I remember the day we brought Doc home from the breeder so vividly.  My husband finally had the dream dog he had waited so long for – a solid black GSD.  It was May 2014 and we were so excited for our new addition to the family.  I took a week off of work for potty training and just to help him get used to his new surroundings.  

Unfortunately, Doc was very sick from the first day.  He had constant diarrhea and urinating literally every five minutes.  He was diagnosed with a bladder infection and a bad case of coccidia.  After the infections cleared, he continued to have diarrhea, which turned into huge, yellow cow pies, the smell of which would knock you off of your feet.  Although my vet never treated an EPI dog before, luckily she was familiar with the symptoms and at 3 months old he was tested for EPI (cTLI, B12 and Folate).  The results were negative for EPI and he was diagnosed with SIBO.  

From August 2014 until February 2015, Doc grew and was the most gorgeous, happy, goofy dog and weight a whopping 95lbs.  In mid-March 2015 we started basic obedience classes at our local pet store, and shortly after the trainer commented that Doc looked thinner and said we should consider changing foods to something better.  When I took Doc to the vet (another in the same practice) I was surprised to find that he had lost a few pounds, but the vet thought he looked good and it was better for him to be thin than overweight.  A few weeks later, when we could feel his spine and see his hip bones and ribs we went back to the vet and was told everything was fine.  

At the beginning on May 2015, Doc had diarrhea for two days and on the third day he threw up all over his crate.  He even bent the crate trying to get out.  We rushed Doc to the vet and had fecal and blood tests run – everything came back normal.  Almost immediately Doc began eating his poop, but we were told it was normal puppy behavior although he had never done it before.  I knew in my gut something was seriously wrong with my precious boy and by now he had lost almost 20 lbs.  This time we saw the original vet who tested Doc for EPI the first time and it was suggested that we test again.  It came back definitive EPI, low B12 and high Folate.  I was completely devastated and felt like we had been handed a death sentence for our dog.  Then when I was told how expensive the prescription enzymes were and he would need them for the rest of his life, my husband said we would have to give Doc away.  I dried my tears and began researching EPI and luckily found Epi4Dogs and EnzymeDiane, who became our guardian angels.  Through the help and guidance of Epi4Dogs, Doc regained all of his weight within 6 weeks of treatment.  We are about to celebrate his 2nd EPIversary and I couldn’t be more thankful for the love and support of everyone on the Epi4Dogs forum for helping me get our dream dog back!!



So...something is just not right with your dog (or cat) ... you have taken your pet to the vet, they tested for all the usual suspects, like Giardia, gave antibiotics, things cleared up for a little bit but then the same problem comes back. Some of the signs/symptoms you are seeing may be: 

  • Gradual wasting away despite a voracious appetite
  • Eliminating much more frequently, sometimes every hour or two
  • Stools are greasy voluminous yellowish cow-plops, but sometimes grayish
  • Eating their own stools, or other inappropriate substances
  • Increased rumbling sounds from the abdomen
  • Increased passing amounts of flatulence
  • Some dogs do not show any typical signs
  • Some experience intermittent watery diarrhea or vomiting
  • Some dogs even display personality changes such as fearfulness or sudden aggression

If any of this sounds familiar... before spending any more money on additional tests, and your dog continuing to suffer.... please have your vet check for
EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency).

All is takes is a simple blood test. Have your vet drawn blood for a TLI (trypsin-like immunoreactivity blood test) (food-fast your dog 12 hours prior to test). Anything 2.5 and below is clinically EPI. Anything 5.7 to 2.5 may be suspect.  Normal range is between 5.7 – 45.2

EPI can manifest anytime in a dog’s life - - from a young pup to an elderly dog, with the severity and symptoms of the disease varying somewhat with each dog.  Sometimes the dog has the condition but symptoms do not appear at all, or not until exacerbated or triggered through a stressful physical or emotional situation.

Whenever there is persistent gastro upsets and weight loss in any breed, it is advisable & economical to do a cTLI blood test. 
For more information, please go to  http://www.epi4dogs.com/