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Recently Diagnosed

Posted: 22 Jun 2021, 14:38
by aalex
Hi everyone,

My name is Ali and my 2 year old husky mix, Nova, was just diagnosed with EPI about 2 weeks ago.

For a little bit of background, Nova had a sudden onset of diarrhea in early May and was found to have a large overgrowth of clostridium in her stool. She was put on metronidazole and wet food. Over the course of a week, she seemed to be starting to feel better. As soon as she finished the round of the antibiotic, the diarrhea came back. We had switched her to Hill Science Diet for sensitive stomach and at first were told she was just adjusting to the new food. When there weren't any improvements, she went back on another round of metronidazole. She still had no improvements and was rapidly losing weight. At this point we didn't know what was wrong and her vet was going to order a GI panel. In the mean time, she was put on a high fiber diet with the thought it would improve her stool (now we know that was the exact wrong thing to do). After a few days on this food, she became rapidly worse. She had liquid diarrhea every 15-30 minutes and had to spend two nights at the vet's office. Our sweet girl who had been 47lbs before becoming sick had dropped all the way down to 36lbs. She had virtually no energy and briefly stopped eating. When we got the EPI diagnosis she was immediately put on enzymes and has been on an HA diet until she stabilizes and gains more weight.

Two weeks later and she's doing so much better! The enzymes work very well and she is gaining weight again. Now I'm just hoping for some guidance for caring for dogs with EPI as we begin to figure out her long term needs. Soon our vet is going to be recommending a new diet and said she may need a low fat diet, but I have been reading about the shift to just a low fiber diet (>4%) and that the low fat isn't necessary for every dog. Does anyone have any recommendations for some low fiber foods that are good for dogs with EPI so I can talk through these options with our vet? I am also looking for recommendations for where to buy the enzymes as they're very expensive through our vet. Of course we'll spend the money because it's what she needs, but I just wanted to see what options there are for getting them. In a more long term thought, what kind of treats can dogs with EPI have and what can't they have? I mostly want to have some ideas together to run through with out vet once we're planning out her diet so I can be prepared and can go through all of the options to find what's best for Nova.

Thanks for letting me be a part of this group and I appreciate any guidance anyone can give to us!

Re: Recently Diagnosed

Posted: 22 Jun 2021, 15:53
by jilbert57
Hi Ali and welcome to you and Nova. I am sorry your pup has been having issues.
Will you please post the results of the Tli, and B12 if it was tested with the Tli? It would help us to know the results. An Epi dog does best on a grain free diet(with peas and legumes not in the ingredients if you can findvit) and fiber less than 4%. A lot of dogs do well on Sport dog herding Elite, or Taste of the Wild. are enzymes that are a lot more affordable and you can call and talk to Diane if you have a question.

Did the vet start Nova on B12 injections? Most Epi dogs have low B12. Their level needs to be kept in the above normal range.


Re: Recently Diagnosed

Posted: 22 Jun 2021, 16:23
by Barb
Hi Ali,
A warm welcome to you and Nova. I love her name. I am sorry she has been going through all this. But the worst part is over, because now you have a correct diagnosis and are beginning treatment so that she can be healthy again. Once you get everything balanced she will she already has. Glad to hear she is doing so much better.

As Jill said, if we can have the number results of her Tli test and hopefully, her B12 and Folate, then we can help you more accurately.

I also recommend Enzyme Diane. She has an excellent product at very affordable prices and many of our members buy her enzymes. Our Kolby was on them for almost 11 years until he passed last year from cancer. Diane's enzymes were a life saver for us. She publishes her phone number on her website so you can call and talk to her about how and what to order.

Knowing the B12 numbers will really help because usually dogs with EPI have low B12 at the beginning and they need supplementation.. But it's an easy fix and can be given in pill or injection form. It is really important to get her B12 level up where it belongs because it can drop quickly. We usually recommend that it be in the high middle range.

I also highly recommend keeping a log/journal , if you aren't already doing so. It saved our sanity, especially at the beginning. Record everything you give Nova on a daily basis, the amounts, and the resulting poos. You will be able to see what works and what doesn't if you need to make adjustments.

Again welcome. Try not to feel too overwhelmed. It will get easier as you begin to get things balanced.


Re: Recently Diagnosed

Posted: 22 Jun 2021, 16:58
by Tuckaboo Pam
Hi, Ali. Welcome to you and Nova!

All I can add to what has already been said is---Well, I'll say Enzyme Diane for the third time, but also, use the site as a resource.
One of my favorite sections is Managing EPI, as it holds tons of information. And ask all the questions you want/need to. People on this forum are very friendly and open with their experiences, and the staff---well they are like having a panel of experts at your disposal.

If your vet feels the need to put Nova on an antibiotic again, please mention that here, for advice on some better options than Metro for EPI dogs.

Sport Dog Elite for Herding Dogs is what I feed Tucker, which I learned from Madelon. He thrives on it, and all of my dogs love it.

Keep us posted!---Pam & Tucker