Although the diagnosis of EPI can seem like a dire and heart-wrenching disease to deal with, please know that there are many successful EPI management stories. The following pictures are pictures of our members from this website of their EPI dogs....posted with their permission... check back often as more pictures are constantly being added ...
Jade’s EPI story
Jade was born March 18, 2013 and came to live with us, her forever home, May 25, 2013. She is an extremely happy, energetic and loving puppy. It was approximately a year after we got her, at approximately 14 months old, Jade started presenting with symptoms. She went from having 3-4 bowel movements pre day to needing to go out every 1-2 hours. Whatever she ate went right through her. She was having massive amounts of diarrhea, however never lost her appetite. She continued to be playful and happy. After 2 weeks of diarrhea, we took her to the Vet. Her initial diagnose with a GI infection from dirty pond water. She was started on antibiotics and probiotics. Over the course of the next 2-4 weeks, the diarrhea worsened, we started seeing a significant change in her attitude and personality and the most horrifying change with her weight loss. Over the course of 4-6 weeks Jade had lost nearly 20lbs. After several visits to the vet, multiple trials of antibiotics and probiotics, enough was enough. We knew there was something significantly wrong. July 3rd,2014 Jade had her fasting bloodwork done and the next day, we got our diagnoses. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.
We were happy to finally know what was wrong, however, needless to say we were extremely overwhelmed at this point. What was EPI? How do we treat it? What is the best treatment option? So many questions. With the mounting stress of watching our fur baby waste away to nothing, we were faced with a tough discussion…what to do next? We could not afford the veterinary enzymes, which would cost us nearly $250.00/month. We thought we would have to give Jade away. We were devastated. Then we found epi4dogs.com and EnzymesDiane.com. Through the endless support and advice from the members of epi4dogs.com we found answers to our numerous questions and then some. We can honestly say that without the members support we don’t know what we would have done.
Jade was started on her enzymes treatments right away, along with a 6 week course of weekly vitamin B12 injections. We started to see some improvement, however the diarrhea continued. Again, through advice from epi4dogs members, we got Jade started on a treatment course of Tylan for her SIBO. Within a few days of treatment Jade was have formed bowel movements and again weight. With treatment Jade is doing amazing. She is back to her happy, joyful self and is happy to be a EPI survivor and lifelong epi4dogs member.
Sara, David & Jade
Anu's "Sheru" before being treated for EPI ...
Exactly a year back we got Sheru from a local kennel in Delhi. He must be around 5-6 months of age, recovering from tick fever, was blind in one eye and was ill. What we did not realize is this pup we brought home also had some undiagnosed clinical GI problem - He would eat and poop ALL THE TIME. Multiple visits to different vets, multiple changes in diet didn't solve anything.
This story is extra special to me personally as it is an exemplary example of how the wonderful members of epi4dogs reach out and help one another from all-around the world ... and how even if someone does not have access to the "standard" EPI protocol medications.....you can STILL successfully and effectively manage EPI
...... thank you Sachini for sharing your story with us... and thank you Devika for reaching out and helping Sachini !!!
Deena from Sri LankaNov 1, 2012 (4 mo)
When Deena was 5 months of age in December 20, 2012 I noticed that she was not growing up as her brother and sister.
March 3, 2013 (8 mo)
Little by little she started losing weight. I had no idea what was wrong with her because Deena ate more than the others. When she was 8 months old in March 2013 her weight was only 5 kgs. One day i saw her eating her own poop, newspapers, clothes and small pebbles.
With these details Denna's vet Dr. Niranjala Paranamanna suspected that she was suffering from EPI.
The vet wanted me to give raw pancreas because in a country like Sri Lanka we have no medicine for EPI. Sept 30, 2013 (1 yr 2 mo)
Raw pancreas did not help her well. In July 2013 Deena was 1 year old. She was just skins and bones. We lost hope for her. She hardly moved around. I started to search the internet to get some help for her. http://www.epi4dogs.com/ gave us hope and i was very happy about it.
Olesia Kennedy and Devika Pande replied with the correct way on how to overcome the situation.
CREON 10, Metronidazole and wheat free food gave Deena her life back. Within 3 months she gained 8kg and now she is 15kg in weight.
Nov 26, 2013 (1 yr 4 mo)
Now Deena is 1 year and 6 months old ... and she is a very happy little girl ! January 1, 2014 (1 yr 6 mo)
Lisa's "Phoebe" before...
Lisa's "Phoebe" after ...
Our family adopted Phoebe in 2008 from a rescue in North Carolina. She was two years old and a skinny thing. After being with us for about 6 months we could not understand why she was not gaining any weight. We tried all kinds of things, even made satin balls and everything that she ate went straight out the back. We would take her for walks and it seemed liked we were carrying poop bags that weighed 10 lbs. It was so frustrating. Not only did she have diarrhea, she would vomit too. I did some research online and came across EPI. I took her to the vet and had THE blood test done, and it was confirmed that Phoebe did have EPI. I remember the doctor telling me that there is “magic powder” available which will make Phoebe feel like a new woman. Hoorah, the vet was correct and it did make a difference in Phoebe. Phoebe’s weight went from 56 lbs to 97 lbs.
It all did not happen overnight but gradually she started to gain weight. There was a lot of trial and error with her food and how much powder to give her. It was a struggle and we went through the phrases of her not wanting to eat her food but she would eat her poop as well as the stomach gurgling noises.
I noticed during the summer of 2012, Phoebe’s energy level was low and she was very lethargic and after reading posts on the support groups, it was suggested that we test her B12 levels. Well guess what? She is on B12 shots and what difference it has made. Phoebe has her groove back!!
I am an avid poop watcher now and EPI will always be part of our lives, but we can lick it!! Phoebe is a joy and I am so glad that she is part of our family.Woof, woof…from a German Shepherd EPI survivor family in Virginia.
This is Fiona's EPI dog, a lurcher named "Dexter" who lives in the UK:
This is Dexter back in October 2012 struggling with EPI weighing in at much too little at 14.3kg:
but happily, this is Dexter now ... November 2013.... approximately a year later weighing in at 19.7kg:
... WOW..... a looking MUCH better looking Dexter, eh?!!!!!
Phil's Trixie and her 8 month EPI journey captured in pictures .... Trixie: 2 year old corgi/terrier/lab mix. Dropped 10 pounds over 4 months, finally diagnosed with EPI June 20th. Lowest weight: 15lbs. Goal: 25lbs. Currently: 23lbs
Katie's Coco...... only a mere 2lbs when first diagnosed with EPI.....8 years ago!
Coco, our miniature dachshund, was dropped off at San Diego Animal Control by her former owner who could no longer afford to care for her. Her vet had run a variety of tests to figure out why Coco was losing weight while still eating well, but never considered EPI, and her former owner simply ran out of money to try to figure out what was wrong. Knowing that I do dachshund rescue, the shelter contacted me and we went down to pick Coco up.
This is Linda's 12 year old dog, Spanky on the day he was first diagnosed with EPI, and started on the EPI treatment (August 3rd, 2012).
and this is Spanky now on October 20th, 2012.
He's been holding steady at this weight for about three weeks and he's now eating the same amount of food he was eating before he ever got sick. Isn't it AMAZING the difference once proper treatment is implemented?!
"Rilind", the rescue dog .....please follow his amazing story on his very own FaceBook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rilind-Reborn/323392057681786 . His wonderful Foster family & Rescuers have done an amazing job giving Riliand a 2nd chance... please take a moment to visits Rilind's Rescue site! http://www.pitsisters.org/
Riland went from a mere 37lbs at the end of
Dec 2011 to a whopping 70.2 lbs by end of Feb 2012 !!!
Cheryl's Gabi who has EPI + IBD and also had a terrifying episode of bloat in the midst of dealing with EPI + IBD....... This is Gabi in October 2010 at 52lbs :
.... and this is Gabi one year later, October 2011 at 70lbs:
Gabi is 5 years old today (Jan. 31st, 2012) .... HAPPY BIRTHDAY GABI ......and is spunky as ever!
Jewels.... Ashley's terrier.... Jewels was really struggling when first diagnosed with EPI in June 2011
This is Pandy, only 13 lbs when first diagnosed. This is Pandy a year later after treatment, at 26 lbs!
This is a picture of Dixie at 37 pounds in August 2008!
And this is a picture of Dixie at 63 pounds in January 2009
Dixie is a 2 1/2 year old German Shepherd Dog from South Carolina. These pictures are courtesy of her mom Melissa to share with others and to give hope ....that with proper diagnosis, enzyme treatment and a change in diet and management.....miracles can and do happen! Dixie will always have EPI, will always need enzymes and a special diet but 6 months after being at death's door.... literally!....she looks like a different dog....that can now run, play and lead the full life of a GSD.
Yama the Akita The pictures below are of Yama, a pure-bred Akita dog. Yama was diagnosed in 2008 at 4.5 years old with EPI. As you can see from the picture, Yama's owner, Marty, just about lost all hope. But with enzyme treatment and a change in diet to a no-grain food ...within six months... Yama once again is enjoying life. Any breed can have EPI, and there is hope for every one. Diagnosed July 08, Lowest weight: 52 lbs, Current weight: 80 lbs. (Dick Van Pattens Duck & Potato - 3 x 1.5 cup meals per day, Pancreatin (powdered porcine enzymes) 6X - 1 tsp per cup of kibble ratio, Sprinkled on dry kibble (not ground), Soaked with equal parts warm water 4 hours before serving.
Rutger, a Doberman, was a haunting 42 lbs in this picture in December 2008 when EPI was first suspected. He just wanted to lie down all the time........
With proper treatment Rutger went up to 55 llbs..... what a difference proper treatment can make in a mere 4 months!
This is Archie, a German Shepherd Dog who weighed in at an appalling 37 lbs at the shelter...fostered by one angel named Cheryl and adopted by forever angels named Gretchen & Brian.....in 7 months.....under the wonderful care and love of Gretchen & Brian... Archie has gone from 37lbs to a whopping 75lb!!!!
Archie now eats Iams Lamb & Rice dry food sprinkled with PancreVed (pancreatic replacement enzymes from the DVM) , wet down & stirred, wait 20 minutes, and stir in a few tablespoons of yogurt (to prevent bloat). He also gets vitamins (PetTabs from Petco). And of course a few treats a day! Don’t ever doubt what a lot of love, care and good veterinary care can do! Please know that there is hope......Dogs with EPI can and do turn around and flourish with proper treatment!
This is Bronson, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel just prior to EPI diagnosis on February 3, 2011 ...and then one month later, March 1, 2011, after
being properly treated for EPI..
This is Christopher's Sascha from Florida when she was first diagnosed with EPI on 2/23/11 @ 40lbs. (day one of enzymes)
and this is Sascha 1 month later! on 3/22/11 @ 52lbs. 12 lbs heavier !!!
Cocco from Mexico......
Cocco is our young miniature schnauzer, that was diagnosed with EPI when 4 months old, our vet gave us no hopes whatsoever telling us that there was no treatment, and that we should enjoy of our little buddy for as long as we could until his soon demise. Cocco was extremely thin, with his ribcage showing and everything, he passed from being a very active and mischievous pup, to just lying around all day.......All of this was very painful for us, and we struggled with every kind of low-fat food alternatives and good hopes only for about another 4 months, that was until we found this site and turned things around .
Cocco’s treatment at the time: 1 Creon 10,000 pill 5 minutes before every meal, 1 cup of Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat kibble, with 1 scoop of Royal Canin Low Fat canned dog food. 3 meals a day.
My wife and I started a 10 point rating system to track the pooping improvements, so while Cocco was on Creon his poops started getting better, harder, and more consistent!!, around 7 or 8.5 points according to our ratings and expectations. We were so excited when we first saw him struggling for his first time pooping something harder than a slushie out of him, haha, excited over poop, I was in kindergarten all over again, lol.
Cocco then started to gain some weight and enthusiasm!!, slowly but very notably, and in the meantime, I had already ordered the big guns!! and they were on their way to Laredo Texas where we could pick them up, 1 Kilo of pancreatin from EnzymeDiane, 1 bottle of Trinsic-B B12 capsules with intrinsic factor, some grain-free dog food, and a whole bunch of EPI brochures that enzymediane packs for just 1c... so, after 2 weeks on Creon, we went to pick up our EPI shipment, we live in Northern Mexico, so it was the longest 2 hour drive we’ve made.
After that, and up until now, Cocco’s treatment is: half teaspoon of powdered pancreatin, mixed with 1 cup of grain-free Natural Balance LID: Sweet Potato & Bison grain-free kibble, with various broth, and/or a little chicken breast, or meat. Two times a day.
At first we were having second thoughts about the whole pancreatin ritual, since it seemed more complicated and bothersome that just shoving 1 pill down Cocco’s throat, which he was even starting to have a liking... but when we saw the first results of this pancreatin powder, it was the best poops We’d seen so far!!, it was 10 points for Gryffindor every time!!
After that, there was no going back ~Jose Antonio~
One of the tiniest EPI dogs...... Lynda's Boo at 2lbs just prior to EPI Diagnosis ... nothing but skin and bones ...nobody thought she would make it.......
Lynda's Boo today... 6 months later...... a happy healthy and frisky 3.6 lb little girl!
Chuck's dog Bryce Oct 6, 2011 .....the day before they started Bryce on Enzymes... Bryce was very lethargic and had dropped down to an alarming 33lbs .
5 weeks later on Nov 12, 2011, Bryce has gained weight and is back to acting normal and enjoying life with her buddy, Ginger!
I know how daunting it is and how helpless you feel when you hear the word EPI.. and even then the mountain you need to climb with your furkid to get he/she stable. Its tiring, heartbreaking, worrying & it seems when one thing is battled, another pops it's head up. There is always light at the tunnel.
Although Kobe is having a few issues at the moment, I thought I'd post some pics up of him recently (No poop pics, promise).
At his lowest weight he was just over 33kgs, a 7kg drop from before diagnosis. These pics still give me chills now, but at the same time you can see what perseverance means and how this forum helped him to look the way he does now.
Feb 2010 - 5 months after EPI diagnosis, he had a 5 month battle with SIBO:
and this is Kobe today... a BIG (and happy!) difference!:
Peter's dog Schneider went from a heart-wrenching 45 lbs in April 2011 to a wonderful 82 lbs in October. His diet consists of Blue Wilderness Salmon; 1 1/3 cups x 3 daily, sprinkled with Pancrezyme Plus [changing to EnzymeDiane's as soon as the current supply is finished], and incubated about 45 minutes. Treats: Home-made chicken jerky as well as freeze-dried liver [store-bought].
Pretty amazing, eh?!