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Contego 04-23-2014 10:20 PM

Talk to me about EPI
I'm starting to wonder if my pup has EPI and considering testing for it. He isn't super active(I've argued that he's just low drive but it's really really low), he's thin( pushing six months and 32#) I'm not concerned about size per say except that he doesn't seem to be growing at a normal rate. And he hasn't necessarily lost weight because he's always been thin. The fact that he doesn't seem to be getting progressively thinner which is what makes me doubt EPI is the case. He has frequent loose stools but they can be corrected, at least short term, with pumpkin in his meals.

What else would I look for before deciding to have the testing done?

On a side not, please understand I know that shepherds are/need to be lean puppies. I'm good with that. He's just exceptionally small to me. Even non GSD people comment on how small he looks for his age.

Heidigsd 04-23-2014 10:33 PM

I would ask your question over on epi4dogs to see if anyone else there has a similar story. Not every EPI dog presents with the same symptoms.
Forum - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

But if you just want to rule it out the test is not a big deal and it only takes a few days.

Good luck and I hope he doesn't have it :)

Harry and Lola 04-24-2014 06:57 AM

35 pounds for a 6mo male is slim. The only way to know for sure is to have your Vet perform the blood test.

The thing is he may have EPI, and his pancreas at such a young age may still be present and working so you may be able to save what is there with added enzyme replacements (assuming he has EPI) so if it were me (having an EPI dog myself) I would ask for the test.

Harry was diagnosed at about 2.5 years old. When I think about Harry, I can remember him even at a very young age, possibly younger than 6mo with having very bad diarrhoea and thinking there is something not quite right - I wish I had of listened to my instincts and knew about EPI.

Having now experienced treating and managing an EPI dog, I will know to test much much sooner if I suspect EPI.

Heidigsd 04-24-2014 12:58 PM

Here are some older threads that may help you compare weight but 32Lbs at six months does sound very small. Do you know anything about his parents?

Welcome to the official home of the German Shepherd Dog, a dog respected and admired throughout the world for its versatility, loyalty and intelligence. - Search Results for how much did your gsd weigh

Contego 04-24-2014 06:07 PM

We went to the vet this afternoon and the vet started him on treatment for EPI. He got a b12 shot and will start enzymes with dinner here shortly. We didn't do the blood test since we didn't go until late and Tego had eaten already. So we're going to see how the next week goes and then do the test. He said if I start seeing any improvement that will pretty much tell us it's EPI. We're just going to see how it goes. Thanks for the input, and the other forum that was suggested has been extremely helpful. Now it'll be a bit of a waiting game.

Heidigsd 04-24-2014 06:50 PM

Let us know how does :)

The EPI group is wonderful, you will get lots of support there. I don't know what I would have done without them when Nikki was first diagnosed.

Contego 04-24-2014 09:13 PM


Originally Posted by Heidigsd (Post 5427465)
Let us know how does :)

The EPI group is wonderful, you will get lots of support there. I don't know what I would have done without them when Nikki was first diagnosed.

The people on the EPI group have already been wonderful! I'm so grateful to have been able to spend some time searching it today. If I hadn't, I probably wouldn't have gone to my vet today and gotten the answers that I did. It's still not conclusive but we're headed in that direction!

Harry and Lola 04-24-2014 09:24 PM

That makes me so happy to hear.

It is wonderful forums like this and the epi4dogs website can help people and their suffering dogs find a solution to medical issues as well as get people thinking and talking about similar experiences.

Good luck with your EPI management, it is not too difficult at all and your GSD will finally start to feel much better with replacement enzymes - imagine eating all the time but feeling like you are starving to death at the same time.

Heidigsd 04-24-2014 10:51 PM

Here is a post from the EPI group that describes how a person with EPI feels, I thought you might like to read it. When Nikki had surgery last year I spoke to the vet tech taking care of her and she also has EPI. She told me it was extremely painful, these dogs really suffer a lot :(

Topic: MY RECENT STAY IN HOSPITAL WITH AN EPI PERSON - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

I hope you get it all figured out soon!

Contego 04-26-2014 09:47 AM

Maybe you guys here can help with my decision....

I went ahead and scheduled the blood test for Monday morning but now I'm slightly hesitant just because of the price tag. Obviously I want to know for sure what it is but there's always that nagging feeling that it could be something else and it would be wasted money.

What would you do, knowing what I've said about Tego? My biggest concern is his activity level, or lack there of. My vet said that is completely out of the ordinary. He doesn't run and play like a normal puppy. He'll bound around after the big dogs for a couple of minutes then he's done and comes back to lay at my feet and nap. If I throw a ball too far, over 15-20 feet, he'll trot a couple steps and then stop and watch it roll away and come back to me. But when he was on steroids he would bound and pounce after it until he got it.

Also, I think his situation is slightly different in that he's a growing puppy, or at least trying to grow. I can't mark any weight loss because he is developig, albeit slowly. Is there anything else I should look into before making the plunge on the test? He's been checked for worms and dewormed just in case, checked out negative for giardia... and honestly I'm not sure what else would be a possibility.

What would you do? I'm sorry, I just need a sounding board!

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