Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PKD); Haemolytic Anaemia (HA) is a recessive disease that has affected Basenjis as far back as the first dogs exported from Africa. It was first, properly, diagnosed in the 1960s. In 1972 a blood test was developed. The blood test was able to estbalish dogs that were carriers, affecteds and normals. Since then a DNA test has been developed. As a result of breeders testing stock the disease is now extremely rare and has been virtually eliminated from the breed. Nowadays, an idiopathic autoimmune type of HA, a non-inherited HA that appears in all dog breeds, is the most likely cause of any HA in Basenjis.
PKD is an inherited deficiency in the pyruvate kinase enzyme normally found in red blood cells. In simple terms the red blood cells need this enzyme to survive a normal duration in the blood stream. In affected animals the red blood cells are destroyed early leading to HA. This disease is fatal and affected dogs normally die by about 2 years – 4 years is normally the outer limit of survival.
Due to thorough testing and careful selection of breeding stock no puppy bred at Tambuzi will be affected by PKD.
It should be noted that another non hereditary form of anaemia (auto-immune anaemia or AIHA) has been found in Basenjis and many other dog breeds. This condition is however, rare in Basenjis. The dog’s system produces antibodies that attack it’s own red blood cells, causing the dog’s anaemia. This type of anaemia is treatable and given the correct treatment dog a with it can recover.