What is Fanconi Syndrome?

Fanconi Syndrome is a genetic disorder that can affect Basenji’s. It is a disorder of the kidney’s which causes frequent urination, and if not treated, is often fatal.

Symptoms & Diagnosis of Fanconi Syndrome

Fanconi is easily detected by a DNA test, which should be performed on all puppies if there is a chance they may inherit the gene that causes it. It can also be detected by a urine test, although that test is mainly looking for elevated sugar in the urine, which can be a sign of other problems, and thus is less conclusive than the DNA test.

We discovered it in Ginger Snap when she started having accidents around the house after having been house trained for quite some time. At first we thought she was just acting out, but it turned out to be Fanconi Syndrome.

We first took her to our vet, who performed a urine test, and detected elevated sugar levels. We were able to confirm it with a DNA test.

Treatment – The Gonto Protocol

Dr. Gonto developed a protocol for treating Fanconi Syndrome. It consists of vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as sodium bicarbonate to counteract the increased PH level in the body caused by the disorder.

Your vet will determine the proper dosages based on blood work, and the protocol is adjusted as needed over time.

Vet Visits

If your Basenji has Fanconi , you will need to visit your vet at least monthly to do blood work, and adjust the Gonto Protocol as needed. You must be disciplined about this, as your dog’s life depends on it.


The only way to ensure that a Basenji will not be born with Fanconi is through proper breeding. It is essential when choosing a breeder, that you choose one that knows a lot about the breed, and specifically knows how to avoid passing the gene on in litters.