Meet "Aria", a Tiger with EPI ...

It all began in May 2013.....  with the initial "Press Release" from Carolina Tiger in Pittsboro, North Carolina (a town i am proud to say i lived in back in the 1980's!!) .

As so many of us EPI owners sadly know... we are often looked upon as mis-treating our animals when people first see our EPI pets.... thin, emancipated... and just do not realize that we are feeding them and trying to make them healthy but nothing seems to be working. Thankfully, there is the TLI test and these animals can be properly diagnosed and treated!   

Luckily, in May 2013, the tiger, Aria, was reported to the Carolina Tiger Rescue .... and after their shocked observation at how emancipated this poor tiger (see initial press release below) was weighing in at only 250lbs, she was thankfully tested and discovered to have EPI.....by September 2013, Aria weighed in at approximately 400lbs!!!


Aria's EPI and her care at the center....

Aria spends her days lounging around in her enclosure... She receives some sort of "enrichment" (something novel to play with) each day. She enjoys spending time with the volunteers and enjoys visitors too! So please... if you are ever near Raleigh or Durham North Carolina, consider stopping by and saying "hi" !


Aria is fed once a day, mostly with whole chickens, but other meats too, such as venison, are included.. She is fed 8 ounces of raw pancreas once a day with her meals. The estimated cost of the enzymes at the current dose is $3,000 annually. Currently The Carolina Tiger Rescue is SOOOoooo very thankful that they have a donor that purchases Aria's raw pancreas and medications for her.


She gets medications twice a day....

Aria receives Cyanocobalamin twice a day, 50mg of Metoclopramide twice a day, 160mg  Prednisone twcie a day and 100mg of Famotidine twice a day..... and sometimes, they include Gas-X if needed.  Gee... doesn't this sound familiar to many of us?!!!


And if you are wondering if she too had "SID" Small Intestinal Dysbiosis formerly called "SIBO"... like so many of our dogs ....YES!!!!!  Aria was given 2,000mg of Metronidazole twice a day vs. the usual 250mg to 500mg that we give our dogs for the same thing... pretty amazing,eh?!!


The center has done an amazing job bringing Aria back to health... from 250lbs to 400lbs in just 4 months. 

Aria was not mis-treated by her family, who really cared for her.... but tigers are not big kitties, they ARE wild animals and should not ever be a pet. Aria's family knew something was wrong and they tried so very hard to get help for her, they contacted vet after vet, but could not locate a veterinarian that was willing to come out and examine her.... but we must also realize.... most vets are small animal practitioners or large (farm) animal practitioners. Most vets are not trained as wild animal vets unless they specialize as such and because of this are simply not able to handle working on tigers.... just one more reason why it is not a good idea to make pets out of exotic wild animals.


Thankfully Aria's story has a happy ending  

The initial "Press Release

(The initial press release) Carolina Tiger Rescue  

Pittsboro, NC

PRESS RELEASE Date: 5/23/13

Contact: Pam Fulk, Executive Director E-mail: [email protected]

Telephone: (919) 542-4684x31 office; 919-619-0011 cell

Carolina Tiger Rescue Trying to Save Confiscated Tiger

PITTSBORO, N.C. – Carolina Tiger Rescue Executive Director Pam Fulk announced this morning that during the night a team of Carolina Tiger staff retrieved a critically ill tiger from Orangeburg County, South Carolina. A call was received from Orangeburg County, South Carolina Animal Control Monday about an emaciated tiger kept as a pet by a private owner. On Tuesday, a local veterinarian conducted an exam and determined that the female tiger was emaciated and dehydrated. Blood test results Wednesday morning indicated no obvious problems and that there could be hope for the tiger in knowledgeable hands. The Carolina Tiger Rescue Team left yesterday around 1:30 to retrieve the tiger when Orangeburg County served a seizure order late Wednesday afternoon.


According to Kathryn Bertok, Curator of Animals, “In my fourteen years here this is by far the worst condition in which I’ve ever seen a rescued animal arrive.” Dr. Angela Lassiter and Ms. Bertok met early this morning to determine next steps in the effort to save the tiger. She will be quarantined for at least thirty days during which time she’ll receive the medical care and rest needed. It appears that the condition of the cat was not a result of a lack of food or water but of an as yet unidentified underlying medical condition interfering with the cat’s ability to maintain a proper weight. The owner reported that he had been unable to get a veterinarian to come to the home to tend to her.


Carolina Tiger Rescue staff renamed the tiger Aria. (Carolina Tiger already has another animal with the tiger’s prior name.) Regular updates on Aria’s condition will be posted on Carolina Tiger’s Facebook page. While the sanctuary had some funds remaining from prior rescues, it is expected that Aria’s medical care will exceed the balance. If Aria survives, all funds raised in excess of her medical care will cover the cost of outfitting her new habitat with a water tub, tiger toys, and enriching items. Any funds raised above the cost of this rescue will be put toward future rescues.


To donate to Carolina Tiger Rescue for this rescue, visit  www.CarolinaTigerRescue.org  and click on Donations, or mail a check payable to Carolina Tiger Rescue to 1940 Hanks Chapel Road, Pittsboro, N.C. 27312. Designate your gift to “Bring Them Home” for this rescue, or leave the gift un-designated for the care of all of the animals at Carolina Tiger Rescue.


Carolina Tiger Rescue is a nonprofit organization located in Pittsboro, N.C. The 55-acre sanctuary is home to 70 animals,including tigers, ocelots, binturongs, and more. Carolina Tiger Rescue provides a home for mainly wild cats, as well as conservation education for the public through tours, community presentations and exhibits. For more information, call 919-542-4684 or visit the website: http://carolinatigerrescue.org/


The amazing YouTube video on "Aria's" Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency:



The news cast by WRAL News on "Aria"


 And the homepage of Carolina Tigers where "Aria" is featured in a video.


Updates on "Aria" on the Caroline Tigers Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CarolinaTigerRescue 

EPI in other species....

When i first started this website, i was under the impression that EPI only affected dogs...hence the name "epi4dogs".... if only knew then what i have learned  *.... 


But EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) does occur in other species such as humans, cats, horses, parrots, pigeons, and possibly other species that we are not even aware of yet.


epi4dogs will gladly share ALL species EPI stories here... In an effort to bring better awareness of this disease to all beings! 

Help spread the word about EPI!

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