi Syndrome
Fanconi syndrome is an inheritable disorder in which the kidneys fail to reabsorb electrolytes and nutrients.Symptoms include: excessive drinking, excessive urination, and glucose in the urine - this all may lead to a misdiagnosis of diabetes. Fanconi syndrome usually presents between 4 and 8 years of age (sometimes as early as 3 years or as late as 10 years). This illness is treatable and organ damage is reduced if treatment begins early. Basenji owners are advised to test their dog's urine for glucose once a month beginning at age 3 years. Glucose testing strips designed for human diabetics are inexpensive and available at most pharmacies.

Fanconi DNA Linkage Test
It is first predictive test available for Fanconi Syndrome. With this test, it is possible to more accurately determine the probability of dog carrying the gene for Fanconi Syndrome. Dogs tested using this "Linkage Test" will return one of the following statuses:

  • Probably Clear/Normal

  • Indicates the individual has most likely inherited normal DNA from both parents. It is unlikely that basenjis which test this way will produce affected puppies no matter which dog they are bred to.

  • Probably Carrier
  • Indicates the individual has most likely inherited normal DNA from one parent and DNA with the Fanconi syndrome mutation from the other parent. Although this Basenji is unlikely to develop Fanconi syndrome, it could produce puppies that will develop Fanconi syndrome. To minimize the chances of this happening it is recommended carriers be bred only to those that test as Probably Clear/Normal for Fanconi Syndrome.

  • Probably Equivocal/Indeterminant
  • Indicates the individual's DNA contained features found in both "normal" and "carrier" Basenjis. At present it cannot be predicted whether these Basenjis are carriers or normal; however, it is unlikely that they will develop Fanconi syndrome. The safest strategy would be to treat them as "carriers" and only bred to those basenjis that test as Probably Clear/Normal for Fanconi Syndrome.

  • Probably Affected
  • Indicates the individual is likely to develop clinical Fanconi syndrome and is likely to produce puppies with Fanconi Syndrome if bred to Basenjis other than those that test as Probably Clear/Normal for Fanconi Syndrome.

    This linkage test is being provided as a tool to assist breeders whilst research continues towards the development of the direct fanconi test.

    Other Basenji Health Issues

    Basenjis sometimes carry a simple recessive gene which causes genetic Hemolytic Anemia. Most Basenjis today are descended from ancestors that have tested clean. When lineage from a fully tested line (set of ancestors) cannot be completely verified, the dog should be tested before breeding. As this is a non-invasive DNA test, a Basenji can be tested for HA at any time.

    Basenjis sometimes suffer from hip dysplasia, resulting in loss of mobility and arthritis-like symptoms. All dogs should be tested by either OFA or PennHIP prior to breeding.

    Malabsorption, or immunoproliferative enteropathy, is an autoimmune intestinal disease that leads to anorexia, chronic diarrhea, and even death. Special diet can improve the quality of life for afflicted dogs.

    The breed can also fall victim to progressive retinal artrophy (a degeneration of the retina causing blindness) and several less serious hereditary eye problems such as coloboma (a hole in the eye structure), and persistent pupillary membrane (tiny threads across the pupil).

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    Basenji Health Issues Sites

    Basenji Health Endowment Fanconi Test FAQ  - and other useful info

    Fanconi Management Protocol for Veterinarians  - 2003 (PDF)

    The AKC Canine Health Foundation  - all sorts of health issues

    The Canine Eye Registration Foundation

    The Canine Health Information Center   - The Canine Health Database

    PENNhip Site   - Method of testing hips for Displasia

    General Veterinary Site   - includes Basenji problems

    Basenji Health Testing  - by Sandy Kernen

    Health Concerns of the Basenji Dog  - by Linda Daves Siekert

    Canada Guide To Dogs  - Emergency and Life Threatening Health Concerns for Dogs - essential

    Canada Guide To Dogs  - Everything About Dog Food !

    Canine Health Foundation  - AKC

    Pet Health Forum  - Helping Pets Lead Healthier Lives

    Pet Dental Health  - Tips on proper home care from veterinarians

    Pet Education  - Expert Pet Information

    Purely Pets  - Dedicated to providing the highest level of pet nutrition

    Happy Tales  - Alternative, Holistic and Natural pet care nformation and products

    Healthy Pet  - Veterinary care providers committed to giving you excellence in small animal care

    The Pet Center  - The Internet Animal Hospital - accurate and easily understood pet health care information

    Tina's Ark Wellness & Health for People & Pets  - A holistic and alternative health Products & education website

    TeleVets  - Televets pet advisors are waiting online right now to offer you advice,
    second opinions and support for your pet questions and concerns

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