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Forum Home > General Discussion > Just wanted to introduce myself and my girl Lucy

Tara Garufi
Posts: 1

Hi all! 

Just wanted to introduce myself and my girl Lucy. Lucy is a 12.5 yr old black german shepherd mx. She was just diagnosed last week with EPI. It's been rough these past few months not knowing what was wrong with her. I went to my regular vet as well as a holistic vet. I was told it was possibly cancer, insulinoma, lymphoma....everything BUT EPI! She has lost over 25 lbs. My once 60 lb shepherd now weighs 34 lbs. 

I'm grateful to finally have a diagnosis and better than that...a treatment!! Lucy started on enxymes 6 days ago, as well as had her first B12 injection that day also. I'm happy to report we have some good looking poop!! (sounds so strange but I know you all will understand) and I've noticed that she has a little more energy. Still looks super thin to me but I guess the weight takes time to come back. 

Tomorrow will be our 2nd B12 injection. I'm hoping they tell me that she has put on some weight...even 1 lb would make me happy at this point. 

Sorry for not introducing myself and Lucy sooner, to be honest I had no idea how to get onto this forum lol. 

May 16, 2017 at 2:39 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Doc's Mom
Posts: 3150
Hi Tara - glad to see you were able to get onto the forum finally!! Lucy is beautiful!! Glad you've got the diagnosis finally and have started her on enzymes and B12. What enzymes are you using and what dosage? In the beginning we recommend feeding 150% of the food for the weight your dog should be until they gain their weight back - BUT in smaller meals throughout the day. Please ask any questions you may have - we've all been there and we are all here to help guide you


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


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)

May 16, 2017 at 2:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 3728
Welcome. It also helps to keep a journal: http://www.epi4dogs.com/downloads.htm

   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.

May 16, 2017 at 4:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 17180

Hi Tara and welcome to you and Lucy to our EPI family.... and by the way... OMG... your profile pic of Lucy.. she looks like she is a happy gal and has a lot to say. Love it!!!

Glad to hear that she is responding nicely to the enzymes AND that she is getting the B12 shots too ...that is so important for so many of these dogs. Over 80% need B12 supplementation.

Please know that  with EPI to effectively manage EPI you kind of have to treat the whole dog.

  • Enzymes 
  • B12 (if needed)
  • Diet 
  • Antibiotic (if needed) for SID/SIBO
If in a few weeks Lucy appears to have a wee bit of a set back.... please know that that happens often and it is jsut SID/SIBO , a secondary condition that happens with EPI (just like the low B12 is a secondary condition with EPI) all this means is that the enzymes were not enough to help the gut flora imbalance straighten itself out and she will need a little help with a course of antibiotics....

Looking forward to hearing more Lucy improvement stories :)

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.

May 16, 2017 at 4:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Riley's Mom
Posts: 2001

Welcome to the forum!

So glad you have gotten the diagnosis finally and started treatement. 

Don't be too disapointed if she doesn't gain weight quickly. For some pups it takes time. Once the weight loss stops, that is a good thing and signals the beginning of healing. 

Glad you started the B12!

That will help too, ask questions as you have them!



Riley's Mom from Chesapeake, VA

Riley, 8 yr old Labradoodle diagnosed September 2014 cTLI 1.6

Weight before diagnosis 40 lbs, lowest weight 33 lbs, ready for the Chunky Monkey club as she weighed in at a whopping 42 pounds on 12/19/14!

Update: as of 2/25/15 Riley weighs in at 44.2 pounds!

Update: as of 6/15/15 Riley weighs in at 45 pounds!

Feeding grain free kibble TOTW, 1 tsp of Diane's 6x enzymes per cup of food. (I mix the enzymes in something moist). She is a picky eater--lately feeding her on a flat plate is the way to entice her to eat. 1 cup in the am, 2 cups in the pm, 1 tsp of coconut oil per meal, 1 packet of FortiFlora probiotic in the pm meal.

Began weekly B12 shots 10/23/14. Holding on shots for now.

Began 1 Wonderlabs B12 in the morning, 1 in the evening. Capsule opened up and sprinkled on her food.

*I am not a vet, anything I share or suggest on this site is solely from my experience as an EPI dog owner. It is recommended that anything shared or suggested on this forum be discussed with your pet's vet.*

May 16, 2017 at 5:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Jean and Kara
Posts: 7462

Good morning from the UK

Kara at her worst was 39 pounds, she is now 90 ish, we have all been in your shoes, scared stiff, but at least now you have a map for your journey, and we are here to help with our experiences, ask anything

you have been given loads of advice, so buckle up for the ride







From Liverpool England

born 21st July 2009

Adopted at five months old 26th December 2009


EPI dx August 2010

tli<1.00 folate 8.3 cobalimin 611

Antibiotics  2 Oxytet antibiotics 3 times a day also if we cannot fit the Oxytet in she has Tylan 1/8th teaspoon before her meals as a maintenanance dose

Food- Ashenbank Lamb Casserole  twice daily equalling 3 cups per day possibly more

Zantac (ranitadine) 75 mg 30 minutes before each meal as too much acid was being produced, causing shedding of bowel lining

Enzymes-Panzym 3 gram per meal twice daily ( 3/4 teaspoon ) 

B12 injection once every three weeks

One Chemeyes B12 with intrinsic factor of 40 daily

One Antepsin before bedtime

Allergies to beef, pork, chicken. and white fish confirmed by blood test

33.6 kilos in weight as of 5th May 2013

37 kilos as of 10th June 2014

40.65 kilos, 89.6 pounds as of 3rd March 2015

Vet says she is now processing her food correctly

Very proud of all of us



I am not a vet, nor have veterinary experience, but have lived and breathed EPI for 51/2 years, and hope I can bring some support to others, as others have to me.


May 17, 2017 at 4:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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