Basenji dog standing on a log

New Test Panel Available: Basenji Health Panel

The VGL has just launched a new health panel for the Basenji breed.

The Basenji Health Panel includes 3 tests that are specific for the Basenji: Fanconi Syndrome, Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency and Progressive Retinal Atrophy.

Fanconi syndrome is a heritable kidney disorder that affects Basenjis. Affected dogs typically present abnormal kidney function around 4-8 years of age and display increased urination, excessive drinking and presence of glucose in the urine despite blood levels being normal.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is characterized by degeneration of the retina. Affected dogs begin to display night blindness (vision loss under low light) that gradually progresses to complete blindness. Many Basenjis, however, do maintain adequate daylight vision for many years. This Basenji-specific type of PRA is caused by a mutation in the S-antigen (SAG) gene.

Pyruvate kinase deficiency is a chronic, severe hemolytic anemia caused by defective production of the enzyme pyruvate kinase. Affected dogs may display lethargy, low exercise tolerance, and fatigue that result from severe anemia. They may also display increased bone density and enlarged spleen and liver. Signs usually appear between 4 months and 2 years of age, and prognosis is generally poor for affected individuals, with complete liver failure typically occurring by 5 years of age.

All three conditions are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that dogs with two copies of the disease allele are affected and will develop clinical signs. Dogs with one copy of the disease allele are normal, but are carriers and may pass on the disease allele to their offspring. Matings between two carrier dogs may, on average, produce 25% of puppies that are affected by the condition. 

To read more about each test, go to