GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Epi4Dogs Foundation Inc.’s mission is the advancement of science and education relating to EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency), yielding useful insights and positive outcomes in better managing EPI in dogs and cats. Our goals are to support and/or collaborate with veterinary EPI research and researchers, and to promote EPI awareness by educating the general public, pet owners, pet organizations, rescue and shelter organizations, veterinary schools and veterinarians.
cjjames
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Posts: 8
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Jade
My name: Christin

GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by cjjames » 08 Jan 2021, 12:55

Hey everyone, I'm posting this as my GSD, Jade, who was diagnosed with EPI last March is still not fully gaining weight nor having full energy back. Apologies for the long read, but I would greatly appreciate any feedback!

After confirmation of EPI, the vet put Jade on a short dose of antibiotics and I began supplementing with Enzyme Diane 6x in her kibble. She gets 0.75 tsp with her 1.5cup kibble, twice daily, as that's all she can tolerate (otherwise she throws up, gets gum bleeding and is fully miserable/drowsy). I also gave her the Vitamin B-12 injections at the higher dose, then weekly, then monthly (which she is on now still).

Shortly after beginning Enzyme Diane's 6x enzymes, she put on a good amount of weight and got energy back. Her stools were also low volume so I knew she was absorbing more food, and they looked formed (although they were semi-soft to touch, and Still are). *However, she got to this certain point and hasn't put on any more weight. I'd say she has gained about half the amount back that she lost. Previously she was 70lb, then went down to 47lb at her worst. She's now been at around 58lb since adding in the enzymes last April. You can still see the outline of her back ribs, skinny legs and loose skin all around. She looks like an slim old dog but is only 4 y/o...

After consulting with Diane and the Vet, I tried to do Tylan (antibiotic) for 30 days which Diane herself recommended, but this led to throwing up and she couldn't handle it about 3/4 days in. Then I added in Slippery Elm for 30+ days which didn't do much, and then 1/4 tsp Prozyme for 30+ days atop the Enzyme Diane 6x which also to no avail.
Her B-12 injections are also up to date and given on time as per the Veterinarian/Enzyme Diane's dosage instructions.
I can't increase the 6x enzymes any more than 0.75tsp per 1.5 cup of food as her body just does not tolerate it.
I also tried increasing her kibble amount to 150% inititally, at 3 meals a day instead of 2, but this along with the enzymes per meal had her completely drowsy and miserable and she hadn't gained any extra weight from this.
I have not tried switching her food as she was thriving on it prior to EPI diagnosis and was on it when she gained the weight back. I feed her the Natural Balance limited ingredient, lamb/rice kibble which meets the EPI recommendations.

Her stool volume began getting high again a 2 months into her treatment, and are still semi-soft although they appear solid, and I can see undigested kibble in the final droppings of poop. I now sometimes see extremely large stools, which leads me to believe she isn't absorbing much.

Should I retest to see if her B-12 levels are normal? Or should I test again for SIBO, even though she couldn't tolerate the mild Tylan antibiotic?
I just want her to have her full weight and energy back, and be able to take her out for a short morning walk without her burning out for the remainder of the day. Any recommendation/advice helps!!!

(Picture on grass is her before. Indoor one is how she's been looking since last April)
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jilbert57
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Re: GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by jilbert57 » 08 Jan 2021, 15:49

Wow Jade is gorgeous!
First thing I would do is put the other .75 of the correct enzyme dose in a gel capsule and feed pre meal. This might at least get more enzyme in her each meal as you really would want to get 1.5 teaspoons of enzyme at each meal.

You could probably get the oral B12 and start that once a day to see if it helps.

Jill
My name is Jill and we live on the Hood Canal in Washington State. We currently have one pup. TJ is a 5 year old Jack Russell.

Mickey and his pancreatitis brought me to Epi4dogs.com site in 2012 to help manage it.
He lived from 6/99 - 8/2014

Mickey, Jack Russell. Chronic Pancreatitis. Dianes enzymes, 1/8t 3x/day with meals.

Barb
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Re: GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by Barb » 08 Jan 2021, 17:06

Hi Christin,

Jade is stunning! I am sorry she is still having difficulties. Our Kolby was a very slow gainer when he was diagnosed. In fact, it took him close to a year to get to his target weight. One thing that helped was giving him B12 capsules from Wonderlabs "Pet Factor" with Intrinsic Factor. We had started him out on injections and I gave the injections here at home for over a year when someone mentioned they gave Wonderlabs Pet Factor pills twice a day.....one in the morning and one in the evening instead of the injections. I decided to try it and Kolby started to gain weight.....ever so slowly, but steadily at least. Jill's suggestion to put the .75 enzymes in a capsule is a great idea.

Let us know how your lovely girl does. Hang in there.

Barb

Tuckaboo Pam
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Posts: 729
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Pet name: Tucker
My name: Pam H.

Re: GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by Tuckaboo Pam » 08 Jan 2021, 17:21

She is soooo pretty. I'm just gonna interject that I have recently learned lamb protein is not good for longterm feeding. I would slowly wean her onto another kibble. I am currently feeding all my dogs Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, and everyone is fine, but Tucker, a shepherd mix, also did great on Sport Dog Elite herding series, buffalo & sweet potato. Take care!---Pam
Tucker is a shepherd/lab mix; he has tested positive on the ScheBo test for EPI, as well as the fasting TLI. Results--- TLI 1.3, Folate 9.7, Cobalamin 666, Lipase 38. Currently taking Diane's Enzymes 4 teaspoons/day, Wonderlab B12 one capsule per day, slippery elm 1/8 teaspoon twice/day, and Tylan 1/16 teaspoon twice/day (to hold SID at bay). Sport Dog Elite, herding dogs 3 1/2 cups/day. No more poop eating, has gone from 60 to 80 pounds, and he is a happy member of the family, though a bit of a stinker, if you ask the other dogs. Tucker is my boyfriend, and my husband is OK with that.

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Olesia711
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My name: olesia

Re: GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by Olesia711 » 08 Jan 2021, 20:06

Hi Christin... and beautiful Jade!

So sorry that Jade is having a hard time with gaining back all her weight. THe first thing that jumped out at me is the monthly B12 shots..... if you can afford it, i'd recheck her B12 levels because like Barb suggested.... sometimes if the B12 is not being maintained at an upper mid range level... they can have a hard time gaining back their weight..... or.... just start giving WOnderlabs Pet Factor B12 pills daily, stop the injections and se if that seems to make a difference. We have found that with some dogs with low B12, the Cyanocobalamin B12 injections only bring up the B12 so much, but when switched to the Methylcobalamin B12 pills daily. their B12 levels sky-rocketed. We actually have a case where a vet clinic had such good results with the Pet Factor B12 capsules vs. B12 injections, that they changed their clinic's protocol and went from B12 injects to the B12 Pet Factor capsules.

SOme other causes for little weight gain can be a food issue, whether it is not an optimal diet or not enough being fed, or not enough enzymes are being given (which could be another factor in your case) ... HOWEVER..... thank you for explaining that she can't handle more feeding nor can she handle more enzymes per feeding.

SOOOOooooooo i do have a suggestion for this.... if you want , please email me privately (olesia.kennedy@gmail.com) with your physical mailing address.... what i would suggest is for me to mail you some CREON samples for you to try. REason why i am suggesting this is because CREON is enteric coated enzymes are 10,000 USP units of LIpase per capsule which is often enough to cover a dog's meal. THe powdered enzymes per tsp are 71,000 USP units of Lipase which is so much higher because approximately 70% of the powdered enzymes are destroyed by pH acids before it even reaches the small intestine where it is utilized. The CREON enzymes because they are enteric coated are not destroyed going down the digestive tract and hit the small intestine all intact- -so less is needed. THe problem with CREON is that it is designed for humans and designed to dissolve at around a pH of 4 whereas a dog's pH is around 1. So we kind of have to play around with "how" we give CREON to get it to work.... Also the ideal enzymes for an EPI dog is the enzyme powder (not only because of efficacy, but also because of the small size of the powdered particles vs. the larger size of the CREON particles -i guess this really makes a difference)... BUT.... we can make the CREON work and often in some countries, all they have is CREON and that is what is used. SO....... my thought is if it is too much enzymes that make Jade get sick, then maybe using something like CREON which is lower in dose might be better tolerated by her. THen.... If Jade can tolerate the CREON., then maybe this would help cover the amount of food with the correct amount of enzymes.... and she can get back on track.
Not sure if this would or would not work, but might be worth trying....................

ANother thought is.... "if" Jade can tolerate coconut oil.... the good kind.... Coconut is a MCT fat which is usually well tolerated by many EPI dogs ... and it will not only help with skin and coat.... but it will help put on weight.... nice, steady and slow. Organic / cold pressed / extra virgin coconut oil. Start with 1/2 tsp in a meal... and watch the poos... and listen for tummy noises.... make sure all is well. if okay... after a week increase to 1 tsp per meal... and again, observe, make sure it is well tolerated. Some people go up to giving a tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil per meal.... that's like 120 calories (good calories) and the weight will come on :)

Not sure if any of this might be helpful, but hope so.... and looking forward to hearing from you.

P.S. Love the expression on Jade's face... she not only is very pretty but looks like she is very intent on paying attention to you (the picture taker :)) Love it!
Olesia, was owned by Izzy, a 35lb Spanish Water Dog (SWD), Diagnosed at 1.5 years old - TLI results 1.. Izzy passed away on February 13, 2020 at 15 years old. She lived with EPI for 13+1/2 years. It was because of Izzy that Epi4Dogs was started... she was the inspiration. May her legacy of helping others with EPI continue for as long as needed.........

cjjames
Member
Posts: 8
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Jade
My name: Christin

Re: GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by cjjames » 08 Jan 2021, 20:50

jilbert57 wrote: 08 Jan 2021, 15:49 Wow Jade is gorgeous!
First thing I would do is put the other .75 of the correct enzyme dose in a gel capsule and feed pre meal. This might at least get more enzyme in her each meal as you really would want to get 1.5 teaspoons of enzyme at each meal.

You could probably get the oral B12 and start that once a day to see if it helps.

Jill
Thank you!! I'll definitely keep the gel capsule in mind!

cjjames
Member
Posts: 8
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Jade
My name: Christin

Re: GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by cjjames » 08 Jan 2021, 20:51

Barb wrote: 08 Jan 2021, 17:06 Hi Christin,

Jade is stunning! I am sorry she is still having difficulties. Our Kolby was a very slow gainer when he was diagnosed. In fact, it took him close to a year to get to his target weight. One thing that helped was giving him B12 capsules from Wonderlabs "Pet Factor" with Intrinsic Factor. We had started him out on injections and I gave the injections here at home for over a year when someone mentioned they gave Wonderlabs Pet Factor pills twice a day.....one in the morning and one in the evening instead of the injections. I decided to try it and Kolby started to gain weight.....ever so slowly, but steadily at least. Jill's suggestion to put the .75 enzymes in a capsule is a great idea.

Let us know how your lovely girl does. Hang in there.

Barb
Thank you Barb! I'll keep this in mind also as a few of you guys mentioned it!

cjjames
Member
Posts: 8
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Jade
My name: Christin

Re: GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by cjjames » 08 Jan 2021, 20:52

Tuckaboo. wrote: 08 Jan 2021, 17:21 She is soooo pretty. I'm just gonna interject that I have recently learned lamb protein is not good for longterm feeding. I would slowly wean her onto another kibble. I am currently feeding all my dogs Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, and everyone is fine, but Tucker, a shepherd mix, also did great on Sport Dog Elite herding series, buffalo & sweet potato. Take care!---Pam
Appreciate that! Also that's good to know, we had her on TOTW as a puppy but it began staining her teeth brown so we discontinued. Thanks for letting me know though!

cjjames
Member
Posts: 8
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Jade
My name: Christin

Re: GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by cjjames » 08 Jan 2021, 20:58

Olesia711 wrote: 08 Jan 2021, 20:06 Hi Christin... and beautiful Jade!

So sorry that Jade is having a hard time with gaining back all her weight. THe first thing that jumped out at me is the monthly B12 shots..... if you can afford it, i'd recheck her B12 levels because like Barb suggested.... sometimes if the B12 is not being maintained at an upper mid range level... they can have a hard time gaining back their weight..... or.... just start giving WOnderlabs Pet Factor B12 pills daily, stop the injections and se if that seems to make a difference. We have found that with some dogs with low B12, the Cyanocobalamin B12 injections only bring up the B12 so much, but when switched to the Methylcobalamin B12 pills daily. their B12 levels sky-rocketed. We actually have a case where a vet clinic had such good results with the Pet Factor B12 capsules vs. B12 injections, that they changed their clinic's protocol and went from B12 injects to the B12 Pet Factor capsules.

SOme other causes for little weight gain can be a food issue, whether it is not an optimal diet or not enough being fed, or not enough enzymes are being given (which could be another factor in your case) ... HOWEVER..... thank you for explaining that she can't handle more feeding nor can she handle more enzymes per feeding.

SOOOOooooooo i do have a suggestion for this.... if you want , please email me privately (olesia.kennedy@gmail.com) with your physical mailing address.... what i would suggest is for me to mail you some CREON samples for you to try. REason why i am suggesting this is because CREON is enteric coated enzymes are 10,000 USP units of LIpase per capsule which is often enough to cover a dog's meal. THe powdered enzymes per tsp are 71,000 USP units of Lipase which is so much higher because approximately 70% of the powdered enzymes are destroyed by pH acids before it even reaches the small intestine where it is utilized. The CREON enzymes because they are enteric coated are not destroyed going down the digestive tract and hit the small intestine all intact- -so less is needed. THe problem with CREON is that it is designed for humans and designed to dissolve at around a pH of 4 whereas a dog's pH is around 1. So we kind of have to play around with "how" we give CREON to get it to work.... Also the ideal enzymes for an EPI dog is the enzyme powder (not only because of efficacy, but also because of the small size of the powdered particles vs. the larger size of the CREON particles -i guess this really makes a difference)... BUT.... we can make the CREON work and often in some countries, all they have is CREON and that is what is used. SO....... my thought is if it is too much enzymes that make Jade get sick, then maybe using something like CREON which is lower in dose might be better tolerated by her. THen.... If Jade can tolerate the CREON., then maybe this would help cover the amount of food with the correct amount of enzymes.... and she can get back on track.
Not sure if this would or would not work, but might be worth trying....................

ANother thought is.... "if" Jade can tolerate coconut oil.... the good kind.... Coconut is a MCT fat which is usually well tolerated by many EPI dogs ... and it will not only help with skin and coat.... but it will help put on weight.... nice, steady and slow. Organic / cold pressed / extra virgin coconut oil. Start with 1/2 tsp in a meal... and watch the poos... and listen for tummy noises.... make sure all is well. if okay... after a week increase to 1 tsp per meal... and again, observe, make sure it is well tolerated. Some people go up to giving a tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil per meal.... that's like 120 calories (good calories) and the weight will come on :)

Not sure if any of this might be helpful, but hope so.... and looking forward to hearing from you.

P.S. Love the expression on Jade's face... she not only is very pretty but looks like she is very intent on paying attention to you (the picture taker :)) Love it!
Hey thank you for your response and kind words! She'll only stay still for a picture for two seconds haha
I'll keep the B-12 wonderlab pills in mind for sure, and same with the coconut oil as we have some at home from costco. Also I'll have to research into the Creon pills..are these safe for dogs to consume considering the pH difference from humans??

cjjames
Member
Posts: 8
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Jade
My name: Christin

Re: GSD not gaining weight after following protocol, Help**

Post by cjjames » 08 Jan 2021, 21:00

I really appreciate the replies guys, if anyone else has any other recommendations I'll gladly take them! Just want to find all the possible options to get my girl feeling better! Definitely going to check out her B-12 levels again for sure

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