German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2 YO GSD (female) that may have this disorder. We won't know for sure until her blood tests come back (in about a week).

I'm looking for anyone who has experience with a dog that has EPI. I've read a lot online, but it would really help to hear about it firsthand.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,924 Posts
Search this forum, you'll find TONS!!! I'm having trouble with the search option, I'm sure someone more computer savvy than I will help you out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I guess I'm having problems too. I tried it, but it keeps coming back with nothing.

Thanks, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,924 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,829 Posts
I had a dog with EPI, Rex lived a long happy healthy life. The only things I had to be concerned with: that he had his enzymes mixed into his dinner every and that no kind friend tried to give him fatty meat. Or that the friend with the fatty meat was there the next day to clean up the mess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks JenM66 and SunCzarina.

She started showing signs (loose stool) about 6 weeks ago, but has not lost any weight (though she's always been lean—about 75 lbs.). The vet gave us Pancrezyme to start her on until her blood tests come back. She also got a B12 shot and the vet recommended we give her a container of a probiotic-type drink (we're using DanActive) with each feeding.

So we are feeding her Nature's Recipe (rice & lamb formula) with 1 tsp. of Pancrezyme (letting it sit for about 30 minutes) then pouring the DanActive in.

She eats fine; not ravenous, but slow and steady until it's gone.

We started this Sunday night. Things (her stool) looked okay today, but the loose stool problem has always been intermitant.

I realize it's a wait-and-see-how-it-works kind of thing, but I have a few questions (things I didn't think of at the vets office or have learned about since):

1. I've read that feeding a dog chopped up pancreas (3-4 oz for every 44 lbs. of weight) can work in substitute for the powder. Has anyone tried this? Do you have to let it sit on the food (like with the powder) or can I just chop it up and throw it in her food and let her eat it right away?

2. Any thoughts on using something like DanActive vs. a probiotic supplement?

3. The vet mentioned changing to a prescription food...but seemed to think we'd be okay for now on the Nature's Recipe. Thoughts?

4. Should never give her treats? She's always had things like peanut butter, small pieces of all-beef hot dogs and cheese, pigs ears and marrow bones (from the butcher) as treats.

5. If everything appears fine (no loose stools, no weight loss) does that mean she's okay? Or will she need regular (yearly?) blood tests to make sure what we are doing is working?

Sorry for all of the questions and thanks for any help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,509 Posts
Quote: but the loose stool problem has always been intermitant.
Have you had a Giardia Antigen run? Not the regular Giardia test but the Antigen?

I went through MONTHS and months and months and months of poop issues with Dante - Giardia test x2 both negative, EPI and SIBO tests both negative - Was pulling my hair out when I found on the internet about the Giardia Antigen - Positive! 2 rounds of Antibiotics and we haven't looked back!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Barb E.

We were at the vet for the first time about it on Saturday. They drew blood and are sending it out for testing. According to the receipt abbreviations, they are doing:

1. CBC/SUPERCHEM/T4/FT4-ANTECH
2. TLI/COBALAMIN/FOLATE

I'll be sure to ask about Giardia Antigen when I go back for the results.

Thanks for the heads up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Hi paris1886,
Am going through a similar thing with my 15 month old GSD. It is a long, tedious process with steps to be taken. I am at the stage where we are on the pancrezyme to be used at each feeding. He's taking 2 (crushed) tablets per feeding which I am feeding him 3 times per day. I was told to leave it for 10 to 15 minutes so it can set in and adhere to the food.
Prior to that I had a TLI Test that came back normal for EPI but neverhteless can be misdiagnosed. He did come back with a high count in Folate suggesting that there was an overgrowth of bacteria. We also did fecal lab test for Giardia twice and came back negative. Presently I have made another appt. to get full blood work and urinalysis done to rule out any other possible issue.
Meantime they have put him on prescription ID both bland and kibble to mix in the pancrezyme (two tablets each meal, which I crush into powder) and here we are. One of my vets told me that if he's doing fine with the ID then it's best to leave him on it. So far, in the past week he has picked up 2.7 lbs. He is not by any means emancipated but just ribby. He looks a lot better in just one week on the pancrezyme and I'm praying that this will be the cure.
The reason why I suspected it was EPI is because he eats voraciously and was losing weight accompanied by sometimes diarrea and soft stools. Those were my GSD's symptoms. He was on two different antibiotics; metrozindole (can't spell it) which helped for a couple of days but then he relapsed. 2nd antiobiotic was amoxicillin which didn't completely get rid of it but helped a lot. It seemed like the antibiotics would work for 2 days and then they would stop working. weird....
I am seeing 2 different vets to get different perspectives. I too, did extensive research about EPI, SIBO you name it! I just hope this pancrezyme works and helps him lead a happy, normal life.
He acts and behaves super normal the only difference I could see was the voracious eating and losing weight.
I would so appreciate it if you could post your results and what happens and I will too as soon as we do the blood tests. EPI apparently is prevelent in German Shepherds and young ones at that. And that it can be misdiagnosed. So, the more info we are armed with the better off we are.
Good luck to you and your doggie and let me know what happens and I will do likewise.
best regards,
Debbie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Romy1 & Tula--

Thanks for both of your replies.

I'll look into everything I can while I wait for the test results. I wonder, though, because my GSD does not eat voraciously (she loves to eat, but does so very slowly compared to my lab, who finishes her meal in about 1/10 the time it takes my GSD). She hasn't actually dropped weight, either. Her coat may be a little dry, but it's nothing I even noticed/thought about until I started reading about EPI. The only red flag we had was the sometimes-diarreah.

I'll be sure to update this thread as I find out more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,373 Posts
My 3.5 year old female has EPI, diagnosed at about 15 months. Once we started the Pancreatin she bounced back and gained weight quickly and is doing well. There is a yahoo group for EPI and if you order through the group it is a lot cheaper than elsewhere.

On another note, since EPI is an auto-immune disorder I do not over-vaccinate her. She only gets rabies and lyme (since we track I do lyme).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,924 Posts
Are you looking at information on other conditions, not just EPI? Gracie had loose stools for months and I finally asked for all the blood work. Came back as SIBO. I was adding canned pumpkin and yogurt to her food and it made things worse. She is better with her food completely dry. OH SORRY - I missed that you are running the labs for everything. I'm just catching back up with this thread.

When the test for SIBO came back, Gracie took Metronidazole (flagyl) 250 mg two times a day for 30 days and changed to Eukanuba/Iams Low Residue veterinary food. She has been controlled, with an occasional, rare, flare-up since Oct '06.

Good luck!!!! I guess it's time to introduce you to......the famous (or infamous) dancing poop banana!!!!!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,187 Posts
Originally Posted By: paris18864. Should never give her treats? She's always had things like peanut butter, small pieces of all-beef hot dogs and cheese, pigs ears and marrow bones (from the butcher) as treats.
Definitely stop giving peanut butter, regular hot dogs, regular cheese, and any other high fat treats or food. There are very low fat versions of many things, that she might tolerate well. Even if turns out not to be EPI, try to notice any connection between certain types of treats or food, and the loose stools.

BTW, the search function doesn't seem to be working at the moment. Try it again later. There is a lot of info in other threads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,030 Posts
Hi Paris, You can go to http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/k9-EPIGLOBAL/ and you'll get tons of information and lots of people with EPI dogs who have a lot of experience. If you end up on enzymes, they do have them for much cheaper than you can get anywhere else. My Jazzi was diagnosed at 22 months. Jazzi only lived to 5 1/2 years but died of something else. We lost her in Nov. are still miss her daily.
Good luck. Just remember EPI is not a death sentence.
Robbie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm doing a lot of reading, and am hopeful...as it seems manageable with the enzymes and the prognosis good. I'm just anxious to do everything right.

First things first, of course: Wait for the test results & do what the vet recommends until then.

If anyone who happens by here knows of a vet that specializes in this sort of thing in the St. Louis, MO, area, I'd appreciate the reference. My vet seems knowledgeable, but a second opinion once I have the test results can't hurt.

Thanks again, everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,373 Posts
Honestly, once you have the test results and the numbers indicate EPI there is really no need for a second opinion. Sometimes (my girl did) EPI dogs also have SIBO which is a bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. You should see a noticeable difference in the stool once the enzymes are started but if you still noticing they are not firm enough even though you have tried different enzyme levels, perhaps your dog may need to take an antibiotic and or probiotic. That's jumping the gun a bit though. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
chruby--

that's good to know. i meant a second opinion about treatments. i've read the you can treat with actual chopped up pancreas rather than powder (which my vet never mentioned) plus the fact that my vet told us to give her Activia (or similar) probiotic-type drink rather than a probiotic supplement...just things like that that I'd like another opinion about.

like i said, i may be overthinking everything, but i just want to do it right.

we started her on the enzyme and probiotic (Activia/DanActive) saturday evening...so far, no diareah (and she loves the yogurt in her food!).

by the way, how do i add an avatar to my posts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,829 Posts
Originally Posted By: paris1886
4. Should never give her treats? She's always had things like peanut butter, small pieces of all-beef hot dogs and cheese, pigs ears and marrow bones (from the butcher) as treats.
I would cut out all the fatty treats until you have it under control. Even if it isn't diagnosed as EPI, she may just not be able to digest high fat/protein concentrations. When you have her under control, reintroduce treats maybe try something different once a week and see if you get an adverse reaction (like you would a baby on new solid foods to check for allergies).

Rex used to have pig ears and an occasional peanut butter cracker. For treats, I used to give him carbs like low fat crackers and pizza crust - he loved the pizza crust.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,373 Posts
All my EPI dog's treats are shake and baked with the enzyme powder. If I go to training and do not use the powder on her food she will get runny poop and that seems to make the SIBO flare up.

Most vets I have found are not well versed in EPI but there are a lot of resources out there for you to tap into.


BTW- the raw pancreas would IMHO be a PITA.
I did check into getting it early on but could not find it and the enzymes are working great.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top