New member: Daisy's story

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.
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faye grimm
Member
Posts: 29
Location: Rogue Valley Oregon
Country: United States
State: Oregon
Pet name: Daisy
My name: faye

New member: Daisy's story

Post by faye grimm » 25 Dec 2019, 12:25

Hello everyone ... I could not figure out how to post in the new members section so I am starting here.
Maybe someone can help me figure this out and I can transfer my post to the correct category.
I hope this long post will not put everyone off. When I get to writing i do get carried away and it has been hard to find anyone who understand what this has been like. So even if none of you actually read this, it feels good to have a place to talk about it. 8-)

I have had my Daisy since she was 5 weeks old. She chose me.
She is a cattle dog/Australian shepherd mix and is now just over 6 1/2 years old. We are quite literally joined at the hip.

Daisy at a naturally svelte 6 months old.
Image

Since the above 6 year old photo, Daisy put on a few pounds and was a little chubby at 43 lbs when in August of this year (2019) she started "slimming down." I have been feeding her raw organic grass fed & finished beef and organic chicken for years mixed with kibble. Over time I have gone from Taste of the Wild to Orijen and then I had recently switched her to Carna4 kibble on the advice of an herbalist who runs a superior natural pet supply store. This was mixed with the same raw organic meats. so at first I assumed the kibble switch might have made the difference in her weight.
I was wrong.

A month went by and it was clear she was still losing weight. Her stools were too soft and yellowish, occasionally a bit runny. I was getting worried.

September was time for her 3 year rabies (the only vaccine I get as we live rural and there are a lot of wild critters she goes after every so often). So I made an appointment with the most popular local (and pricey) holistic vet (whom I will never use again) for her 'cleaner' shot but more so to discuss her weight loss. She was now down to 32 lbs. He said we should test her for giardia and proceeded to giver her the rabies shot. In retrospect, he had no business doing this until we knew whether she was sick or not.
And I should have taken responsibility and told him to wait but I was probably so relieved that he was not worried I went along.
Wishful projection on my part.

Turns out the vaccination probably did her no real harm in relation to her condition but still, he was out of line not to be more cautious. He told me her weight loss was good, that she looked great - as if being slender was all that mattered.
In retrospect, I think he was just being lazy and there is no place for that in health care for humans or animals.
I also suspect he was a bit lax as he knows I am low income, not a good prospect for ongoing "casual" veterinary attentions.

I did get the giardia/parasite test done and when we found she did not have giardia he said I should pick up some [expensive] Chinese herbs to stabilize her. He did not consider other possibilities or suggest any more tests unless I wanted to get a $450 test to see if she had an allergy to chicken. Other than that, he told me to switch her meat to turkey. So I did switch and gave her the herbs and she continued to lose weight. She was now down to 29.3 lbs.

By now I was feeding her 7 times a day with no weight gain at all. She was always hungry. Her stools were very soft and yellow, occasionally a whitish or dark gray puddle. All the research I did indicated possible liver issues or cancer but the list of other symptoms did not fit.

I was at a loss what to do when the herbalist who owns the pet supply store suggested I add a sprouted product by Carna4 called Flora4 to her food and contact a mobile holistic vet whom she praised and mentioned she was also very reasonably priced.
Even so I was very concerned about the cost but I knew I needed to find the right person to help my baby girl. Turned out this vet was amazing. She came over and took her time talking with me, she gave me some dietary advice, did acupuncture and suggested I get her tested for possible liver issues and to consider Xrays or an ultrasound to detect blockage.

She said to start with a blood panel and a bile acid test.
She also told me to discontinue the herbs I got from the other vet as they had way too many ingredients .. "over load" were her words.
She approved of the Carna4 brand kibble(which she also uses for her pets) and the Flora4 but suggested I switch to their fish recipe as it was easier to digest and also suggested Icelandic Kelp once a day and weekly acupuncture treatments.
She does not want me pay her, says she has plenty of patients with enough money so she can give a little to those will less.
Seems there really are angels.

So I went to another vet set up to draw blood for the tests which cost me $380 all together (I also had them retest for parasites just in case we'd hit a dormant period previously) and these showed absolutely nothing except moderately raised liver enzymes.
Kala (our angel) gave me a Chinese herbal mix 'Liver Happy" she happened to have at home.

Meanwhile I continued to research Daisy's symptoms and began seeing info about EPI and this time the symptoms fit exactly. When I found the EPI4dogs website I was so relieved to find something that addressed this so well I was now convinced she would be diagnosed with EPI. Kala agreed we needed to get this test. Being a mobile vet, she is not set up to do this so I contacted another another vet and brought Daisy in.

I prepared a detailed description of Daisy's recent history and included copies of the tests and emailed them to this new vet (highly recommend by my neighbors with 3 huskies :P ) before the visit. She read this, examined Daisy and said yes, we should test her for EPI. It took a week for the results ... Daisy's number was at 1.0. :(

This doctor had me buy PancreaPlus which was $59 for 4 ounces. Using a teaspoon 6-7 times a day I ran through this very fast.
So I ordered Pan-tenex - twice as much product for the same price - my order arrived 3 days ago. She had no enzymes for 3 days and I was worried until realized she's gone without these for 4 months. Oh how we worry about our babies!
This has some superb reviews and I like how this is not all powdery/dusty, is more like tiny granules and is easy to measure.
I am hoping to meet others here who are experienced in using Pan-tenex. I do have some questions.

So, after 3 weeks of pancreatic enzyme therapy Daisy is not quite so hungry and we have gone down from 7 to 4-5 meals a day.
She is of course still very thin but I think her spine does not feel or look so pronounced as it did.
I have yet to weigh her but i think she has put on a few ounces.

Anyhow, this is our story so far and I am feeling hopeful.

Thank you if you took the time to read this and I am most interested to read more of your stories and to hear from any of you.
I appreciate this site and hope to learn a lot from you all. And maybe someday I can be helpful to someone else.

Best wishes to all you lovely people and pooches.
sincerely ... faye grimm
Daisy and I live in rural southern Oregon. In June of 2015 I saw someone selling 5 week old puppies from a van and I swear I was "only looking" when Daisy's head popped up from the back of the box and she jumped across her liter mates straight to me, got up on her hind legs and started licking my face.
She had just chosen me. The guy wanted $100 a pup. I told him I only had $50. He said no way.
I replied, "This is my dog now. Take it or leave it. But she is coming home with me."
So I gave the man his $50 and we have been joined at the hip every since ...

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jilbert57
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Posts: 995
Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: New member: Daisy's story

Post by jilbert57 » 25 Dec 2019, 15:38

Hi Faye, welcome to you and your pup.
Have you looked around on the website to read the available information?
We have Pantenex users that will probably chime in.
There are 4 cornerstones that must come together before the animals really begin to heal.
ENZYMES: The powdered enzymes are dosed at 1 level teaspoon per 1 cup dry kibble. It is prepared by mixing the enzymes and kibble together with a little room temperature water. Stir and let incubate 15 to 20 mins, stir again and coat. Enzymes are NOT dosed by meals, rather by amount of food.
DIET Most EPI pups do better on a grain free food with 4% or less fiber.
ANTIBIOTIC If the pup has a rumbly tummy SID (Small Intestinal Disease) is probably present. Tylan is very mild and works well. Metronidazole is also prescribed.

https://epi4dogs.com/sidsibo-in-brief

B12 An EPI pups B12 needs to be 600 or above. B12 shots can be administered once a week for 6 weeks and also an oral B12 pill can be given.

https://epi4dogs.com/b12-protocol/

Jill
My name is Jill and I live on the Hood Canal in Washington State. I have two dogs: Kiya is an aussie/blue heeler and is 13, TJ is a 4 year old Jack Russell. They keep me on my toes.
Mickey and his pancreatitis brought me to Epi4dogs.com site in 2012 to help manage it.

Mickey, Jack Russell. Chronic Pancreatitis. Dianes enzymes, 1/8t 3x/day with meals.
6/1999 - 8/2014

Tuckaboo.
Member
Posts: 317
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Tucker
My name: Pam H.

Re: New member: Daisy's story

Post by Tuckaboo. » 25 Dec 2019, 18:43

Hi, Faye, and welcome. I've been part of this group for a few months, and let me assure you, you've come to the right place! Faye, please look into Enzyme Diane; you'll be glad you did, and you will hear about her from many other members. Cheap & high quality porcine enzymes, delivered promptly. I was interested in your experience with the mobile vet---it is very similar to the road we went down, including the Liver Happy herbs. In fact, I've asked my vet (mobile, holistic, acupuncture) for a jar to try along with the EPI protocol we are currently following, because I think Tucker had perfect poo while they were included in his diet. Right now his poos are above average. Our vet had never had a case of EPI, in 20 years, and she sent me to her mentor, who treated Tucker & only charged me for medication. Yes, there are angels out there. So, best wishes to you and Daisy. Welcome, and Happy Holidays, too! ---Pam
Tucker is a shepherd/lab mix, adopted on craigslist; he has tested positive on the ScheBo test for EPI. Currently taking Diane's Enzymes 3 teaspoons/day, Wonderlab B12 capsules 1/day, and Tylan 1/5 teaspoon/day. Thriving on Sport Dog Food Elite/Herding Dog. No more coprophagia, his weight is steady, and he is a happy member of the family, if a bit of a bully with his four siblings from time to time. Tucker is my boyfriend, and my husband is OK with that.

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faye grimm
Member
Posts: 29
Location: Rogue Valley Oregon
Country: United States
State: Oregon
Pet name: Daisy
My name: faye

Re: New member: Daisy's story

Post by faye grimm » 26 Dec 2019, 06:26

Hello and thank you Jill and Tuckaboo.
I will relate some of what you told me to Kala (my vet), particularly about the possibility of SID/SIBO.
My gosh there is so much to learn.

I am glad this month is over as this experience has tapped me out emotionally as well as financially! But now I can take some time to explore your suggestions and am especially interested in enzyme Diane. I had seen that site when I found the Pantenex site.
I confess I chose Pantenex because it just seemed simpler.

Clearly the correct application of an enzyme product is something I need to get down more precisely. The Pantenex directions are not exactly detailed and yes, I will consider switching to Enzyme Diane when this runs out.

Jill .. what did you mean by "stir again and coat" ... the 'coat' part threw me off.
BTW: I learned that an aussie/cattle dog mix is called a Texas Heeler.

If anyone is curious about the Carna4 kibbles here is the link. http://carna4.com/
According to Kala, this is a good product as far as kibbles go. They are grain free and have a chicken, duck and fish formula.
Apparently the fish formula is a bit more easily digestible.
[INGREDIENTS: Herring, perch, eggs, ground organic sprouted barley seed, salmon, ground fava beans, sweet potato, ground organic sprouted flaxseed, ground organic sprouted lentils, ground organic sprouted peas, potato starch, apples, carrots, salt, kelp, baking soda.. - Carna4 formulas are LOW GLYCEMIC and LOW GLUTEN - Nothing imported, no synthetics, no byproducts, no meals, no fillers, no protein concentrates]
The Flora4 is sprinkled on the food:
[Flora4 contains guaranteed levels of live probiotics (18 billion cfu/kg) and enzymes (1 million U/kg); effective doses of 26 essential vitamins & minerals; and high levels of Omega 6 & 3 fatty acids – all from raw food
Ingredients: ground organic sprouted seeds (barley, flax, green and red lentils).]

Question: When I mix the food and enzymes, do I include the Liver Happy (powder form, only twice a day) and other nutrients like Icelandic Kelp and Flora4 right away, part way though or toward the end of the 15-20 minute "cook" time?
In other words, do these need to be pre-digested same as the food or not so much?

Here are a couple of things I have been wondering about, if anyone has a thought or two:
I have been thinking of using a drop or 2 of Lugols iodine for thyroid health once a day.
Also, I have an amazing mineral product (a water extracted tincture) I have been taking for years and believe it would be safe and beneficial for Daisy but have not had the chance to ask Kala about this yet.
Optimally Organic's Fulvic Minerals is the only mineral product I will take myself, it is vastly superior to all others.
Something you humans might want to consider for yourselves. :)
https://www.optimallyorganic.com/fulvic-benefits
[Fulvic acid will help to cleanse your body of heavy metals, while also cleansing many different types of chemicals. These are things that impact your overall mood, your energy levels, and various aspects of your gut health.]

I have always leaned toward the natural and core sourced foods and nutrients over manufactured 'products' whenever possible.
But I know I must be cautious as I am entering new territory.
Thank you again.
faye
Daisy and I live in rural southern Oregon. In June of 2015 I saw someone selling 5 week old puppies from a van and I swear I was "only looking" when Daisy's head popped up from the back of the box and she jumped across her liter mates straight to me, got up on her hind legs and started licking my face.
She had just chosen me. The guy wanted $100 a pup. I told him I only had $50. He said no way.
I replied, "This is my dog now. Take it or leave it. But she is coming home with me."
So I gave the man his $50 and we have been joined at the hip every since ...

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jilbert57
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Posts: 995
Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: New member: Daisy's story

Post by jilbert57 » 26 Dec 2019, 09:40

Hi Faye, after reading the label instructions on the Pan-tenex on Amazon, they are 10x in strength. I would follow the label using 3/4 teaspoon and moistening the food to incubate it. I stir again before serving to make sure the kibble is well coated.

The Dianes enzymes and Pan-tenex are both prepared the same way before feeding.

So this is just my opinion. Until Daisey has gained all her weight back and is having good poops like 95% of the time I would only feed appropriate kibble with enzymes, B12 shots and oral B12 caps, and antibiotic if SID is present.

All the other things you are feeding as supplements I would discontinue until Daisey is back as her young self. Only necessary medication prescribed by the vet.

If you throw all the extra stuff in the mix to begin with, it might be one of those things aggravating the dogs progress.

Tests that should have been done with the Tli are B12 and Folate. Do you know if the last 2 were tested?

Also please know that all food from now on must be treated with enzymes for life. The enzymes are life saving, not a supplement.

Jill
My name is Jill and I live on the Hood Canal in Washington State. I have two dogs: Kiya is an aussie/blue heeler and is 13, TJ is a 4 year old Jack Russell. They keep me on my toes.
Mickey and his pancreatitis brought me to Epi4dogs.com site in 2012 to help manage it.

Mickey, Jack Russell. Chronic Pancreatitis. Dianes enzymes, 1/8t 3x/day with meals.
6/1999 - 8/2014

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faye grimm
Member
Posts: 29
Location: Rogue Valley Oregon
Country: United States
State: Oregon
Pet name: Daisy
My name: faye

Re: New member: Daisy's story

Post by faye grimm » 26 Dec 2019, 12:15

Hi Jill,
Not to worry, I have not been giving her those other things at this time except for the Flora 4, Icelandic Kelp and Liver Happy - all approved by my vet. I was just wondering about them. And you are right, not a good idea to start adding more things now and I am sure Kala would tell me the same... keep it simple, do not overload her system.

I was just wondering if those 3 vet-approved supplemental ingredients should be added right away when I add the enzymes. I get the feeling they need pre-digestion to the same extent as the food or if they might become over digested and lose potency.
I suppose I am over-thinking this. lol

Are you suggesting kibble only? No meat? Kala has never suggested removing the meat for a while. I lightly cook it so it is not truly raw. My understanding is raw and cooked (as the kibble) should not be mixed, especially when her digestion is so stressed.

And yes, I will call both vets and ask about looking into the possibility of SID.

You have been very helpful. I sincerely appreciate your experienced suggestions.

Have a lovely Pacific Northwest day.

faye
Daisy and I live in rural southern Oregon. In June of 2015 I saw someone selling 5 week old puppies from a van and I swear I was "only looking" when Daisy's head popped up from the back of the box and she jumped across her liter mates straight to me, got up on her hind legs and started licking my face.
She had just chosen me. The guy wanted $100 a pup. I told him I only had $50. He said no way.
I replied, "This is my dog now. Take it or leave it. But she is coming home with me."
So I gave the man his $50 and we have been joined at the hip every since ...

User avatar
jilbert57
Staff
Posts: 995
Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: New member: Daisy's story

Post by jilbert57 » 26 Dec 2019, 13:04

I would leave out completely the Flora 4, Icelandic kelp and Liver Happy until. Daisey is stable. Only then would I add in one thing at a time for a trial basis.

No, I don't mean no meat added, you are fine with that. You just need to add a tad more enzyme for the meat if you are using kibble. JMHO I would forgo the cooked meat and use that as an extra if she is not keen on the incubated enzymes. You did list a couple grainfree kibble you were feeding, right?

I am not a vet, just using personal experience and member experiences.

Jill
My name is Jill and I live on the Hood Canal in Washington State. I have two dogs: Kiya is an aussie/blue heeler and is 13, TJ is a 4 year old Jack Russell. They keep me on my toes.
Mickey and his pancreatitis brought me to Epi4dogs.com site in 2012 to help manage it.

Mickey, Jack Russell. Chronic Pancreatitis. Dianes enzymes, 1/8t 3x/day with meals.
6/1999 - 8/2014

User avatar
faye grimm
Member
Posts: 29
Location: Rogue Valley Oregon
Country: United States
State: Oregon
Pet name: Daisy
My name: faye

Re: New member: Daisy's story

Post by faye grimm » 26 Dec 2019, 13:40

interesting .. I understand you are not a veterinarian and are not giving me "medical" advice.
But experience is the best teacher and I value that.

I will look into the meat issue but Kala did seem ok with what I was doing.
I just put some water in a pan, get it hot then turn off the stove and toss in some ground or cut up meat for a few minutes.
So instead of 3/4 tsp of enzymes, maybe a teaspoon when there is meat?

And yes, I will ask her about stopping the 3 supplements although I suspect she might want me to stay with the happy liver as Daisy's liver enzymes were above the norm so there is definitely an issue.

Lots of food for thought my dear ... I am making a list of questions for Kala and the other vet.

Thank you Jill
Daisy and I live in rural southern Oregon. In June of 2015 I saw someone selling 5 week old puppies from a van and I swear I was "only looking" when Daisy's head popped up from the back of the box and she jumped across her liter mates straight to me, got up on her hind legs and started licking my face.
She had just chosen me. The guy wanted $100 a pup. I told him I only had $50. He said no way.
I replied, "This is my dog now. Take it or leave it. But she is coming home with me."
So I gave the man his $50 and we have been joined at the hip every since ...

User avatar
jilbert57
Staff
Posts: 995
Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: New member: Daisy's story

Post by jilbert57 » 26 Dec 2019, 15:22

Hi Faye,
a lot ofdogs diagnosed with EPI also present with elevated liver enzymes.

With the enzymes, B12, antibiotic if needed and correct diet the elevated liver enzymes usually resolves itself. Surely not in the case of an actual liver disease.

I will ask about the 10x.


**UPDATE. **

I asked a member and got this message for Daisey:

"I think you are right I would do at least 1 teaspoon per 2 cups. I too agree get rid of the rest of the supplements as that can cause more issues as well. I am not a fan of probiotics. If she has bad stools I would suggest tylan or slippery elm to work on sid/sibo. She can either incubate the meat with it or not that will depend on how the dog does with it. Some add canned food right before feeding if they have a sensitive dog."

Jill
My name is Jill and I live on the Hood Canal in Washington State. I have two dogs: Kiya is an aussie/blue heeler and is 13, TJ is a 4 year old Jack Russell. They keep me on my toes.
Mickey and his pancreatitis brought me to Epi4dogs.com site in 2012 to help manage it.

Mickey, Jack Russell. Chronic Pancreatitis. Dianes enzymes, 1/8t 3x/day with meals.
6/1999 - 8/2014

User avatar
faye grimm
Member
Posts: 29
Location: Rogue Valley Oregon
Country: United States
State: Oregon
Pet name: Daisy
My name: faye

Re: New member: Daisy's story

Post by faye grimm » 26 Dec 2019, 20:41

OK, thank you again.

One thing is confusing .. I thought it was 3/4 to 1 tsp of enzymes per cup, this person said per 2 cups.
Could have been a typo?

And yes, Kala told me to use slippery elm.

faye 8-)
Daisy and I live in rural southern Oregon. In June of 2015 I saw someone selling 5 week old puppies from a van and I swear I was "only looking" when Daisy's head popped up from the back of the box and she jumped across her liter mates straight to me, got up on her hind legs and started licking my face.
She had just chosen me. The guy wanted $100 a pup. I told him I only had $50. He said no way.
I replied, "This is my dog now. Take it or leave it. But she is coming home with me."
So I gave the man his $50 and we have been joined at the hip every since ...

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