Fanconi Syndrome: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

Fanconi syndrome is a kidney dysfunction that prevents the body from reabsorbing important nutrients and electrolytes.

What Causes It?

Fanconi syndrome can result from kidney damage as a secondary infection or a toxic reaction from poison or medicine.

Additionally, it is a hereditary condition affecting around 10% of Basenjis.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Lost appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Seizures
  • Weakness

Is it Life Threatening?

Potentially. If left untreated, Fanconi syndrome can develop into renal failure.

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How is It Diagnosed?

There is no specific test for Fanconi syndrome, and the similar symptoms to other illness will require ruling them out. Bloodwork will be evaluated to eliminate diabetes and can detect suspicious high levels of liver enzyme and high levels of nitrogen containing compounds.

If you have a Basenji of the right age and symptoms, this will raise suspicion of the syndrome. Urinalysis will detect amnio acids and the dispelled electrolytes. Blood gas levels can measure kidney function. Finally, a renal biopsy will be required to confirm proximal renal tubular nephropathy.

What Are The Treatments?

Potassium supplementation, nutritional management of kidney disease, and support of normal acid-base balance in the body are all key in any treatment for Fanconi disease.

There is no cure for hereditary Fanconi. If your dog was exposed to food or medication that saw the illness onset, your vet will work with you to discontinue consumption.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.