testing for EPI and/or SIBO - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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testing for EPI and/or SIBO

"The TLI will test for EPI and the B12/Cobalamin will test for SIBO" - can anyone tell me if this is still the correct info? And would this be what we would request from the vet should we discuss having these tests done?

OR... do we start with a CBC and go from there based on results? After reading and re-reading symptoms of both, I feel like we may need to take the next step with the vet in ruling this out as Ghost's GI issues continue.

If anyone here has a positively tested EPI dog and wants to PM me, I'd appreciate it. I keep coming back to this being the culprit.

Ghost - our first WGSD, parvo survivor, 9/30/16
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 02:18 PM
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I have done this blood work on my dog....the EPI was negative. Her b12 was the lowest number possible in the still normal range if that makes sense. She is on b12 injections now.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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I have done this blood work on my dog....the EPI was negative. Her b12 was the lowest number possible in the still normal range if that makes sense. She is on b12 injections now.
Does the vet do her injections or do you give them? Are the injections going to be long term thing for you both now or just until her condition improves?

Ghost - our first WGSD, parvo survivor, 9/30/16
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 02:26 PM
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I do them at home. Sub q injections on a dog are really easy if the dog cooperates, mine will let me do it while she just lays on the couch. Barring that if you have someone who can restrain the dog.

Her instructions were once a week for 6 weeks then once every other week for 6 more doses, past that I don't know, I didn't ask.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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@Thecowboysgirl thank you <3
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Ghost - our first WGSD, parvo survivor, 9/30/16
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 03:20 PM
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OR... do we start with a CBC and go from there based on results? After reading and re-reading symptoms of both, I feel like we may need to take the next step with the vet in ruling this out as Ghost's GI issues continue.
I've been dealing with mysterious GI issues in my dog as well and I had CBC, TLI, Cobalamin and Folate tests done... All normal except now that Thecowboysgirl mentions it, my dog is also on the low end of normal. I may look into that...

Anyway the TLI test should tell you if your dog has EPI. If I remember correctly I paid $330 for what Idexx calls Spec cPL, TLI, Cobalamin, and Folate together. The CBC was an additional $180 but I would definitely have that done if you haven't had routine blood work checked out yet.

What are your pup's symptoms? I may have missed the thread if you have already posted about it, sorry!
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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@Liffey thank you for the test and cost info.

Ghost is 4 1/2 months old and she has had these same recurring symptoms ever since we brought her home, which include:
- diarrhea that consistently returns every 2-4 days
- poop is of "pudding" or "cowpie" consistency and is yellowish and foul-smelling(though what poop doesn't smell foul )
- poop sometimes appears greasy or oily or sometimes appears to have a bit of mucous/slime
- possible PICA - sticks, dirt/mud/clumps of grass, pinecones, pine needles, chew toys/Nyla bones, cloth/bedding(we no longer leave her alone with clothor stuffed toys)
- flatulence/gassy
- coprophagia - thought this might just be a 'puppy' phase thing but she will try to eat it every time if we aren't quick to pick it up out of the yard

Vet feels she is "thriving" and she is not actively losing weight - which I feel is a good sign for it NOT being EPI. But peace of mind simply won't let me rule it out because of that.

Ghost - our first WGSD, parvo survivor, 9/30/16
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 06:02 PM
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Honestly, that sounds a lot like giardia. I would have her tested for that, too. Ask for the ELISA test, as it's often missed on a regular fecal. My boy had giardia when he was a puppy, then severe mystery GI problems for about another year until we finally found a commercial raw food that he does really well on. In that time, we tested him for EPI and pretty much everything else under the sun. He was negative for everything, and luckily he seems to be doing well now. It was simply a matter of finding the right food for him. I hope you are able to get definitive answers after further testing...
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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@GypsyGhost she has been tested for giardia twice, both negative. I believe they are testing her a third time today, so we will see. I agree the symptoms seem very similar, which is why in the beginning, we kept assuming it was most likely just a bad bug, giardia, coccidia, etc etc... however nothing has significantly changed with or without de-worming/antibiotics/probiotics. So I'm literally just going down my list of things to eliminate and EPI and SIBO still haven't been ruled out.

I presented my vet earlier today with 2 pages of notes and brainstorming thoughts, including the Fecal Scoring system "poop picture" with some notes on that page. When he called me earlier, we laughed together about it and I told him I wasn't trying to "VetMD" internet diagnose my dog - but that by reading and researching several sites I just keep coming back to the things I had on the list for us to continue to check off, one by one if necessary. He said he was proud that I was taking a true interest and not just dropping her off and picking her up without any thought process to it or questions. So I am heading there now to discuss more with him. Fingers crossed we can get this tackled.

Ghost - our first WGSD, parvo survivor, 9/30/16
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lalabug View Post
@Liffey thank you for the test and cost info.

Ghost is 4 1/2 months old and she has had these same recurring symptoms ever since we brought her home, which include:
- diarrhea that consistently returns every 2-4 days
- poop is of "pudding" or "cowpie" consistency and is yellowish and foul-smelling(though what poop doesn't smell foul )
- poop sometimes appears greasy or oily or sometimes appears to have a bit of mucous/slime
- possible PICA - sticks, dirt/mud/clumps of grass, pinecones, pine needles, chew toys/Nyla bones, cloth/bedding(we no longer leave her alone with clothor stuffed toys)
- flatulence/gassy
- coprophagia - thought this might just be a 'puppy' phase thing but she will try to eat it every time if we aren't quick to pick it up out of the yard

Vet feels she is "thriving" and she is not actively losing weight - which I feel is a good sign for it NOT being EPI. But peace of mind simply won't let me rule it out because of that.
I would just get the TLI test and just rule it out. If she has it, you know what to do next - if she doesn't, you know more info about her in general and you can start working on other possibilities. There is some good advice about diet and giardia in the other posts here (GypsyGhost)

It sounds like you have been keeping very detailed notes. I do the same thing but have not figured out a pattern... In any case, it's a lot easier to go back through notes rather than trying to remember what her poop was like on what day. I have an album on my phone that's all pictures of my dog's poop and vomit. Awesome right!?!
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