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Darth_Ariel 01-10-2014 03:26 PM

Pancreatic Insufficiency
My vet is concerned about Vader having Pancreatic Insufficiency, however the test is almost $200 and I'm here to get some of the board's experience and opinions with this.

Vader is 1 year old next week, he's eating 4 and a half cups of food a day and is 53lbs. Before 6 months old he had 2 surgeries for foreign body in his intestines and Intussusception. He's always been thin, but they don't like that he hasn't started filling out yet. We recently switched him to his adult blend of food and he's gained 5lbs since doing so. He's always hungry, and going more than 12 hours without food especially when super active results in yellow bile vomiting.

I'm not neglecting to get the test because I don't care, I just simply cannot afford a $200 blood test right now. I'm beyond tapped out and just saved every dollar from Christmas money to get him fixed and would appreciate some other perspectives on this.

Saphire 01-10-2014 03:30 PM

The two most common symptoms of EPI is always hungry and diarrhea. The stool is loose and has a greasy appearance to it. I have had two dogs with this condition and it is manageable.
I would go for the test to get that final diagnosis so you can move forward with a treatment plan should EPI be confirmed.

martemchik 01-10-2014 03:46 PM

21 Attachment(s)
Can you post a picture...he's very light for his age, but he could just be small and be fine. The 12 hour bile thing isn't surprising, my dog does this as well. My dog isn't always hungry though and doesn't have EPI.

The dogs I know with EPI (when it hit) lost weight drastically, like 10 lbs in one month. Were always eating something (especially outside) and did have digestive issues. Another big sign is if the dog is highly irritable and reactive. This signals that something is wrong with the dog because it doesn't feel healthy and is worried the other dogs/people are going to "take care of it."

Saphire 01-10-2014 03:50 PM

Yep I would agree with most of that. My yeo dogs were somewhat abnormal, they were reluctant to eat. The only rationale my vet and i could come up with was stomach upset.

Momto2GSDs 01-10-2014 03:51 PM

Been there.....I feel your pain!:cry:

I would definitely not get him neutered until he is completely stabilized. Surgery will pull down his immune system and could possibly make things worse.

Keep high fats away from your baby. Check all packages or go to the sites and look for specifics. Have you tried a good quality digestive enzyme/probiotic yet? That and homeopathic remedies literally saved my dogs life!

Here is a good DE/PB: Sunday Sundae by Carrmspac here on the blog: Sunday Sundae Nutritional Supplement


Darth_Ariel 01-10-2014 04:13 PM

Saphire - I would get the test if I could afford it right now. I still owe the vet $2,500 and can't just drop the money without a LOT of consideration.

The picture isn't the best (hoping I did it right) trying to get a picture of him standing is like trying to nail jello to a tree. He's only lost weight after he had to be on the special diet after surgery, other than that he's looked thinner from growing but gained weight. He's lanky, very thin at the back end but his ribs aren't showing unless he turns. You can feel them but he doesn't look emaciated.

He's been eating everything in sight since we brought him home at 9 weeks old, he's actually getting better with leaving some things alone with age. But he's never irritable, never reactive and always a happy pup. No loose stool, on occasion he'll get an upset tummy from getting into something but he is almost always back to normal within a day or two.

He got neutered 2 days ago, he's been training to do SAR (lots of pretty female GSDs that I'm forever having to keep him away from) and I needed to do it when I had some time off to recoup him. I didn't know it could make things worse, our vet said it was about time and he's been through 2 surgeries before so I figured he'd do fine just like with them.

His dog food isn't high fat to my knowledge, I'll look into it and the probiotic/digestive enzymes.

Saphire 01-10-2014 04:20 PM

To be honest I have not heard of an EPI dog (without enzyme support) having normal stools as EPI dogs struggle with digesting any fat.
His picture is difficult for me to see his overall condition but I do notice what appears to be a shiny coat which is also not a characteristic of EPI.
I would do as moms above suggested, add some healthy enzymes to boost absorption. See how he does and monitor his overall health like you are now. I also use Sundae Sunday with my dog. (not an epi dog).

wolfstraum 01-10-2014 04:31 PM

I would cut back the kibble and supplement with something to help him gain weight or change foods so it is higher calorie per cup....if his stool is normal, it is not highly likely that he has EPI....feed smaller meals, more frequently...


Darth_Ariel 01-10-2014 04:32 PM

His stools are pretty consistent with being normal, on occasion he'll have the upset tummy/runs on occasion but that tends to happen when he tries to eat all the leaves in the back yard and metronidazole clears that right up.

I'm sorry the picture isn't great! I tried getting a picture of him standing and he keeps trying to spin/hop to see what I'm doing. But he does have a soft, fairly shiny coat. It's more shiny than the lab's and he does get a lot of comments on it looking shiny/healthy.

I'm going to keep hover furparenting. I wasn't worried before they said something could be wrong, I was actually really happy he looked like he was putting a little bit of weight on! I'm going to look into the enzyme, I didn't see it say. About how long does one of those containers last?

Heidigsd 01-10-2014 04:36 PM

You can go over to this EPI group for a ton of info and ask questions to see what they suggest: Forum - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Not all EPI dogs exhibit the exact same symptoms, all the members over there are very nice and knowledgeable.

Good luck :)

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