My husband and I have just last week taken on a foster dog. She is a short coat GSD and the is severely emaciated. She weighs 21kgs. We took her to the rescue places vet last night and the vet has sent blood work off to test her for EPI - exocrine pancreas insufficiency. Has anyone dealt with this before? I really need some help as we have fallen in love with this girl and want to do the best for her. We should have blood results back over the weekend or early next week. He has begun treatment for her for EPI which is some tablets that we sprinkle on her food and also given a general antibiotic course for her.
Poor girl, I take it you are in Perth WA? I'm in NSW and have an EPI boy named Harry.
Have a good look at the epi4dogs website - EPI in Snapshots - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, there is a lot of information there and can get quite overwhelming with information, so to give you the basics.....
1. Give her replacement enzymes before each meal. In Australia, we use either Creon 10,000 or 25,000 and you can purchase online from Chemist Warehouse creon - 6 Products in Search Results - Chemist Warehouse. Harry has 1 Creon 10,000 before each meal and I just open his mouth and drop it down his throat - he then gets a treat then his food.
2. Increase her food intake to at least 1.5 the recommended amount (or even double to begin with) and feed her 3 to 4 times a day if you can. For example, Harry was on 6 cups of grain free dry food and 400 to 500grams of raw a day spread out over 3 feeds when he first started treatment.
3. If feeding dry food, switch her to a grain free version such as Canidae.
4. Treat her for SIBO (assuming her stools are bad, sloppy, yellowish diarrhoea) by giving her Tylan Petceutics - TYLAN SOL POWDER 100g. Hide the powder in her food or buy a cheap capsule making machine (size 00 with 00 capsules) and make your own capsules up.
5. Ask your vet to give her a B12 shot every week for 6 weeks, then wait another month and give another shot - keep her B12 levels high.
I hope you are able to keep her and treat her. You will find once she starts getting replacement enzymes and treatment for SIBO and keeping her B12 levels up that she will gain weight, it is not too difficult to treat and manage at all.
The epi4dogs is a wonderful website and if you register, there are many people with loads of experience that will help you.
Welcome and thank you for helping this poor girl!
I have an EPI girl also and we are here to help you with any questions. Harry and Lola has given you some great advise to get you started already. EPI can seem a little overwhelming at first but once you get the dog stable it's not so bad.
epi4dogs is a wonderful group and I would take a look at "EPI in Snapshots" to get you started. There is a ton of information on this site and the members are wonderful. EPI in Snapshots - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Hi Harry and Lola - yes Im in Perth WA. I was hoping you would reply as a friend of mine from another site told me about you! I couldnt figure out how to pm you! I will have a read through the info you mentioned. Thank you as well Heidi! It is very overwhelming. She was actually posted on Facebook and was a day away from being put to sleep. I had to help her. We have a 17 month old LSC male shepherd Charlie. He is the light of my life! Here are a few pics of her and my Charlie
wow you were right - it is overwhelming! We currently have her on brown rice and veggies, advance puppy biscuits and a bit of tucker time at dinner. looks like that is all not the best for her..... I'm hoping the vet will have the results back saturday or tuesday.
Can I ask - does this affect the quality of her life? Is it hard to manage once treatment started and she's on the mend?
Harry and Lola - it was jennifer and penny that reffered me to you!
My last GSD had EPI and later DM...a real double whammy.....
First, EPI is completely manageable as far as her/my experience. Before she was diagnosed with EPI, she lost considerable weight and had a ravenous appetite even though she was losing weight. She also had horribly loose stools during this time period. Once it was deemed she had EPI, I simply mixed in Pancreatin with her food. "Pancreatin is an enzyme mixture derived from porcine pancreas glands. It contains three principle enzymes. Protease (protein solubilizing), Amylase (starch liquefying), and Lipase (fat splitting). Lactose is used to adjust the enzyme activity to bring it into the 6x or 8x value."
I originally purchased the pancreatin from our vet but afterwards did some research and found a much more economical product ( same ingredients ) from this vendor..... Enzyme Diane -
I believe the goal is to use the pancreatic enzymes in a method which contacts as much of the dog's food as possible. I would take my dog's kibble and run it through the blender and pulverize it and store it that way. When I would feed my dog, I would mix in the appropriate amount of enzymes into her food along with some warm water and let sit for 10-20 minutes, allowing the enzymes to do their thing before feeding her. It worked as advertised as she gained back most of the lost weight and she remained stable around 72-74 pounds. I believe you will find, if you are doing things properly, her stool should become much more solid and of course the weight is gained.
In the beginning, I recall it was a bit of a balancing act as to how much enzymes needed to be added to her meals as the enzymes come in different potency levels as well as the dog's pancreatic abilities.
I never tried the remedy which Harry and Lola cites but I would accept that information as valid.
I also joined a forum. The forum I used was https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/k9-EPIGLOBAL/info
Joining these forums would be a wise choice as there is a wealth of good information pertaining to your situation.
I wish you luck with your EPI dog going forward, it is a bump in the road but as you have already fallen for this girl...your bit of additional effort will be rewarded in kind.
It really breaks my heart to see so many dogs with EPI but the ones that end up in the shelter so sick is really hard to take. I want to tell you that Nikki's personality changed before the EPI symptoms hit, she became fearful so just be aware of this for now. EPI and low B12 can cause fear/aggression in dogs. I actually met a person with EPI in December, she was a vet tech taking care of Nikki after her anal gland surgery. She confirmed that EPI is pretty painful so that would explain why the dogs get a little grumpy...can't blame them :(
It took us a good two years to get everything under control but Nikki had a rough start in life. She had giardia, parvo, demodex as a puppy and we also dealt with food intolerance and environmental allergies before the EPI symptoms hit. Our biggest issue was her not wanting to eat, you could tell she didn't feel good. We changed her to a limited ingredient diet and she ate ok for a while and the EPI hit about three months after that. She responded well to the enzymes and ate really well for about four months and then she started to refuse her food again. Long story short, I decided to have a home cooked diet formulated for her and she is doing great on it. The only issue was that her B12 levels would drop if not on weekly shots, so once we figured that out she hasn't refused a meal since then. Some people use a B12 pill with Intrinsic factor with great success but the pills
didn't work for Nikki. She is also on Tylan for maintenance, every time we took her off the SIBO came back.
About a year ago she started getting acid reflux pretty bad. After trying different antacids and her still having flare-ups we decided to give Slippery Elm Tea a try. It is working really well for her so far.
I think finding the right food that agrees with an EPI dog is the hardest part of managing this illness sometimes.
We are an EPI household too! My gal was a rescue and somehow no one noticed she had EPI despite her rapid weight loss + ravenous appetite & her horrible yellowy sloppy loose cow-plop-esque poops. We never did the blood test, just treated with enzymes and the symptoms disappeared :)
We have had great success with PancrePlus tabs @ 2 tabs per meal / 1 tab per cup of food :) Just be sure you never run out of the pills - the symptoms return quickly (for us at least).
I was just going to refer you to Heidigsd. She is the go to person for EPI. Hope your girl gets well soon
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