In December of 2011, I was told about a family that was looking for a good home for a German shepherd. On December 10, 2011, (also Sam’s 2ndbirthday), my husband and I drove from Vermont to Connecticut to meet him. We brought him home that day.
He was very much loved by his family, but completely untrained, so we immediately enrolled him in a training program with our trainer called “we train, you maintain”. He went to “school” three days a week.
The middle of May of 2012, it was the trainers that noticed that he was having loose stools, and reported it to us. We naturally took him to his doctor, and had a fecal test done in case it was internal parasites, which he tested negative. He was put on chicken and rice, and was sent home with antibiotics.
Well, that didn’t help at all, and he started having what I called “cow patty” stools. We took him back to the doctor just about every other day over the course of two weeks. We could see he was dropping weight rapidly. He went from 84 lbs. to 72 lbs. from his initial visit with his doctor. My husband, being very concerned for Sam, instructed me every night to “just fix him”. I was trying…
It was Wednesday, a week and a half from his first visit, and yet another trip to the doctor, when a different doctor at the practice gave him some medicine, and told me that this “will clear it up”. But, she said, if it comes back, it could be his pancreas. She told me that if it was his pancreas, he will never gain the weight back. My heart sank.
Well, the medicine she gave him did not clear it up, so I started researching his symptoms online myself.
What I found was www.EPI4dogs.com. We were back to the doctor on Saturday, and I had printed out information from the site, which I brought to Sam’s regular doctor, and I told him that I thought he had EPI.
That was June 1, 2012. We were given enzymes to try, and almost immediately, things started to improve for Sammy. A week later, we went in for the cTLI test, and he tested positive for EPI.
June 1, 2017, it will be 5 years living with EPI, and Sam has had to be put on a diet 3 separate times!
Sam’s doctor established an EPI file in the event he diagnoses another patient with EPI. Funny thing is that he does have another patient now. Thanks to EPI4dogs, my husband and I were so confident in our ability to handle this condition, that in January 2016, we adopted another German shepherd, Hansel, because he had EPI!