Health issues

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Health Issues:

Fanconi Syndrome:  Fanconi syndrome, an inheritable disorder in which the kidneys fail to reabsorb electrolytes and nutrients, is unusually common in basenjis. Symptoms include excessive drinking, excessive urination, and glucose in the urine, which may lead to a misdiagnosis of diabetes. Fanconi syndrome usually presents between 4 and 8 years of age, but sometimes as early as 3 years or as late as 10 years.  Fanconi syndrome is treatable (but not curable) 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 the age of 3 years.  Glucose testing strips designed for human diabetics are inexpensive and available at most pharmacies.

In July 2007, Dr. Gary Johnson of the University of Missouri released the linked marker DNA test for Fanconi Syndrome in basenjis. It is the first predictive test available for Fanconi Syndrome. With this test, it is possible to more accurately determine the probability of a dog carrying the gene for Fanconi Syndrome.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):  The breed can also fall victim to progressive retinal atrophy (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).

Other Uncommon But Potential Basenji Health Issues:  Basenjis sometimes carry a simple recessive gene which, when homozygous for the defect, causes genetic Hemolytic Anemia.  Most 21st-century basenjis 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.

 


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This site was last updated 02/25/09

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