What is it?
Fanconi syndrome is a condition where the kidneys do not function properly and are unable to reabsorb vitamins, minerals, and sugars back into the body to be reused.
Fanconi & Cockers
As a general rule, cocker spaniels are not predisposed to this disease; it is most common in Basenjis. However, we do have several cockers in our care that were diagnosed with Fanconi Syndrome, so some of our volunteers have become well versed in caring for dogs with this disease. Notably, these cockers tend to have silver coloring - whether silver and black, or silver and sable.
Causes & Symptoms
In our experience, this is a genetic condition - and dogs tend do have a better prognosis when it is caught early. It tends to appear when the dog is between 4-8 years old. The most common symptoms - other than the telltale coloring - are exessive drinking and urinating. Vets diagnose Fanconi syndrome by testing the levels of solutes in the urine and the blood.
Unfortunately, there is no cure. However, research done by Dr. Steve Gonto has led to a protocol which has helped many dogs get their Fanconi under control and lead a long, happy life. This includes plenty of access to fresh water, multiple supplements and frequent venous blood gas tests. Read more about the Gonto Protocol.
Adopting a Fanconi Dog
Adopting a Fanconi Dog - like any special needs dog - should be done after throrough consideration. These sweeties can live normal, happy lives once they are on the protocol, however caring for them does require additional work. This is something our foster families will be happy to discuss with you. Yes, these pets will need extra love and care, but given the opportunity, their potential to change your life is unlimited!