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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-26-2014 07:02 PM
Saphire Your gut is telling you something is not right, go with it. Have the test done so you can either look to start effective treatment, keep looking for other causes or accept that possibly your dog's body type is lean. Without the test you won't know any of the above.

I have had 2 dogs with EPI, neither had the same symptoms and some were not typical of EPI and others were classic. I can say that once diagnosed, treatment was relatively easy.
04-26-2014 05:49 PM
Heidigsd You are in a tough spot since finances are an issue. I would go talk with your vet on Monday and discuss your concerns. Maybe print this article on Antibiotic Responsive Diarrhea (ARD) for your vet to see if he thinks this could be a possibility? Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) in Dogs

I am trying to think what I would do in your situation.

I would want to know if he has EPI or not, so I would run the TLI test if nothing else. If it comes back positive you can go from there.

You can buy enzymes from Diane that would save you a lot of money. Enzyme Diane -

B12 injections you can do at home, much cheaper than at the vets. Once he is stable you can try the B12 pills to see if it keeps his levels up. They didn't work for Nikki so she gets a weekly injection.
B12 - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Read the page on SIBO from the EPI group below that should answer a lot of your questions. SID (SIBO) - EPI * Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

If you did need to treat for SIBO with Tylan it seems to be cheaper online from KV Vet Supply, I pay $115 for a bottle at my vets. Tylan Soluble Powder - 100g | KV Supply

I hope this helps a little bit...wish I could do more
04-26-2014 12:43 PM
Contego We would definitely do all three at once. That's the current plan. We haven't talked about SIBO at all, other than that we'd do all three tests at once. I'll definitely ask though. Im not sure if I have the right idea here, correct me if I'm wrong.... If he has EPI he will usually automatically test positive for SIBO and so we'd start treating for both? But it's possible for him to only test positive for SIBO and not have EPI? If that's the case we might as well do the tests.

I have been feeling like he would test positive but as soon as I made the appointment I started second guessing myself. I just know that I'm in no way shape or form made of money and if that panel of tests come back normal I don't know how much more testing we could afford to do. And I don't like to think about what that alternative could be.

Thanks for all the information and being so supportive. I've definitely needed it!
04-26-2014 11:10 AM
Heidigsd That's a tough one since none of use are veterinarians. I am not sure what else you can do without running some sort of test. There are many different GI issues dogs can suffer from. The EPI test would actually be one of the cheaper diagnostic tests compared to lets say a biopsy.

In the past when Nikki had unexplained diarrhea our vet runs this RealPCR diarrhea panel but that's not cheap, I think we paid around $160. IDEXX Announces RealPCR Canine and Feline Diarrhea Panels

Has your vet ever mentioned SIBO at all? Relative IgA deficiency and small intestinal bac... [Res Vet Sci. 1991] - PubMed - NCBI

Low B12 can cause lethargy and other issues. Cobalamin: Diagnostic use and therapeutic considerations - Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

I would just talk to your vet, I have no idea if he is willing to treat him for EPI without running the TLI test. If you do decide to test him for EPI I would also run the Cobalamin/Folate at the same time. Sorry I wish I had better news for you
04-26-2014 09:47 AM
Contego 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!
04-24-2014 10:51 PM
Heidigsd 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!
04-24-2014 09:24 PM
Harry and Lola 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.
04-24-2014 09:13 PM
Originally Posted by Heidigsd View Post
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!
04-24-2014 06:50 PM
Heidigsd 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.
04-24-2014 06:07 PM
Contego 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.
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