Title

Subtitle

Forum

Post Reply
Forum Home > General Discussion > Plan of Action

Lucky Boy
Member
Posts: 17

First off, thank you everyone for your replies! You've been so helpful. I just wish I found all of this info when this all started last Thanksgiving. Back then we were doing things based on what my vet knew. I don't like going to them because I feel you people and websites like epi4dogs knows a lot more than my vet or any vet since this is one of a million things they have to know for patients that come through their doors, so they don't have time to be experts on it. Why would they if they may see only a few cases during their entire time practicing... I came across this site: www.globalspan.net/epi.htm and I really like it too. Looks like it takes a lot of info from this site and simplifies it (that may be a stretch!), at least for me in a more organized fashion. Still a boat load of info to take in, regardless.

 

I figure I'd start a new post to avoid confusion.

 

Lucky was diagnosed last fall (blood work from A&M). Back then, based on what I was told by the vet, was buying pharma brand meds. We tried to find the lowest fat/fiber diet, and found CANIDAE All Life Stages Platinum. He's been on that since. We were adding half a can of wet food from iams back then that had the lowest fat/fiber we could find to make it taste better so he would eat it. Ever since, it's been a roller coaster. 5-6 weeks ago, we thought what we were doing was finally working. We boarded him for 48 hrs and then it seemed to go down hill very fast and couldn't get it to come back. I think he was on tylan before this point and then doc subscribed him metrondiazole, 500 mg, 2x and he was on it for 2 weeks. I also stopped doing the canned food and then started incubating his food. I think I finally found epi4dogs site by then. Then things started to finally come around and been pretty good since then. At least shape wise. It isn't as hard and firm with a dark color like a normal dog's poop, so I don't know how close it should get to normal poop, at least not yet. I'm still giving him tylan as of today.

 

I then started doing Diane's enyzmes last Thursday and yesterday I started giving him a little more food and more meds (same ratio) to help him gain a little more weight. Last 24 hrs it has become a lot softer and I think/hope it is just because I pissed off his stomach by giving him more food at at the same time instead of just more meals throughout the day. I'm learning very quickly how sensitive EPI dog's GI track is. I'm trying to find out from the vet what his b-12 levels are to see if we need to test it for that and get him on shots. I'm thinking I should just have him tested now regardless as almost a 100% chance he will need it. At least feels that way.

 

The other site I mentioned above makes it sound like almost all dogs don't do well on grain diets, so I'm afraid I'm trying to climb a mountain by continue giving him this food. So I'm wondering if I should just bit my lip and screw everything up again, start over and hope I get this right once & for all.

 

Start giving him a grain free diet overnight, no gradual switch over. Keep giving him the tylan and expect for his poop to turn into mush and hopefully it turns itself around in a few weeks. If not, ask vet if I should give him the metronidazole again, still have some left for a few weeks.

 

I'm also thinking maybe I should be giving him probiotics as well. In the mean time, test him for b-12 and start giving him shots.

 

Once I do all of this and once he is back to normal, then stop the tylan and wait and see how it goes. Then maybe take him off the probiotics and see how he does, etc. Not sure if proboitics is that important, you just don't want to be doing something that is doing absolutely nothing and I think probiotics is one of those controversial things, even in humans, is it not?

 

Dog food - how in the world did you pick which food to buy? I've decided on grain free version from either natural balance, canidae's or Costco. I don't think he has any allergy to any particular food so I think it can be any. Do you recommend any particular brand over the other? You can't beat costco price, but not sure if they are as good as Canidae's for example. I just know a lot of companies make the food with crap in it and some companies try to make it with good ingredients as if they were eating it themselves. At least that is what they advertise, like Canidae...

 

Medicine - when giving your dog medicine, like benedryl or metronidazole, do you incubate it or give it separately after he eats? That other website says you must be careful as the enzymes can kill certain things, like probiotics. But it doesn't specifically talk about medicine.

 

Thank you so much in advance for any input you can share. I know no one here is a vet, but I will take your thoughts into consideration as I think you are the most knowledgeable bunch.

 

Curtis

 

 

 

 

March 20, 2017 at 11:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Epi4Dogs
Site Owner
Posts: 16335

hi Curtis,


I will try to answer your questions as best i can...


First.... that website that you reference has a ton of excellent information..... I used to go there myself... BUT.... please know, that it is old now and since it was created (check the date out at the bottom) newer research has been done, a lot on it is now out-dated or things have changed just because new research has come about and we have learned more about this EPI condition... debunking the old.


For example.... they used to recommend low fat for EPI.... but now know that normal amounts of fat in the diet actually benefits the EPI dog and better utilizes the enzymes :)  So unless another health condition requires it, stay away from low fat foods.


There is a general mantra to switch over new foods gradually, but, if switching from grain food to grain-free food, technically you can do that all at once... it's going to "grain" ladden foods that you want to do gradually.  But that being said, just do what YOU are most comfortable doing with your dog !


Next... Grain-free food usually works better in "most" of our EPI dogs, however... not always.... sometimes there are occasions when an EPI dog actually does do better with a tiny bit of grain in their food... we suspect that it is because these "might" be the EPi dogs that also have a touch of IBD going on.... and in these cases... jsut a little bit of rice in the food (but not too much) seem to help.  Taking all this into consideration, and the fact that Epi4Dogs is a public venue so i never know how someone is going to intepret what we say, which is why we suggest for folks to start with a low fiber food which could be found in the grain free food section, but to read the ingredients carefully to make sure the fiber content is 4% or less AND to avoid foods (in the beginning) that avoid grains like rice, wheat, corn, even oatmeal, etc, etc.  to assure that the fiber content is coming from veggies.


Also... jsut a FYI... root veggies usually agree with most EPI dogs but again.... you not only have to watch the ingredients but the amount of each ingredient that you are giving can also make a difference. Sweet potatoes seem to work well with most of our EPI dogs... not all. but most.


We have found that you usually do not need a prescription diet for these dogs UNLESS there is some other health condition that requires a special food.


Over the counter, low fiber dog food seems to work well for most. (commonly mis-named as grain-free)... BUT... when you start looking at commercial foods...just buy a small bag cause what works for one EPI dog may not agree with another.... lots of trial and error.


The Costco grain free food http://www.kirklandsignaturepetsupplies.com/natures-domain-brand  has worked well for some of our dogs as has

EarthBorn Primative  https://www.earthbornholisticpetfood.com/dog-food-formulas/grain-free-holistic/primitive-natural" target="_blank">https://www.earthbornholisticpetfood.com/dog-food-formulas/grain-free-holistic/primitive-natural

Also, many of our EPI owners have good luck with Taste of the Wild, Pacific Stream  line  http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/dog-formulas/pacific-stream-canine-formula-with-smoked-salmon/


Yea.... don't increase the 2 feedings but rather reduce the size of the meals and give more food but in more multiple smaller meals... this really makes a difference in the beginning.  Over time as your dog get 100% stable.... THEN you can slowly drop all these feeding and segue back to 2 meals a day.


Continue the Tylan for now since you are making a food switch, but once the poos get back on track... yes, you should "try" to ween your pup off the Tylan as long as you have done the 45 day course.... HOWEVER.... don't stop cold turkey... but rather try the following (we seem to have better luck with some of our dogs with weening of Tylan rather than stopping all at once).  SOOOOooooo... when you want to start the weening, 1st  week give 1/2 dose twice daily, 2nd week give 1/2 dose once daily, 3rd week give 1/2 dose every other day.... adn then stop... BUT watch poo output for a month to make sure you do not see any flare ups.


Try staying on the probiotic for a month after you stop the Tylan antibiotic... and then do the same, try withdrawing from the probiotic... to see if you can get the dog off of it or if you should keep the dog on it.


Okay.... with probiotics... always give 2-4 hours away from antibiotics..... as many anti's will kill the probiotics.

I dont's give probiotics (my dog doesn't do well with probiotics at all... but she does great with prebiotics, so i give slippery elm only when needed)  ... but i do know that giving antibiotics are usually given with food  unless otherwise noted....and yes you can toss in the food with the enzymes.... or not...up to you.  I suspect probiotics can be given with the food too... maybe jsut toss in before you serve.


I gave a bunch of B12 info on your other thread.


--

Olesia, owned by Izzy, a 35lb SWD, Diagnosed at 1.5 years old - TLI results 1.3, Stable 9+ yrs! Once stable, was able to reduce enzymes to only 1/2 tsp of Enzymes (use EnzymeDiane's 6x) with each meal, but after almost 4 years of stabilization... had to increase the amount of enzymes to 3/4 teaspoon with each meal. Fed various grain-free kibble+real meat, 6x pancreatin enzymes from EnzymeDiane., gave 1 tsp of coconut oil one day and 1 tsp salmon oil next day, and also give canned sardines packed without salt or canned herring for extra omega oils.... until she developed Diabetes and now cannot tolerate higher fat foods.

In Feb 2013, Izzy developed a very serious condition called IMHA which she (thankfully) beat and is now in remission. We also discovered that now, at 8+ years old, she not only has EPI, but also Diabetes, Low Thyroid and High Cholesterol.  Izzy was able to receive excellent care because of the kindness of so many here on epi4dogs and  is currently  doing extra-ordinarily well. If anyone could spend a day with Izzy, they would never guess that she has any health problems!  Because of Izzy's concurrent conditions of Diabetes and High Cholesterol we had to make changes to our daily EPI routine. We had to alter the fiber, type of fiber and the fat content her diet. She is now on an all home-made diet which she does best on and has even been able to reduce the insuline (Vetsulin:pork-based insulin) . Because of the diet change to all home-made i no longer worry about hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia- -she is much more even-keeled with a diet of sweet potato, a lean meat/fish, sometimes a free range egg, cottage cheese,  fish oil+vitamins and bone meal. We tried Novolin N a human synthetic RNA insulin.... but Izzy did not do well on it. aside from all of Izzy's health issues.... she continues to wake up every day full of joy and a great sense of humor!

I am not a vet.  All of my suggestions/recommendations are based on personal expereinces, observations, information gleaned from EPI research, and information shared with me by EPI researchers....that hopefully may help others. Please always share anything and everything recommended on this forum with your vet.

March 20, 2017 at 12:08 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lucky Boy
Member
Posts: 17

Thank you!!

My other dog already gets Kirkland's Turkey Meal & Sweet Potato. Website says 4% fiber max, the bag says 3%. Sounds like it may be a great product to switch him to?

I was giving him 2.5 tsp per 2 cups / 2 cups slightly over full. Should I just stick to 1 tsp to exactly 1 cup for now? I didn't think this stuff had to be this precise.

If I switch him to this costco dog food cold turkey, should I be surprised if his poop goes south really fast and how long do you think it should take to come back, a couple weeks?

Would you just hold off on the probiotics until he's stable? I'm thinking do the tylan like normal, switch food and then feed him 3 or maybe 4 times a day until I get really solid poop for 4-6 weeks. Then maybe add probiotic or ween him off Tylan and 4-6 weeks later, do the other.

I want to keep it basic so if things go to "poop," it won't be too difficult to figure out why or add something to fix it.

Sounds like a good plan to you and everyone else?

Just a thought, I think it would be great if epi4dogs took that page and simply copy and put it on this website and update the info. For me anyways, it really make this complicated subject easier to understand and grasp. Unless this isn't true, this comment about enzymes really put it into perspective for me, thuoght it was great. "Remember, digestion takes place in the bowl, not in your dog"

March 20, 2017 at 1:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Terry Bin
Member
Posts: 1909

Hello to you both!  One thing to be aware of when switching food is that the calories per cup can vary quite a bit....so if the calories are lower in the Kirkland food than what you are feeding now you will need to increase the amount of food to get the same calories.  The calories do not seem to matter as much in terms of the ratio of enzymes to food...so 1 tsp per 1 cup is the way to start...some dogs need a bit more and some a bit less but best to start with the 1tsp per 1 cup ratio.

I would hold off on the probiotics until he is stable....some dogs need it and some don't.  Our two epi dogs do not get probiotics (except for what they eat out of their non-epi sibling's bowl) but Moku (non-epi) does.

A log can be really helpful to track changes and affect on poop.  So we recommend making one change at a time and waiting 3 to 5 days to monitor the affect of the change before changing anything else.  Also every dog's transit time is different so the poop you see may not be from the last meal.  One way to track that is to grate some carrot into one meal and since it won't be digested, watch to see when you see orange in his poop.  It may be the next meal or 24 hours later and in some cases can be as long as 72 hours.

--

Terry

Mom of three EPI Shiloh Shepherds: 

Pharaoh born Nov. 2007 and dx with epi December 2009.   Pharaoh weighed 62.4 lbs. (15 lb. weight loss) when diagnosed in 12/2009.

Weight 10/31/11 was 76.6; 85lbs on 9/22/12; 85.5 lbs. on 11/13/14.

Received six weeks of B12 shots Jan-Feb 2010 but his B12 on 8/10/2010 was only 232. So started weekly shots at home, which we continue to give. 

His older half sister is Taiko born Sept. 2006  and was dx with epi June 2010.  Since she has severe bilateral hip dysplasia she had always been on the thin side.  Taiko's weight was 70.7 lbs. in June 2010 (time of diagnosis; about a 10 lb. weight loss).

Weight on 10/31/11 was 80.4 and on 9/22/12 was 82.4 lbs.  Weight 11/13/14 was 83 lbs.  B12 was 211 in June 2010 so started six weeks of shots and was only 293 on 8/10/10.  She receives B12 shots weekly at home.  B12 in September 2014 was over 1,000.

Both are fed twice a day and we use Merrick BG brand: 1 1/2  cups kibble in the morning with 1/2 can dog food with 4 crushed tablets and in the evening 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups kibble with 1/2 can dog food  with 4 crushed tablets. 

Moku was born 4/15/14 does not have epi.  His grandfather is Taiko's and Pharaoh's father (through his mother).  On 11/05/14 his weight was 78 lbs, on 12/11/14 he was 85.7 and on his first birthday 15 April 2015: 90.2 lbs.

March 20, 2017 at 1:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jill
Administrator
Posts: 3499

Curtis,

yes, you need to be precise on food measurement and precise on enzyme:  1 level cup food to 1 level teaspoon of enzyme.  It is the precise starting point you go with because then sometimes after the dog is stable for quite a while you can lower the amount of enzyme per cup of food.  If you don't measure each precisely at first its a crap shoot. You need a definite precise base to start.


I was able to start with 1/4 teaspoon for Mickeys 1/4 cup food 4 times a day until he was stable, then I lowered him to 1/8 teaspoon enzyme to 1/4 cup food and was able to keep this amount up.


 



--

   Jill-  Washington State

Mickey 6/21/99 - 8/29/2014 

17.5 lb  jack russell, chronic pancreatitis, hyperuricosuria,high blood pressure, hypothyroid, spinal stenosis

diet of  hard boiled eggs, macaroni,  RC Hepatic, mashed potato

2 #2 Dianes enzymes 6x premeal

 2.5 mg Amlodipine, .15mg soloxine am/pm, 100mg ursodiol started for gall bladder thinning

arthritis:  6.25mg tramadol 1x/day, 12.5mg gabapentin every 12 hrs,  Assisi soft loop used on back and elbow, 1- 540meq potassium citrate nightly

Denamarin once a day, 1/16 t tylan (150mg)  2x/day ,  Senilife started 12/14/13, Trixsyn sirup for arthritis, .1mg Adequan weekly by shot. 75mg Tylan 2x./day for SIBO

Optimmune for Dry eyes

 Kiya is Mickeys sister, 3/4 aussie, 1/4 blue heeler born 9/2006.  She thinks she is a 44 lb jack russell who tries to heel Mickey!!

TJ is the newest addition.  He is in the bottom picture with Kiya.  He was born 7/05/2015. 

I am not a vet, just a pet owner sharing what experiences I have had in helping my dogs with other pet owners.  If you have an emergency please call your vet.




 photo 20160731_182901_zpsl5p1zcbs.jpg



March 20, 2017 at 5:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lucky Boy
Member
Posts: 17

Thanks everyone for all the replies to my numerous discussions posts.

A couple days ago, I decided to change the food and did so mid day after he arleady had 2 cups of breakfast. I started at lunch time and giving him 1 cup each time, 5 times a day of the turkey flavor from Costco, their red bag. What's odd, their website says 4% fiber max, but the bag says 3%. I hope it is in fact 4% or less. If 3% or less, great.

I monitor his poop every time afterwards and it started to get a little less form for a couple of movements and then started getting better. The color had always been a very light tan when this all started.  It is now become a much darker brown, something I have never been able to achieve. I finally feel like we have progress and this will actually be manageable! So exciting and such a relief. I'm waiting fo the B12 to get here so I can start giving him shots and see if that completes him and really get him 100%. I will move onto the pills later, but wanted to stick with what everyone will say is a sure bet on what works until I get him stable.

I went to the vet this am because of something on his skin and the vet was training some staff, but almost immediately started giving him some kind of soft chewy type treats. She was doing it to get him to warm up to her since it had been a while since he's seen her, warm up her instruments, to shave his neck, etc.  She's fully aware of his condition as I've emailed her countless times to her personal email.  My first thought was what the hell, seriously?!?! He can't have anything but his food with his meds on it. Especiallly not until I get him stable and learn over time what he can and can't do. But not until I have him stable and know exactly what is working. I so wanted to say I know why you are doing it, but that isn't ok with my dog. I will just hold him down and you do what you need to and he will just have to suck it up. Please tell me I'm overreacting and it's going to be ok.

I'm going to be monitoring his poop, will anyways and if we have some major consequences because of this, I will be pissed and will be looking for a new vet.

Curtis


March 23, 2017 at 11:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Doc's Mom
Administrator
Posts: 2608

Hi Curtis.  Even the staff at my vet periodically forget Doc has EPI and want to give him a treat - I think it's because they look good on the outside so people forget.  Your baby will be fine - maybe a few loose poops.  Lots of dogs here have gotten untreated treats either from someone else or on their own - we usually recommend as soon as you can give a small enzymes meal.  I make my own treats to take to the vet which you can do once stable.  In the meantime you could try bringing a toy or even schedule the appt around meal time and feed him while there.  

Congrats on the poop getting better!!!  Wahoooo

madelon

--

MADELON and DOC aka "BUBBY WUBBY"

Nashville, Tennessee

DOB: 4/3/2014 - Diagnosed EPI and SIBO: 5/22/2015
EPI Test Results: 1st test 7/2014 = TLI 16.5, B12 894, Folate > 24; 
2nd test 5/2015 = TLI < .4, B12 406; Folate >24; 3rd test 10/2015   TLI < .4; B12 >1000; Folate 14.4

Weight: 95 (highest 1/2015) - 76 (lowest 5/2015) - goal met 100lb (7/23/15) - 101.8LBS 12/3/15 - CHUNKY MONKEY

History prior to DX:  May/June 2014 (2mos old) - DX coccidia and bladder infection; July 2014 (3mos old) 1st EPI test = TLI 16.5, B12 894, Folate >24 - Diagnosed SIBO not EPI; Feb 2015 thru May 2015 - weight loss only; May  2015 vomitted several times, diarrhea and eating poop.

History since DX: has maintained weight between 95-101lbs since July 2015; extreme yeast and rod infection in ears; yeast infection paws (ongoing); bacterial eye infection; bacterial skin infection on legs; poops LIVE fly larvae; diagnosed with mild, focal superficial pyoderma (bacterial infection) - rare lesions on inner thighs; bacterial and yeast overgrowth lip folds; yeast overgrowth feet and left ear; metacarpal/metatarsal draining tracts/fistulae (infection and/or immune mediated disease; probable underlying allergy (food vs. environmental ); staphylococcus pseudintermedius infection in sores on paws; recurring metatarsal fistula - all issues resolved after NutriScan Food Sensitivity Test and switching foods.

NUTRISCAN Food Sensitivity Test (12/2015): reactive to chicken, turkey, white fish, wheat, white potato (mild), venison, soy (mild), pork (mild), duck (mild), corn - switching food based on test resolved all skin issues.

Serum Allergy Test (5/2016): Too many to mention

CURRENTLY :  6 cups Forza10 Legend Skin - Diane 6x 1tsp per cup; 1 WonderLab PetFactor B12 2x day; 2 scoops TotalBiotics 1x day; 600mg vitamin E; 1 Zyrtec 10mg 2x day; Milk Thistle during heartworm/flea/tick meds

I am not a vet.  All of my suggestions are based on my personal experiences, information gleaned from EPI research and information from other EPI owners.  Please always share anything and everything recommended on this forum with your vet

SO THANKfUL FOR OUR EPI4DOGS GUARDIAN ANGELS!!!!!!!!

YOUR PAWS LEFT PRINTS ON MY HEART (in loving memory of Bugsy aka Boo Boo - Boston Terrier 14yrs - not EPI but medically challenging and totally worth it)


March 23, 2017 at 11:53 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Lucky Boy
Member
Posts: 17

Thanks that helps a lot!

March 23, 2017 at 12:48 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Epi4Dogs
Site Owner
Posts: 16335

Yea... even vets forget :( ... and sometimes slip a treat to an EPI dog..... i  just remind them not to do that because of the EPI.


It sounds like the food change you made is working.  And yes... i too would skip the probiotics until later AND only if needed.... not all EPI dogs need probiotics ;)... only if you cannot get their poo/SID straightened out... and a lot of times, although it takes patients, a lot of time you can get things straightened out by finding the right diet for your EPI dog..... and it sounds like you are well on your way  

--

Olesia, owned by Izzy, a 35lb SWD, Diagnosed at 1.5 years old - TLI results 1.3, Stable 9+ yrs! Once stable, was able to reduce enzymes to only 1/2 tsp of Enzymes (use EnzymeDiane's 6x) with each meal, but after almost 4 years of stabilization... had to increase the amount of enzymes to 3/4 teaspoon with each meal. Fed various grain-free kibble+real meat, 6x pancreatin enzymes from EnzymeDiane., gave 1 tsp of coconut oil one day and 1 tsp salmon oil next day, and also give canned sardines packed without salt or canned herring for extra omega oils.... until she developed Diabetes and now cannot tolerate higher fat foods.

In Feb 2013, Izzy developed a very serious condition called IMHA which she (thankfully) beat and is now in remission. We also discovered that now, at 8+ years old, she not only has EPI, but also Diabetes, Low Thyroid and High Cholesterol.  Izzy was able to receive excellent care because of the kindness of so many here on epi4dogs and  is currently  doing extra-ordinarily well. If anyone could spend a day with Izzy, they would never guess that she has any health problems!  Because of Izzy's concurrent conditions of Diabetes and High Cholesterol we had to make changes to our daily EPI routine. We had to alter the fiber, type of fiber and the fat content her diet. She is now on an all home-made diet which she does best on and has even been able to reduce the insuline (Vetsulin:pork-based insulin) . Because of the diet change to all home-made i no longer worry about hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia- -she is much more even-keeled with a diet of sweet potato, a lean meat/fish, sometimes a free range egg, cottage cheese,  fish oil+vitamins and bone meal. We tried Novolin N a human synthetic RNA insulin.... but Izzy did not do well on it. aside from all of Izzy's health issues.... she continues to wake up every day full of joy and a great sense of humor!

I am not a vet.  All of my suggestions/recommendations are based on personal expereinces, observations, information gleaned from EPI research, and information shared with me by EPI researchers....that hopefully may help others. Please always share anything and everything recommended on this forum with your vet.

March 24, 2017 at 2:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

You must login to post.