All dog breeds (including crossbreeds and ‘designer dogs’) can have health issues of some sort.  Although a very ancient breed Basenjis are not immune. The following is a list of the main health issues that the VBBA considers puppy buyers/owners should be aware of.

The VBBA health recommendations have recently been updated. The Club has also put in place an Assured Breeders Progamme. This page will be updated shortly.

Generally, Basenjis are a healthy and long-lived breed; their expected life-span is 12-16 years.  However, there are a small number of health issues that are known to affect a broad based percentage of the breed.

The VBBA is committed to reducing and eradicating health issues that may be present in the breed. The VBBA has a health program which all member breeders are recommended to follow. The tabs on this page identify the main health issues; a brief description of each; tests available; what you should ask a breeder; and the VBBA breeding recommendations and/or mandatory tests the Association  expects breeders to complete before breeding.

People looking to buy a dog, should always consider a pure bred dog from a breeder.

  • who is a member of a breed club/association that has a thorough health program.
  • who is a member of the State Canine Authority e.g. for breeders that reside in Victoria DOGS Victoria is our control body.

Buying from such a breeder, especially a VBBA breeder, will offer certain assurances to potential puppy buyers with respect to the future health, temperament and well being of the puppy they purchase. However, potential Basenji owners should be aware that dogs are living, breathing animals and like humans they can be affected by illness. VBBA breeders will do everything they can to ensure that the dogs they breed live long and healthy lives.

The VBBA is always keen to hear from Basenji owners who have clinically diagnosed health issues with a Basenji they have owned/own. Information from owners about health issues is extremely useful to us. The information you provide may assist us to track potential health problems that are new, or those that without your information, we may not be aware of. All information sent to the Club is kept in the strictest confidence.

Breeders will be actively encouraged to follow the guidelines in testing their dogs.

The VBBA Health Program will be reviewed annually, or whenever a new test or health development  becomes available.  Local and overseas developments will be followed closely.

You have obviously taken the time to research that the Basenji breed is right for you and your family. You have researched the internet and read copious amounts of information in relation to the positives and negatives of the Basenji breed.

Now, you need to find a reputable breeder.

When purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder, you should always check that they are a member of the ANKC through one of the affiliated State Canine Associations such as DOGS Victoria. A member of this organisation is bound by its Code of Practice for the breeding and welfare of puppies, and also confirms that they are able to provide you with registration papers for your new purebred puppy.

  • A Basenji breeder should strive for the best health, temperament, and conformation.
  • The breeder should have a strong interest in the health and welfare of all Basenjis, and their future.
  • The breeder’s motive with each breeding should be to try to maintain the Basenji’s unique characteristics.
  • to produce Basenjis that closely adhere to the ANKC Basenji standard while always considering the health and temperaments of the dogs they produce.

When you are interviewing breeders, what should you look for?

  • You should never feel uncomfortable speaking to a breeder, and you should not feel as though you are being interrogated. The conversation should be on a give-and-take basis. You ask questions, the breeder asks questions, and it should feel comfortable.
  • R reputable breeder will tell you of the Basenji breed’s unique temperament and needs. They will advise you of the positive and negative points of owning a Basenji. They will follow up on dogs they have placed, and will be available to you for support for the life of your pet.
  • The breeder will tell you about their breeding and testing protocols. They will also tell you how the puppies are raised, and at what age they let them go to their new homes.
  • A reputable breeder will supply you with a contract for the purchase of your puppy which you will be required to sign.  This contract should also include full health assistance for a certain period (eg 1-3 days)  – suggesting that the puppy be vet checked for any problems. There should also be a  clause stating that “no matter what age or circumstances the Basenji is to be returned to the breeder should you ever decide not to keep it”. It should also list the medical treatment the puppy may have received and what testing has been done.
  • If no testing or vaccinations have been done, consider another breeder.

A reputable breeder has the health of the Dam and Sire checked before they are bred, and they can verify the following in writing:

Fanconi Syndrome: The breeder should be able to provide a copy of the OFA certificate of both parents Fanconi status. At least one parent must be DNA certified as Normal to give the best guarantee that a puppy from the litter will not become afflicted with the syndrome. The breeder may also supply a copy of the Fanconi certificate in relation to your puppy. The breeder may provide  a certificate of DNA testing stating that the puppy is normal/clear by parentage for Fanconi syndrome.

Hips: The breeder should be able to provide a copy of a hip evaluation certificate for both parents hips scores.

Eyes: The breeder should be able to produce eye testing reports of both parents and the puppies. An AVA-ANKC Australian Canine Eye Scheme certificate outlines the status of the eyes at the time of screening. The VBBA encourages breeders to test all puppies at the age of 6-8 weeks old. The breeder will advise of any ‘affected’ results and what these mean to your puppy. Normally in this case the certifying specialist will also give his comments.

Should you have any concerns,  ask the breeder for an explanation about the items listed and also ask the breeder if you can make contact with the certifying vet for further explanation.

The puppy must have been micro-chipped before you get it.

Other than the above information provided what other questions can you ask the breeder?

Remember, no question is a silly question.

  • Do you require that my puppy be spayed or neutered? The breeder’s response should be yes and your registration papers should be marked for limited registration. This means that the puppy can never be bred and have registered offspring.
  • Do you vaccinate your puppies, and when do you do it? The breeder will provide you with the vaccination certificate for the puppies 6-8 week vaccination and details of other medication it may have received.
  • What is your worming schedule for your puppies?
  • Where do you keep your puppies? – Basenjis need human contact from day one. They need human contact in their lives from an early age. They need to be accustomed to all noises associated within the family unit from: Vacuum cleaners, televisions, radios, slamming doors, lawn mowers, etc.
  • Ask the breeder about the socialization they have done with the puppies. Early socialization is extremely important in this breed. The 6-8 week period is crucial as this period is when the mother teaches her siblings to become good canine citizens.

The breeder will also have questions for you. Sometimes the breeder will have a questionnaire that they ask you to fill out when enquiring about purchasing one of their puppies.

Overall, the purchase price is only a small percentage of the money you will spend on a Basenji for many years to come. It is up to you to choose the right breeder and the above documentation is only a guideline when purchasing a healthy Basenji puppy. Beware of breeders who do not provide relevant health testing documents, stating that their lines are problem free. As cute as a Basenji may be, wait for a puppy with the relevant testing, this will ensure that you have your healthy Basenji companion for a very long time

Fanconi Syndrome is a renal disorder caused by a defect in the proximal renal tubule. This defect causes a reduction in the re-absorption of sodium, glucose, calcium, phosphate and amino acid from the proximal tubular cells of the kidney back into the bloodstream. This can lead to fatal disturbances in Acid balance. The acidic condition of the body can cause calcium to dissolve from the bones.

There is potential for kidney and bladder infections due to the glucose and low pH situation.

Onset & Prognosis
Symptoms include frequent drinking (Polydipsia), frequent urination (Polyuria), and dehydration, weight loss, and poor hair coat, lack of energy and bone pain. Signs may show up as young as 3 years – and as old as 8-10 years.

  • Fanconi is incurable, but can be kept under control by putting the dog on the Fanconi Protocol developed by Dr Steve Gonto in America.
  • Fanconi can, and has been misdiagnosed as diabetes but where diabetes has high blood sugar Fanconi Syndrome has little or no blood sugar.

Should your Basenji show any of these symptoms and he/she is not DNA tested and/or you are not testing your dogs urine. Contact your veterinarian, also contact the VBBA for assistance.

Inheritance

Fanconi has been proven to be hereditary in Basenjis, The mode of inheritance is simple recessive. In basic terms this means that certain breeding combinations may produce an affected puppy. The inheritance of a simple recessive health issue is as follows;

  • Normal means that the dog does not have the mutated gene combination responsible for the disorder. The dog will not become afflicted with the disorder or pass it to his/her offspring.
  • Carrier means that the dog carries one copy of the mutated gene responsible for the disorder and one good copy of the gene. The dog will not be affected by the disorder. However there is a potential that when mated to another carrier, he/she may pass the one mutant copy of the gene to offspring or the good copy- When offspring receive good copies from both parents they will be normal. If offspring receive one good copy and one mutation then they will be a carrier (and will not be affected) When offspring receive two mutant copies of the gene they will be affected and it is likely that they will become clinically afflicted.
  • Affected means that the dog carries two mutated copies of the gene responsible for the issue. It is likely that the dog will become clinically afflicted.

As a guide the following breeding matrix
Breeding Matrix 

Father
Sire
Mother
Dam
Expected Progeny (Puppies) Status
100% will be Normal Normal Normal
50% will be Normal & 50% will be Carriers Carrier Normal
50% will be Carriers & 50% will be Normal Normal Carrier
50% will be Carriers, 25% will be Normal & 25% will be Affected Carrier Carrier
100% will be Carriers. Affected Normal
100% will be Carriers Affected Normal
50% will be Affected & 50% will be Carriers Carrier Affected
50% will be Carriers & 50% will be Affected Affected Carrier
100% will be Affected Affected Affected

Significance
As this disease has been found in Basenjis worldwide, it must be considered a significant problem in the breed. No country, where DNA testing has taken place, has been found to be immune from this disease.

It is a disease that has the potential to severely affect the breed if not brought under control.

Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life
Life span of afflicted dogs is affected, and their quality of life is significantly compromised.

  • There is no cure.  However, the management Protocol has been seen to be effective – if the programme is started immediately the dog shows symptoms.
  • There is proven history of Basenjis with Fanconi Syndrome living a near normal life on the Protocol for up to 11-12 years.
  • Affected Basenjis are prone to urine infections which require medication.

Tests and Examinations
Prior to DNA testing being available, Basenji owners had to rely on routine “dip sticking” of their Basenji’s urine each month to check for glucose using reagent strips.

  • A DNA cheek swab test is now available.
  • The collected DNA is mailed to the University of Missouri, USA.
  • All test results are recorded and displayed by the OFA website.
  • If a DNA tested “Affected” Basenji starts any of the known symptoms a full blood panel should be completed,  accompanied by a venous blood gas test. This will determine problematic levels in the body.
  • Most veterinary clinics do not have the equipment to run a venous blood gas test. Blood will need to be taken to a hospital (human) that has the equipment. Owners need to be aware that the bloods will need to be collected immediately (no more than 15 minutes) before the test is run which may mean the coordination of a vet to take the bloods outside the hospital.
  • Dr Steve Gonto (the developer of the Fanconi Syndrome Management Protocol) has made himself available to all veterinarians and Basenji owners worldwide to discuss symptoms and medication. The test results can be sent to Dr Gonto, and he will work out the dosage rates of all the supplements that are recommended in the Protocol.

VBBA Breeding Program Policy or Recommendations

  • Mandatory that at least one parent in a breeding must be DNA tested as “Normal” or be an offspring from a breeding of two  “Normal”.
  • Mandatory no dog DNA tested “Affected” to be bred, not even to a “Normal”.
  • All puppies from matings that have the possibility of producing anything other than a “Normal” result that are to be used for breeding must be DNA tested prior to breeding. Buyers of puppies from such matings must be advised that they must not be bred unless Fanconi status is established first.
  • Where “normal’ lines are not already established it is our intention to try to have all of our bloodlines clear as soon as possible. However, the gene pool of Basenjis in Australia is relatively small. In order to maintain genetic diversity it may be necessary to breed carriers (based on the above conditions) for a period of 10-15 years (from 2008). We feel that this will be adequate time given that Basenjis only season once per year effectively halving the amount of breedings possible with other breeds.
  •  

  • Persistent Pupillary Membrane - PPM

    The pupillary membrane protects and nourishes the eyes whilst the foetus is developing. Normally this membrane is absorbed after birth. Sometimes remnants remain after the eyes have opened, but normally disappear when the pup is about 4-5 weeks old. In Basenjis it is common for membrane remnants to remain ‘persistent’ after the normal absorption time. Although these remnants can become less evident over time.

    PPM can be split into the following:

    1. Iris to iris (strands are attached to the iris at both ends)
    2. Iris – floating (strands are attached to the iris at only one end and the other end is not connected)
    3. Iris to Cornea (strands are connected to the iris at one end and the cornea at the other)
    4. Iris to Lens (strands are connected to the iris at one end and the lens at the other)

    Onset & Prognosis

    • Iris to Iris and Iris Floating PPM.
    • Iris to iris and iris floating PPM is congenital.
    • Strands found as a new born may dissolve as the puppy gets older, in mild cases the strands may completely disappear.
    • Generally considered not to be problematic.
    • There is no cure.

    Iris to Iris

    • Iris to lens PPM is congenital (puppies are born with the condition)
    • Strands found as a new born may regress as the puppy grows.
    • Considered more problematic than iris to iris PPM.
    • Iris to lens PPM cause opacities (cataracts) at the point where they connect to the lens.
    • Cataracts do not normally progress but may cause minor vision impairment.
    • There is no cure.

    Iris to Cornea
    Iris to cornea PPM is congenital (puppies are born with the condition)

    • Causes opacities on the cornea.
    • Damages the corneal endothelium.
    • Can be mild or severe.
    • Strands may regress with age but do not disappear.
    • Severely affected puppies with many strands may be blind.
    • PPM appears to be inherited in Basenjis.
    • Mode of inheritance is not understood.

    Significance

    • PPM is significant in Basenjis.
    • PPM is a Schedule 1 eye defect under the AVA/ANKC Australian Eye Certificate Scheme (ACES)

    Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life

    • Lifespan as such not affected.
    • Quality of life significantly affected should sight deficiency or blindness occur.

    Tests and Examination

    • No DNA test available for any form of PPM in Basenjis.
    • Puppies can be screened at 6 -7 weeks.

     

    Breeding Program Policy or Recommendations

    Puppies

    • Mandatory testing of all puppies
    • All puppies must be examined before sale, at approximately 7 weeks old

    Adults

    • Mandatory that adults be re-tested prior to each breeding – under ACES.
    • Mandatory all adults used in the breeding program be given a final test at 9 years of age – under ACES*

    * Results of the final test to be evaluated for future breeding of blood lines.

    Iris to Iris and Iris Floating

      Dogs diagnosed with minor, mild iris to iris or iris floating PPM or noted on the ACES Certificate as ‘of no clinical significance’  can be used for breeding.

    Iris to Lens and Iris to Cornea

      Mandatory that affected dogs are not used in a breeding program and puppies should be de-sexed after sale. Puppy buyers must be advised prior to purchase of the likely prognosis of a positive result.

    Verified results including a copy of certificates must be forwarded to the VBBA for all mandatory tests.

  • Coloboma

    A coloboma is a ‘hole’ in the structure of the eye. It is present from birth. In Basenjis the coloboma is normally found on the optic nerve.

    Onset & Prognosis
    • Coloboma is congenital (puppies are born with the condition)
    • Prognosis depends on the severity but even the smallest coloboma can have some detrimental effect. The severity of impairment is dependent on the severity and location of the coloboma.
    • There is no cure.

    Inheritance

    • Coloboma appears to be inherited in Basenjis.
    • Mode of inheritance is not fully understood, however it is thought to be dominant with incomplete penetrance.

    Significance

    • The frequency of coloboma seems to have elevated in recent years, although the data available (ACES) is based on a very few dogs tested. A larger tested population is required to establish a more accurate frequency level.
    • Coloboma should be considered significant due to the potential for impairment of vision for affected dogs.
     

    Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life

    • Lifespan as such not affected.
    • Quality of life significantly affected should sight deficiency or blindness occur.

    Tests and Examinations

    • There is no DNA test available for coloboma in Basenjis.
    • Puppies can be screened at 6 -7 weeks.
    • Test results are reliable, but a second opinion is recommended in a positive result; Basenjis have a deeper colobomatous cupping than other breeds and misdiagnosis has occurred.

    Breeding Program Policy or Recommendations
    Puppies

    • Mandatory testing of all puppies.
    • All puppies must be examined by a qualified ophthalmologist under ACES.
    • All puppies must be examined before sale, at approximately 7 weeks old.

    Adults

    • Mandatory that adults be re-tested prior to each breeding – under ACES.
    • Mandatory all adults used in the breeding program be given a final test at 9 years of age – under ACES*

    * Results of the final test to be evaluated for future breeding of blood lines.

    • Mandatory that affected dogs are not used in a breeding program and should be de-sexed after sale.
    • Puppy buyers must be advised prior to purchase of the likely prognosis if there is a positive result.

     

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy - PRA
    News Flash.......DNA test for PRA-BJ1 available

    Further to the announcement by the OFA, the VBBA has updated its breeding program, giving firm commitment to the health and well-being of Basenjis bred by our members. It is now mandatory that all breeding stock be tested for PRA-BJ1. Further information on our protocol follows.

    PRA is a disease of the retina; the retina atrophies generally causing vision loss and blindness.

    Onset & Prognosis

    • Prognosis depends on the severity but normally there will be vision impairment progressive to blindness.
    • Late onset in Basenjis; normally between 4-10 years.
    • There is no cure. However, some antioxidants have been proven to delay the progression of vision impairment.

    Inheritance

    • There appears to be several ‘types’ of PRA in Basenjis
    • One ‘type’ of PRA is confirmed being inherited PRA-BJ1 (Night blindness) is a simple recessive. Other forms of PRA also appear to be inherited in Basenjis.

    Significance

    • Frequency unknown – due to lack of testing – new ACES data.
    • Although the frequency is unknown PRA has been diagnosed in the breed, overseas and in Australia. Due to it’s potential to cause blindness it should be considered significant.

    Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life

    • Lifespan as such not affected.
    • Quality of life significantly affected should sight deficiency or blindness occur.

    Tests and Examinations

    • DNA test (via the OFA) for PRA-BJ1 is available for Basenjis.
    • PRA is late onset in Basenjis which gives a potential for affected dogs to be used in a breeding program prior to diagnosis.

    Breeding Program Policy or Recommendations
    Puppies

    • Mandatory, all puppies to have a physical examination by a qualified ophthalmologist under ACES.
    • All puppies must have physical examination before sale, at approximately 7 weeks old.

    Adults

    • Mandatory that at least one parent in a breeding must be DNA tested PRA-BJ1 as “Normal” or be an offspring from a breeding of two “Normal”
    • Mandatory that adults be re-examined (physical examination) prior to each breeding – under ACES.
    • Mandatory all adults used in the breeding program be given a final test at 9 years of age – Under ACES*
    • Mandatory that dogs found to be affected by any from of PRA be removed from the breeding program.

    * Results of the final test to be evaluated for future breeding of blood lines

  • Other

    Corneal Dystrophy Epithelial/Stromal

    This condition is when white or gray spots are seen in the eye and can be associated with cholesterol or fatty deposits in the cornea.

    Onset & Prognosis

    • Onset – varies generally later in life in Basenjis.
    • Prognosis is progressive but normally does not cause any vision impairment.

    Inheritance

    • This disease is inherited.
    • Mode of inheritance is not known.

    Significance

    • Frequency – not uncommon in Basenjis.

    Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life

    • Lifespan as such not affected.
    • Quality not normally affected.

    Tests and Examinations

    • No DNA test is available.

    Breeding Program Policy or Recommendations
    Adults

    • Mandatory that adults be tested prior to each breeding – under ACES.
    • Mandatory all adults used in the breeding program be given a final test at 9 years of age – Under ACES*

    It is recommended that dogs with this condition be only bred to those that are unaffected at the time of testing.

    * Results of the final test to be evaluated for future breeding of blood lines.

     Corneal Dystrophy Endothelial

    A condition when the cornea takes on too much fluid, which clouds the cornea and negatively affects vision.

    Onset & Prognosis

    • Onset is varied.
    • Worsens in the offspring if both sire and dam are affected.
    • Progressive to blindness.

    Inheritance

    • This disease is inherited.
    • Mode of inheritance is not known.

    Significance

    • This disease is fairly rare in Basenjis.

    Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life

    • Lifespan as such not affected.
    • Quality of life significantly affected should sight. deficiency or blindness occur.

    Tests and Examinations

    • No DNA test is available.

    Breeding Program Policy or Recommendations
    Adults

    • Mandatory that adults be tested prior to each breeding – under ACES.
    • Mandatory all adults used in the breeding program be given a final test at 9 years of age – Under ACES*
    • Mandatory dogs found to be affected are removed from the breeding program.

    * Results of the final test to be evaluated for future breeding of blood lines.

Canine Hip Dysplasia (cHD) is a genetic disease. In basic terms hip dysplasia is the improper growth of the hip joint; this can lead to the hip moving and this in turn, over time, can result in arthritis also called degenerative joint disease, arthrosis, and osteoarthrosis. It can be a very painful condition.

Onset & Prognosis

  • It is not possible to predict when clinical signs will develop; environmental factors such as the amount of exercise and the weather etc can make its mark on the severity of the symptoms observed. There also is no correlation between the severity of changes found by X-ray and the clinical findings. For example dogs with severe arthritis can jump, play and run as if there was nothing evident and yet some dogs with barely any arthritic X-ray changes can be severely lame and clearly in pain.
  • Dogs afflicted with CHD may exhibit many symptoms, lameness, unwillingness to walk upstairs, difficulty rising from a sit or a dropped (sleeping) position. They may also exhibit personality changes due to pain.
  • Normally occurs bilaterally.
  • There is no cure, Treatment of hip dysplasia can be conservative or surgical.
  • The objectives of conservative therapy are to relieve pain and maintain limb function, as well as to continue the dog in as normal a level of activity as possible. Conservative therapy consists of weight control, moderate exercise, and analgesics (pain relief medication). The most important element will always be the maintenance of muscular support. Muscle is built by walking, jogging, and swimming.
  • Three surgical procedures are currently used in the treatment of hip dysplasia. For young dogs- stabilizing reconstruction; femoral head excision works well for dogs under thirty pounds and those with unilateral dysplasia- total hip replacement. This is the only treatment that provides normal hip joint function.

Inheritance

  • Genetically transmitted.
  • Polygenic mode of inheritance.
  • It is a developmental disease; hip joints of dogs that develop CHD may be normal at birth.
  • Body size, conformation, growth patterns and lack of muscle mass are secondary factors.
  • If the muscles of the hind limbs fail to reach functional maturity at the same rate as the bones  the result is an incongruency between muscular support and skeletal growth which may lead to joint instability. This eventually will progress to degenerative arthritis.
  • Where the genetic potential for CHD is present; feeding high calorie, high protein diets which produce rapid weight gain will increase the incidence and severity of the disease.

Significance
cHD is not significant in Basenjis; approximately 3.2% of those tested on the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA) (USA) site have abnormal scores. However, OFA is not an open site and owners are not obligated to have poor scores advertised on the website. Furthermore, it is unlikely that owners would submit X-rays of dogs that are obviously dysplastic.

Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life
Both lifespan and quality of life can be greatly reduced by cHD.

Tests and Examinations

  • No DNA test for CHD.
  • Dogs are X-rayed and scored by professional surgeons
  • There are two main scoring regimes in Australia; AVA (based on the BVA scoring system) and PennHIP.

Here a Basenji is being x-rayed. This x-ray is the ‘extended’ view. This ‘view’ is used by the AVA, OFA and PennHIP systems of hip evaluation.

This image shows a Basenji during the ‘compression view’ x-ray. This ‘view’ is used only by the PennHIP system of evaluation.

This image shows a Basenji during the ‘distraction view’ x-ray. This ‘view’ is used only by the PennHIP system of evaluation.


 

An ‘extended’ view x-ray. This ‘view’ is used to evaluate hips for AVA, OFA and PennHIP systems of hip evaluation.

The ‘compression view’ is used only by the PennHIP system of hip evaluation.

The ‘distraction view’ is used only by the PennHIP system of hip evaluation.


Breeding Program Policy or Recommendations

  • Mandatory that all breeding stock be tested using AVA or PenHIP systems prior to breeding.
  • Dog must be over 18 months before examination.
  • Recommended that vertical pedigrees be used (where possible) when deciding proposed breedings.

AVA System

  • It is highly recommended that only dogs with a total score less than 10 be bred.
  • It is recommended that a dog with total scores of between 10 and 12 only be bred with dog with a dog with a total score of between 0 and 6.
  • It is highly recommended that a dog with a total score exceeding 12 is not bred.

PennHIP
It is highly recommended that dogs used for breeding have hip laxity in the tighter half of the breed.

Basenjis are known to have a higher than average rate of hypothyroidism. However, this assumption has been based on thyroid levels known to be ‘normal’ for most breeds. Recent studies by the University of NSW, including the testing of approximately 200 Basenjis have confirmed that Basenjis, have a normal thyroid level lower than that previously designated as ‘normal’.  Therefore, dogs that have been considered ‘abnormal’ may actually be normal for the Breed.

Autoimmune Lymphocytic Thyroiditis

Onset & Prognosis

  • The most common symptoms include weight gain, poor coat, reduced activity level, and in some cases a change in temperament.
  • Onset from 1 year old and if the animal is affected it will have shown up by 5 years old.
  • It is commonly thought that a high percentage of dogs affected with Autoimmune Lymphocytic Thyroiditis will go on to progress to Hypothyroid.

Inheritance
Heredity not fully understood. It is assumed to be recessive.

Significance
TgAA testing and it’s result can be an advance warning of a future thyroid disfunction. If the animal has a positive result for TgAA then it may progress to Hypothyroid. Therefore, owners can progress to a full thyroid panel annually to test for Hypothyoidism.

Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life
Lifespan may be compromised if medication is not administered. This health problem is easily treated with daily medication.

Tests and Examinations

  • There is a DNA test for TgAA.
  • The test is available in Australia.
  • The result will be negative, positive or inconclusive.
  • The current test cannot find carriers.

There is some controversy over the TgAA test and it should be noted that for older dogs false readings will be given with this test.

Hypothyroidism

Onset & Prognosis

  • The most common symptoms include weight gain, poor coat, reduced activity levels, and in some cases a change in temperament.
  • Normally late onset.
  • Easily treated with medication with no effect on daily life of the dog.

Inheritance
Heredity not fully understood. It is assumed to be recessive.

Significance
Basenjis have been categorised as above average for Hypothyroidism, however that deduction was based on the ‘normal’ range of the fT4 test. Recent research at the University of NSW has concluded that Basenjis have a normally lower level, therefore it is feasible that dogs that have been diagnosed as Hypothyroid may not be.

Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life
Lifespan may be compromised if medication is not administered. This health problem is easily treated with daily medication.

Tests and Examinations

  • There is no DNA test for Hypothyroidism, testing is carried out by blood analysis.
  • The test is available in Australia.
  • The recommended tests are fT4 along with cTSH.
  • Other tests can also be included; T3, tT4.
  • It is also a good idea to have cholesterol tested in conjunction with a thyroid test, this is especially useful in an older dog.

Breeding Program Policy or Recommendations
Recommended ranges:
•  cTSH <0.6
•  tT4 or fT4 around/greater than 13
•  T3 in the normal non breed specific range,  normal PCV/Haematocrit, normal cholesterol.

  • Recommended that tests be run at 1 year old and at least once more.
  • Breeder Option for removal from breeding program should results be outside the above ranges; normally late onset and the disease is cheap and easy to treat – taking affecteds out of the gene pool may ‘enhance’ other issues.

 

Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (Haemolytic Anaemia)

Pyruvate Kinase-deficient haemolytic anaemia was first diagnosed in Basenjis in the 1960s, although prior to that date Basenjis had died of a then-unknown form of anaemia. Research began in the 1960s, with a carrier test available in 1972.

Onset & Prognosis

  • HA is a disease of red blood cells.
  • The first signs appear at about and before 1 year of age; typical clinical signs include fainting, typically affected dogs have very white gums and mucous membranes, are likely to have low energy levels, and have light, “golden” colored stools.
  • Death follows normally within 1-2 years. 4 years old is the outside limit of survival.
  • There is no cure.

Inheritance
The disease in inherited. The mode of inheritance is recessive.

Significance
Most Basenjis, worldwide, are now descended from tested clear stock. A few carriers still exist in the gene pool predominantly in the USA.
There are no known confirmed diagnosis of the disease in Australia.

Effect on Life Span and Quality of Life

  • Dogs affected have limited life span 1-3 years.
  • Quality of life is reduced.

Tests and Examinations

  • From 1972 blood testing established, clears, carriers and affecteds. Testing in Australia was conducted in Bendigo, Victoria.
  • DNA test now available for Pyruvate Kinase deficiency.

 

ANKC and DOGS Victoria Code of Ethics

Members of the VBBA must at all times follow, and are bound by the ANKC Code of Ethics, as noted at the ANKC website www.ankc.org.au and at the DOGS Victoria website www.dogsvictoria.org.au

Litter Records
A member of the VBBA must provide the Club details of all litters bred. The details must include:

  • Registered Name of Sire and Dam
  • Registered Number of Sire and Dam
  • Registered Name and Number of each puppy
  • Date of Birth
  • Number of surviving puppies
  • Sex of puppies
  • Colour of puppies
  • Microchip number for each puppy

Breeding Age
A breeder may not breed a bitch before she is 18 Months old.

Basenji Database
Notification of litter with relevant details should be sent to Sally Wallis for entry in the Basenji Database

Microchip/Identification
The microchip details of all puppies bred by a member of the VBBA should be provided to the Club within 7 days of sale or by the age of 6 months whichever is the sooner.

 

 

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