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Old 04-19-2014, 03:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Epi problems

Hello. This is my second post on here about my German shepherd dog, Samson. I am 17 and my parents have an appointment to put him down this Monday. Samson just turned 5 years old on the 17th. Of course my sisters and I do not want him to be put down. I truly believe there is more he has to offer life and that he can better. I'm asking for treatment from other epi dog owners. What kinds of medicine have you guys used? Samson has been on the powder enzyme and he is now on raw pancreas. He seems to go through good and bad cycles. The vet says the only other option would be to do a bioupsy. Is there anyone who has had a dog with symptoms like this? I'm trying to hold my parents off for putting him down. Please help! Thank you so much for your time and help!
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am sorry to hear that Samson is having problems. I would recommend joining Forum - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency ASAP.

They will need to know as much info as possible on how Samson is being treated for the EPI so they can help. Sometimes these EPI dogs just need some adjustments to their schedule or they may be dealing with SIBO or low B12 that hasn't been addressed.

You can also reach "epi4dogs" on Facebook if that is easier but please don't put him down https://www.facebook.com/pages/epi4d...24586920926094
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow.....I guess i was lucky....I had no idea EPI could get so severe....wonder if there are other issues going on as well..maybe SIBO and severe B12 deficiency??? Many times these conditions accompany EPI.

My GSD with EPI...once diagnosed, was fairly easy to keep healthy and at an adequate weight....as I said earlier...I must have been lucky.

I used the enzymes as well.....ground her kibble in a blender...put the enzymes in the food with some warm water, mixed it thoroughly and let it sit for a spell before feeding her. I do recall the more of the food you could get in contact with the enzymes, supposedly that was the best way to go as ALL the food mostly was somewhat "predigested" and breaking down before she ate her meal.

I know there are others in this forum who have experience as well with an EPI dog....hopefully they can add some helpful info.

I wish I could help as it seems a shame to have to put Samson down solely because of EPI.


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Old 04-19-2014, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ok Devon...I just read your other post. Did your vet ever run the blood test to confirm EPI like it was suggested? I would have the test for EPI done first to either confirm or rule it out before I would go for a biopsy. Have the vet run the Cobalamin/Folate test at the same time.

EPI test: Serum Trypsin-Like Immunoreactivity (TLI) - Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Cobalamin/Folate: Serum Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) and Folate - Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Did you go over to "epi4dogs" to get help? Where are you located, maybe someone can recommend a vet that is familiar with EPI in your area?

What are his symptoms exactly? What are you feeding him, how much, how often. What enzymes are you using and how much does he get with each meal and how do you prepare it? Has he ever been treated with Tylan for SIBO? Is he getting B12 injections?
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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@Heidigsd yes the vet has confirmed him with epi. I was misinformed before but my mom said he definitely has it. I am setting up an account at epi4dogs right now. We live near Philadelphia PA, USA. The vet we go to was recommended for epi help. Right now he has runny unformed poop, he eats his poop, has a very strong appetite, when off his steroids he has a gurgly stomach and is gasy, he has recently pooped wide in the house and that's what has sent my parents over the edge, his weight seems to be pretty steady but he still has plenty of energy and loves people. He doesn't moop around or lay/sleep all the time. We feed him grain free nutrosource food twice a day with raw pancreas mixed in with green beans and rice. He has not been treated for tylan but has received b12 shots but is not currently.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That info helps a lot

I am glad you are joining the EPI group, they are so knowledgeable and helpful.

I see several possibilities of what might be going on with Sampson but the members over on epi4dogs will get you going.

I don't have any experience with feeding raw pancreas so I don't know if maybe he is not getting enough. Have your parents considered trying the enzymes from Diane? Enzyme Diane -

Take a look at the SIBO page: SID (SIBO) - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Also the B12 in EPI dogs can drop very quickly so he might be dealing with low B12 too. Some people have good luck with supplementing B12 levels with these pills: TRINFAC-B Intrinsic Factor

Samson's B12 levels need to be 600 or higher. The B12 pills didn't work for Nikki so she gets weekly injections.

I think there is hope for Samson if your parents would be willing to give him some more time.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The only thing that ever worked for us was Hill's Prescription Ultra ZD food. Bob
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Old 04-21-2014, 12:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sometimes EPI treatment can get a bit tricky. I had my girl on PancrePlus tabs for over a year, then switched to powder (more than 4x the cost, might I add) and everything went straight to heck. I / we toughed it out on the powder for two weeks - she started getting up 3-5x a night, alternating constipation and diarrhea, etc.; finally I said ENOUGH and begged our old vet to send us one more bottle of PancrePlus (despite the fact that we'd started with a new vet). He was kind enough to do so but the symptoms still haven't resolved - blood in the stool for ten days now, free from parasites per lab, still getting up multiple times a night.

All that to say that you are not alone and sometimes these things are not so simple, and I feel horrible for everyone involved - your dog, you, your parents, everyone.

If Sampson is on steroids and enzymes, it sounds like there are maybe two conditions (EPI and colitis, perhaps??), which further complicates things. How much have you experimented with his diet? Even though he is getting enzymes, he could have a hard time digesting a certain macronutrient. For example, my gal has trouble digesting fats, so I feed her a low-fat food and she never gets peanut butter, cheese, beef, fatty cuts of chicken, etc. Maybe there is something like that at play?

Also, you said:

Quote:
Right now he has runny unformed poop, he eats his poop, has a very strong appetite, when off his steroids he has a gurgly stomach and is gasy, he has recently pooped wide in the house and that's what has sent my parents over the edge
How long is he left alone to "hold it?" Have you modified his feeding times to make this easier on him? As I'm sure you yourself have experienced at some point, it's no easy task to hold watery diarrhea, even for us humans. I know it can be frustrating for your parents to clean up EPI poo, but maybe it's worth a try to change his feeding times or restrict him to the kitchen/bathroom/other easy-to-clean room when unattended. Of course I'm sure there is more to the background; I doubt any vet would agree to euthanize a healthy animal who was just having accidents in the house, but wanted to make sure you all had considered those possibilities.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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B12 shots and Tylan powder been tried?

Near UPENN - if that isn't where you are going that might be a good thing to do.

Agree - this is not the kind of poop that can be held - it's a poopslosion. Let us know.
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Devon, just wanted to check in to see how Samson is doing?
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