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Old 11-25-2014, 11:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default EPI woes

Hey friends...its been a long time since I've posted but I'm back with news, both good and bad.

About 7 months ago I adopted a little german shepherd puppy from the local SPCA (the good news!). Her story was simply that she had been purchased from a breeder by a couple who then threw her in their backyard and left her to her own devices. Starving and with no training she was taken by a neighbor to the shelter. I scooped her up immediately and have since battled her insatiable appetite.

Mya quickly grew over the last 7 months, however approximately 1.5 months ago (when she was 5.5 months old) I noticed that she was literally all bone. She had always been extremely active and ate like she was never going to see another meal. She also devoured her own feces and drank water until the bowl was dry. Considering her past, it made sense that she would eat whatever she could and drink to fill up the space left in her stomach. However, the lack of weight gain was highly questionable. She then started having chronic diarrhea and lost almost 10 pounds, dropping to around 62 from 71. The vet had her on two rounds of metronidazol, wormed her, and started her on Hills I/D. The normal course of boiled chicken, rice, pumpkin and yogurt did nothing to help, and even the ID was questionable most of the time.

About 2 weeks ago I went back to the vet begging for any other options. The vet prescribed Prozyme and the results were almost instantaneous. Over the past 2 weeks, although her stool is far from perfect, it at least ranges from pudding to semi-soft logs (as opposed to liquid). The vet said that she probably has EPI (and that it would cost about $300 to do all the bloodwork to confirm). He said to just continue the prozyme and follow up in a month before spending money on the blood tests. He DID however do a glucose test to see what her blood sugars looked like. Oddly enough, her blood sugar was very low (not high).

At any rate, two weeks in and she is still starving. You can see her pelvic girdle, spine, and ribs. When her food is sitting (it seems 45-60 mins is the optimal time frame instead of 15-20) she is inconsolable and feverishly paces until she is allowed to eat. She wolfs down her food and then whimpers for more. Prior to the diagnosis she was eating 2 cups/2x day of Natures Variety Instinct Duck/Turkey (as were Dakota and Kaiser). I HAD them all on Annamaet but ordering it online grew too costly. Mya had successfully transitioned to the NVI about a month after I adopted her, as had my other two pups.

I have several questions about EPI:

-How long before I should expect to see weight gain? She is starving...but...she is still alive, so obviously she is getting SOME nutrition (just not much). It just breaks my heart to see her so skinny and hungry.

-Right now she is getting 2 teaspoons of Prozyme with a scoop of wet, mixed with some water and 2 cups of dry. I mix it all up and let it sit for at least 45 minutes. Do you have any recommendations to alter this?

-Money is quite tight and considering the enzymes will be a lifelong supplement, do you have any recommendations for stretching pennies through the process?

-I read that raw often is a great option for EPI dogs...unfortunately I cannot afford raw anymore. I had Dakota on it for 3 years but due to rising costs of meat locally, combined with the cost of having organs and other meats delivered, I just couldn't afford it. We don't have any groups locally that we could bulk order from to reduce costs, and we don't have any local butchers either. I've tried all avenues but its just not something I can afford. So...do you have any other recommendations?

-Anything else I should know?

On a side note, Dakota is still having pain in her left hip...I've had trouble finding supplements that help. Do you have any that you would recommend for her? She just turned 9 years old.

Kaiser is doing well...he will be 3 years old in January. We've had to put our BH training on hold but he is still everything I'd hoped he'd be.

Below is a series of Christmas Pictures I took.
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EPI woes-pups.jpg  
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Kaiser ~ Jan 25, 2012 (GSD)
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First, I can highly recommend the EPI group I belong too: Overview -

If it was my dog I would have the necessary blood work done to get a correct diagnosis. If she has EPI than the Prozyme is not the treatment she needs and that would explain why she is so hungry and not gaining weight. She needs enzyme replacement therapy. Take a look at "Enzyme Diane" she offers generic enzymes: Enzyme Diane -

I know some EPI dogs that eat raw but most do well on kibble. Lots of good info here: DIET -
Dog Food Options -

She could be dealing with SIBO and low B12 also and that needs to be addressed. EPI in Snapshots -

When Nikki was diagnosed she responded to the enzymes immediately but it still took a while to get her staple and it's recommended to feed 150% of her normal diet, divided into 3-4 feedings until they gain the weight back.
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear about your girl's diagnosis. My Kopper has epi as well. Fortunately once you get the hang of it, it's very easy to manage.

I definitely recommend Enzyme Diane as her enzymes are cheaper than what you buy at the vet. Kopper eats Victor Grain Free Active Dog and Puppy. His food only soaks for 15 minutes and I never had an issue. When he was first diagnosed and re-gaining the weight I was giving him 1 tsp per cup of food but have since been able to cut it back to 1tsp per 2 cups of food.

Kopper also had a series of B12 shots which seemed to help a lot with stabilizing him. They weren't expensive, I think maybe eight or ten dollars a week?

Kopper before and afters:




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Old 11-25-2014, 12:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidigsd View Post
First, I can highly recommend the EPI group I belong too: Overview -

If it was my dog I would have the necessary blood work done to get a correct diagnosis. If she has EPI than the Prozyme is not the treatment she needs and that would explain why she is so hungry and not gaining weight. She needs enzyme replacement therapy. Take a look at "Enzyme Diane" she offers generic enzymes: Enzyme Diane -

I know some EPI dogs that eat raw but most do well on kibble. Lots of good info here: DIET -
Dog Food Options -

She could be dealing with SIBO and low B12 also and that needs to be addressed. EPI in Snapshots -

When Nikki was diagnosed she responded to the enzymes immediately but it still took a while to get her staple and it's recommended to feed 150% of her normal diet, divided into 3-4 feedings until they gain the weight back.
The vet made it sound like the supplement he gave me is exactly what you are saying she still needs. I'm not sure why he gave me the other enzyme if its not what her body requires to resolve the issue. What is the difference between the two? Also, thank you for the links!!!!!!!!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Emoore View Post
I'm sorry to hear about your girl's diagnosis. My Kopper has epi as well. Fortunately once you get the hang of it, it's very easy to manage.

I definitely recommend Enzyme Diane as her enzymes are cheaper than what you buy at the vet. Kopper eats Victor Grain Free Active Dog and Puppy. His food only soaks for 15 minutes and I never had an issue. When he was first diagnosed and re-gaining the weight I was giving him 1 tsp per cup of food but have since been able to cut it back to 1tsp per 2 cups of food.

Kopper also had a series of B12 shots which seemed to help a lot with stabilizing him. They weren't expensive, I think maybe eight or ten dollars a week?

Kopper before and afters:





Kopper looks amazing!!!
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
The vet made it sound like the supplement he gave me is exactly what you are saying she still needs. I'm not sure why he gave me the other enzyme if its not what her body requires to resolve the issue. What is the difference between the two? Also, thank you for the links!!!!!!!!!!
You're welcome

As far as I know Prozyme isn't nearly as strong as the enzymes an EPI dog needs. Nikki takes Pancrezyme: Pancrezyme for Dogs

Here is a list of different enzymes on Diane's website: Enzyme Comparison Chart -
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidigsd View Post
You're welcome

As far as I know Prozyme isn't nearly as strong as the enzymes an EPI dog needs. Nikki takes Pancrezyme: Pancrezyme for Dogs

Here is a list of different enzymes on Diane's website: Enzyme Comparison Chart -
Heidi, you are the bomb diggity! Do I need to consult the vet (or...maybe a different one?) before ordering from Diane?
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiser2012 View Post
The vet made it sound like the supplement he gave me is exactly what you are saying she still needs. I'm not sure why he gave me the other enzyme if its not what her body requires to resolve the issue. What is the difference between the two? Also, thank you for the links!!!!!!!!!!
My vet gave me some prescription enzymes I had to buy at the vet's office too. They were very expensive. I got better results with the ones from Enzyme Diane which are also cheaper.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I am not 100% sure but I don't think you need a prescription from the vet to order from her. I would send her an e-mail:
diane at enzyme diane dot com
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emoore View Post
My vet gave me some prescription enzymes I had to buy at the vet's office too. They were very expensive. I got better results with the ones from Enzyme Diane which are also cheaper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidigsd View Post
I am not 100% sure but I don't think you need a prescription from the vet to order from her. I would send her an e-mail: diane@enzymediane.com

Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!
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Kya ~ (Cat)

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Old 11-25-2014, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You do not need a prescription from the vet to order from Enzyme Diane. I am 100% sure.
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