Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

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.
LilasMom
Member
Posts: 5
Country: United States
State: Pennsylvania
Pet name: Lila
My name: Laura

Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by LilasMom » 10 Oct 2019, 14:33

My Lila 2 year old German shepherd was diagnosed with EPI September 23, 2019. I am trying not to cry as I type this. We have been battling her rapid weightloss since May. We were told first possible parasites. Tested negative. Then 8 weeks on a no chicken or beef diet for a possible allergy. I kept telling the veterinarian none of this seems right. Finally a friend suggested we have her tested for EPI. Her results.....
Cobalamin fasting 659 ng/L
Folate fasting 17.2 ug/L
Pancreatic lipase immuno reactivity fasting <30 ug/L
TLI fasting <1.0 ug/L
I was told no b12 was needed and no antibiotics. When I asked how much powder per meal the veterinarian read the back of the bottle to me. Told me to feed her 2 times a day. I didnt know it was per cup not per meal. I dont feel like I have gotten much help from our veterinarian. I am a mess. I wanted to feed raw because they say that is the best. I dont know how to mix powder into the raw. I Have watched a ton of videos on adding powder to kibble and water. Ready to go back to kibble for now but I dont know what will work for her. Always had her and my other 2 dogs on taste of the wild salmon and a chicken thigh or leg daily with no issues. Any advice would be wonderful. She has lost so much weight how can she not need B12?

Barb
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Posts: 339
Country: United States
State: New Jersey

Re: Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by Barb » 10 Oct 2019, 16:03

Hello and welcome! I am so sorry you and your pup are having a difficult time. You have gotten through the most difficult part, which is not knowing what is wrong. You now have a diagnosis and even though it is not what you would like, EPI is treatable and manageable. Treatment is based on four cornerstones: Food, Enzymes, B12, and Antibiotics (if needed).

Usually, we recommend a Grain-free diet. Finding a good food is sometimes tricky, depending on your dog, but there are good foods out there you can find on our tab, Diet In Brief. Some dogs have no trouble responding to a good food. Some take a little longer. Increase Lila's food intake to 150%, preferably across several feedings, if possible.

Enzymes: As you mentioned, we recommend 1 teaspoon per cup of food to start. The amount of enzymes is dependent on the amount of food. Many of us use Enzyme Diane's Enzymes. She is a member here and provides an excellent product (Pancreatin) at a fraction of the cost of commercial brands. You can go to her website or talk to her on the phone. She publishes her phone number on her site.

Amazingly, Lila's B12 is quite high, but if you need supplementation in the future, you can use Wonderlabs Pet Factor with Intrinsic factor.

Often our pups have SID/SIBO which is bacterial overgrowth and they need an antibiotic. If she should show signs of SID, (tummy rumblings, gassiness, yellow stools, etc.) you can use a mild antibiotic (tylosin) to deal with this.

Most importantly, how are her stools? What do they look like? Yes we talk a lot about poop because it is what indicates how our pups are doing.

I highly recommend using a log/journal. Record everything you give your pup each day, the amounts, and the resulting poos. This tells you what works and what doesn't. It saved our sanity.

To treat with powdered enzymes, dissolve 1 teaspoon of enzymes per cup in a little warm water and pour over the kibble. Mix thoroughly and allow to incubate 20 to 30 minutes. Some dogs need a longer incubation or a little more water to avoid mouth sores.

Please ask any questions you may have. We have all been where you are, so we understand how you are feeling. Try not to be overwhelmed, although you will feel that way for a while. Once you get everything in balance it will get much easier. Lila is lucky to have you. Hang in there.

Barb

LilasMom
Member
Posts: 5
Country: United States
State: Pennsylvania
Pet name: Lila
My name: Laura

Re: Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by LilasMom » 10 Oct 2019, 16:30

Thank you Barb!!!!

We are all about Lila's poop! This is all our house has talked about since May. :D Before enzymes huge piles of yellow cow patties. Now she has diarrhea but it is small amounts and chocolate brown. Since she started enzymes about 3 weeks ago her energy is back. She is making it through the night without having to go out. First full nights sleep we have gotten since April. So I know we are doing something right. But..... I Stop by the veterinarian yesterday just to weigh her. Down .5 pounds. Ugh!! Got my first shipment from EnzymeDiane today. So much cheaper than veterinarian!

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Miss Maddie Moo
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Posts: 119
Country: United Kingdom - England

Re: Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by Miss Maddie Moo » 11 Oct 2019, 06:48

Hello i remember crying when Maddie lost a 1/3rd of her body weight we recommend that you increase the food and feed 3 meals a day with the appropriate enzymes this will help get the weight back quicker as they start to head towards goal weight i reduced the lunch time feed by 1/2 cup per week and then we went back to twice a day feeding ....if you cant do lunch then some do a late night feed before bed.
Food what we suggest is that you avoid any chicken based foods and pea based both seem to upset our dogs its trial and error always but a small bag and see what works.
B12 my personal opinion on this, is sometimes the B12 drops really quickly after DX so i would order the B12 from Wondelabs and give her 1 per day here is the link we like it to be kept above 600 for life. https://www.wonderlabs.com/itemleft.php?itemnum=K9688

Keep asking questions.
Ann
Maddie DX April 2011 along with low B12 she was feed with a low fibre food below 3% , fat was not restricted ( she wasnt good on pea based foods ) She initially had a course of B12 shots weekly over a period of 6 months and then we used the B12 pills from Chemeyes in the UK . We used Panzym and slowly had to increase the dose as she aged when she was first DX she was 23kg but she gained weight quickly and got back to 33 kg .
Maddie gained her angel wings in Jan 2018 at the age of 10 to a condition unrelated to EPI.
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Jean
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Posts: 675
Location: South Liverpool
Country: United Kingdom - England
Pet name: Kara
My name: Jean

Re: Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by Jean » 11 Oct 2019, 13:09

Hi there from the UK

I cried a river over my Kara

the thing to do is feed 50 % over and above what the bag of food tells you to give for the weight Lila SHOULD be , and over as many meals as you can fit in all enzymed to 1 teaspoon per cup of food

virtually ALL dogs first diagnosed with EPI need antibiotics, the favourite being Tylan dosed by weight of dog

I feel until you have stability maybe grain free kibble is the way to go, NO chicken or poultry fat, they dont seem to tolerate it, and no rice

there are several on the food page

https://epi4dogs.com/why-grainfree-foods/

these are tried and tested

if it makes you feel any better, my Kara was a Shepherd, and at 14 months weighed 39 pounds , broke my heart, she was stable at 90 pounds until we lost her in May, aged nearly 10 years,nothing to do with EPI

KEEP A JOURNAL

Write everything down and record anything you do

we are used to poo pictures so bring them on


Jeanx
My name is Jean we live in Liverpool in Uk

My Kara born 21 July 2009 diagnosed with EPI by cTLI test August 2010 TLI = <1...folate 14 Cobalamin 408, shot down to 94, b12 injections every other day

Lowest weight 39 pounds

We use Panzym enzymes, Tylan and Chemeyes b12 capsules

Sadly, on 10th May 2019, we lost her to DM


Jeanx

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Madelon
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Posts: 618
Location: Nashville, TN
Country: United States
State: Tennessee
Pet name: Doc

Re: Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by Madelon » 11 Oct 2019, 14:26

Hi and welcome to our EPI family. As Barb said the hard part is over - you now know what's wrong with your sweet pup and while it sounds scary - EPI is completely manageable and she will have a long happy, healthy life with proper management and we will be here to guide you through it. We've all been where you are - I cried for days when my boy was first diagnosed.

First, while the B12 is on the higher side of normal, EPI dogs cannot maintain their B12 levels without supplementing and supplementing is for life. Since hers is not too low right now, I would suggest just using the WonderLabs Pet Factor B12 pills https://www.wonderlabs.com/itemleft.php?itemnum=K9688 they are easy to give, made in the US and very affordable. Go ahead and order them and start supplementing before her B12 starts to drop - low B12 can prevent weight gain, cause lethargy, mood changes, etc.

There are four cornerstones to properly managing EPI:
1 - Enzymes: most of use EnzymeDiane as it's WAY less expensive than the vet prescription enzymes - no prescription needed and shipped directly to your home - they are sourced and made here in the US. Start off using the 6x enzymes as they are close to the strength of the vet enzymes - later if you want to switch to 8x to try to save even more money you can. Recommended starting dose is 1 level teaspoon per cup of kibble -mix in luke warm water, mix in kibble and sit for 20-30 minutes before feeding.

2 - B12: already discussed but EPI dogs need their B12 on the high side of normal 600+ and they can't maintain their B12 without supplementing so supplementing is for life. The WonderLab Pet Factor B12 pills contain intrinsic factor which helps with absorption.

3 - Antibiotics: if you're dealing with SID (small intestinal dysbiosis) we recommend a 45 day course of Tylan, HOWEVER, when you are first diagnosed we recommend trying the correct dose of enzymes, food and B12 for a week or two and see if the gut corrects itself. If you are still having SID, then you can try Slippery Elm Bark Powder or the Tylan.

4 - Food: the trickiest part of EPI. You do not have to feed raw - there is nothing to show that raw is better than kibble for an EPI dog. We recommend grain free with 4% fiber or less and avoid or limit peas. There is a list of foods that EPI owners have used over the years with good results on our Diet page. Feed 150% of the food for the weight your dog SHOULD be but in smaller more frequent meals. Once you've reached the goal weight you can slowly reduce the amount of food.

Keep a detailed journal of everything you give and the resulting poops - it will help you figure out what works and what doesn't. Feel free to print out anything from our website and share with your vet.
MADELON and Doc. DX EPI and SIBO: 5/22/2015
Test Results: (1st) 7/2014 = TLI 16.5, B12 894, Folate > 24; (2nd) 5/2015 = TLI < .4, B12 406; Folate >24; (3rd) 10/2015 TLI < .4; B12 >1000; Folate 14.4. Prior to DX: May 2014 (2mos) - DX coccidia/bladder infection; July 2014 (3mos) 1st EPI test = TLI 16.5, B12 894, Folate >24 - Dx SIBO not EPI; Feb 2015 thru May 2015 - weight loss only; May 2015 vomitted several times, diarrhea and eating poop. Regimen: 4 cups Sport Dog Food Elite Herding - Diane 6x 1tsp per cup; 1 WonderLab PetFactor B12 2x day; 1/2tsp Slippery Elm 2xday; Multivitamin; 1 Zyrtec 10mg 2x day; Salmon Oil

LilasMom
Member
Posts: 5
Country: United States
State: Pennsylvania
Pet name: Lila
My name: Laura

Re: Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by LilasMom » 11 Oct 2019, 14:56

Thank you everyone!!!!! I am a researcher at heart. But honestly I was getting dizzy. I thank you for the where to start info.

I was wondering about the B12. I am going to order it even though the vet said she didn't need any. Thank you for the link! What about vitamins?

Barb
Staff
Posts: 339
Country: United States
State: New Jersey

Re: Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by Barb » 11 Oct 2019, 16:58

If there is excess B12 in Lila's system, she will just pee it out. Wonderlabs Pet Factor is very reasonable and they often offer 20% specials.

Some dogs are slow gainers when it comes to putting on weight. Others put it on quickly. It took Kolby almost a year to get back to his target weight. Once we got his B12 level up and found the right food, his weight gain was slow but steady. As you watch the information in your journal, you will be able to start to identify what is giving her the loose stools. But it might take some time. For us, the culprit was food. We couldn't find the right food at first and it was frustrating. But eventually, we found it.....each dog is unique!


Barb

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adriannemary91
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Posts: 17
Location: Madrid
Country: Spain
Pet name: HAPPY
My name: Maria

Re: Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by adriannemary91 » 12 Oct 2019, 15:33

Hello from Spain.

Three weeks ago, i was exactly in your shoes. Tears, fears and unknowlegde.

Now, with all the information i founded here, and the Good advices of everybody, my Little puppy, Happy, is better.

So, breathe, you are not alone. You are in Good hands here!
Happy is a two and a half year old dog and has been diagnosed with EPI 2 on September 2019.
TLI= 1.19

Hills prescription diet i/d - 2 creon 10.000 per meal - Hidroxil B12 1 pill per day - probiotic 1 fortiflora ( royan cannin) per day

LilasMom
Member
Posts: 5
Country: United States
State: Pennsylvania
Pet name: Lila
My name: Laura

Re: Hi everyone.... Lila's mom here

Post by LilasMom » 12 Oct 2019, 23:17

Thank you for the words of encouragement. I am so glad Lucky is better. I was reading your posts. Great advice from everyone

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