We are sending you a few Bayer Diastix Glucose Reagent Strips for Urinalysis (not blood) so that you know what to look for in the pharmacy. The colored end of the strip should be placed in the Basenji's urine stream as he urinates. If it is not possible to place the strip directly into the urine stream, the owner may catch the urine in a clean pie pan or ladle.
The enclosed Diastix strips should be read 30 seconds after being exposed to the dog’s urine. Any test strips purchased in the future should be used according to the instructions on the box or bottle. NOTE: Any color change is significant. A positive result (glucose present) suggests only the possibility of Fanconi Syndrome; it is not sufficient for definitive diagnosis, but indicates a need for further testing, to include a blood glucose level and possibly venous blood gas studies.
Again, strip testing indicates only the presence or absence of glucose in the urine at the time of testing. It does not definitively diagnose Fanconi Syndrome, and it cannot predict whether or not a dog will later develop the disorder. A dog that strip-tests normal now may develop Fanconi Syndrome in the future.
The Fanconi Syndrome Treatment Protocol
In 1989, Steve Gonto, MD of Georgia developed a treatment protocol for dogs, later adapted to treat Fanconi Syndrome in humans. Dr. Gonto was given lifetime membership in the Basenji Club of America in recognition of the importance of his work. He was the honored guest speaker at the 2007 BRAT convention in Orlando, FL, at which time he was presented with a plaque for his contributions to Basenji health.
The Protocol involves acid neutralization, replacing lost electrolytes and nutrients with sodium bicarbonate and other supplements in specified doses, to re-establish the body's acid/base balance and keep electrolytes at appropriate levels.
The Gonto Protocol has been very successful in improving both quality and length of life for Fanconi-affected Basenjis. The disorder can be controlled by the protocol, but it cannot be cured. Because elevated urine glucose is also found in diabetes, Basenjis with Fanconi Syndrome are sometimes misdiagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes will show high blood glucose along with urine glucose. In Basenjis, a combination of urine glucose and normal or low blood glucose strongly suggests Fanconi Syndrome. Venous blood gas studies can verify an electrolyte imbalance consistent with Fanconi Syndrome.
Because it is relatively uncommon in other breeds many vets are unfamiliar with heritable Fanconi Syndrome. If your Basenji’s urine tests positive for glucose, or if your dog's DNA test results are carrier, review these two documents:
Dr. Gonto is available for consultation by your veterinarian at no charge by calling (912) 598-5067, or e-mail outdoc.aol.com for advice and a veterinary protocol treatment card.
Where to Buy Glucose Test Strips
Diabetic test strips for urine testing can be tricky to find. However, you can find the strips at Amazon. You can either click on the links here: Diastix Reagent Strips 50/Box (2806) / Diastix Reagent Strips 100/Box (2803). (These two links go to Diastix sold by Mr. Medical and shipping is free.) Or, you can search on the word Diastix from Amazon's home page.
Drugstore chains such as Wal-Mart, Walgreen, CVS, Target, and many supermarket pharmacies may have these strips. The strips are usually located behind the pharmacy counter, so you may have to ask. If your drugstore does not carry them, ask your pharmacist if he can order them for you.
Either way, be sure to buy glucose test strips, NOT ketone test strips.
Testing Expired Test Strips
At some point you may wish to make sure your test strips are functional. This can be done by dissolving one drop of plain honey in one tablespoon of water, or one drop of Karo syrup in one teaspoon of water, and then testing the solution. Both of these products will change the strip color if the strips are still reactive. Do not use table sugar; it is a different molecule and will not change the strip.
A Final Note
It was announced in September 2011 that a DNA test has been developed which indicates whether an individual Basenji carries the gene that results in Fanconi Syndrome. BRAT cannot DNA-test its dogs due to time constraints and the high cost of testing; our adoption fees barely cover routine vetting. More information about the DNA test can be found at the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals web site at.
If you have any questions about Fanconi Syndrome and your Basenji, click here to write to us at.
REMEMBER: Test your dog EVERY month – your Basenji’s life may depend on it!
Revised 03/30/12 C Miller