Life With Fanconi

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In January of 2016, Ginger Snap started having accidents in the house. She was fully housebroken, so we couldn't understand what was going on. Our vet originally suspected an infection, but that proved negative. And although the indicators for Fanconi Syndrome were present (increased sugar in the urine, but not the blood), our vet didn't know that was an indicator of the disease. We knew nothing about it either. It wasn't until June that we finally took her to an internal specialist where she was positively diagnosed. We also sent out for a DNA kit which also confirmed it positively.

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We started Ginger on Dr. Gonto's protocol, which meant adding crushed up vitamins and minerals to her food at each meal, as well as giving her whole bicarbonate tablets twice a day. She was taking 14 pills twice daily, plus the crushed up vitamins. It was a lot of extra work and expense for us, but she was more than worth it! We know she was meant for us, and can't imagine what her life might have been like if she was with someone who wasn't as diligent as we were with her supplement regimen.

Then there was the added challenge of leaving her alone. She couldn't hold her bladder for more than about 2-3 hours. The nature of Fanconi Syndrome caused her to be extra thirsty, and she drank a lot. She also had incontinence in her sleep. (I affectionately called her my "leaky pup") This meant that there needed to be pee pads on every piece of furniture she got on, and their beds too. We couldn't expect her to suddenly stop going on the couch with us when she'd always been welcome there before. To make matters more interesting, she almost always slept curled up next to my wife, which meant a pee pad and towel there too. Ginger also wore a Lil' Swimmers diaper to bed, along with a cover up we called her "bloomer". Whenever we would travel, we needed to prepackage all her "meds", and it cost extra to have them administered daily. Extra work and cost for us, but still more than worth it!

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Life with a Fanconi dog has its challenges, such as almost daily floor mopping, but there is nothing we wouldn't have done for this precious little "leaky pup"!

Whatever you do, make sure your Basenji has been tested for Fanconi! If not managed, it's fatal!