Lucy - Another Newbie

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.
Post Reply
LucysMom
Member
Posts: 5
Country: United States
State: Ohio
Pet name: Lucy
My name: Renee

Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by LucysMom » 04 Feb 2023, 10:42

My poor Lucy (Lucy Bella, as I call her).... A wonderful loving, gentle, and energetic dog - we always said that she would have made a great mom if we hadn't opted to spay her. She is an F1 Goldendoodle of a Golden mom and a Standard Poodle dad, and we thought she was just the runt, as she was in the smaller side. With her recent EPI dx, I'm thinking she just wasn't absorbing all the nutrients and it stunted her growth.

At first we thought she hurt her back because she had sudden hind end weakness and noticed really soft stools. Vet we could get in with took an xray of back, didn't see a problem, gave her pain meds and ordered rest. A month later, she was still weak, and poop was getting worse, and our other dog started eating her poop. We took her in as soon as we could be seen and after I had been doing a bunch of investigation and found this site. I mentioned the possibility of EPI, and vet #2 blew me off, ordered 2 more xrays, saw no issues with hips or back, saw "busy bowels", tried to order PT and accupuncture, etc, while I kept bringing up weight loss (She had dropped 5 pounds in the month.) and digestive disorders. Finally, vet #2 offered 5 days of metoclopramide with gabapetin and meloxicam. The entire time, I'm texting with my hubby and he's texting our friend and regular vet at the practice. We asked him to look at all the films. He immediately said to bring her in at his earliest appt a week later. She had dropped another pound, and ordered full blood panel to be sent down to TA&M. He texted us the images of the results and said to get the Pancreatic Enzymes....

So, from recommendations here, I adjusted her diet, switched them from grazers, who shared a bowl, to 2 meals per day (big adjustment for them). She got 1/2 c of her kibble mixed with 2 c of a raw diet, enzymes on hers (essentially 150% of the amount of food she should get). I started with 1 tsp of enzymes/meal. She pretty quickly improved in her energy, she quickly started gaining some weight, and her poop index went to a 2!! All within 2 weeks! I was ecstatic!

However, she started burping and small amounts of bile-like liquid. I thought maybe I could back off on the enzymes a bit, and dropped to 3/4 tsp for 3 days with no improvement in the vurps or smell, and then dropped to 1/2 tsp. But then she started with the weakness again and poop index declining and seems be be losing the weight she had gained.

I just ordered some slippery elm bark powder to add, and am going back up to 3/4 tsp of the enzymes. However, the raw diet costs are killing me! We're spending almost $400/month on dog food now between the raw and the higher quality kibble, not counting the enzyme costs.

I'm trying to feed my two dogs similar diets since you can't explain to one why they have to eat something different. It's tough enough with keeping their quantities separate right now and keeping Lucy from trying to gobble the rest of Linus's non-enzymed food because he still grazes a bit.

Does anyone have any suggestions on food and managing a multi-dog household?

Thanks in advance and grateful to have found this awesome resource (which I shared with our vet friend).

-Lucy's Mom, Renee
--Lucy's Mom, Renee
Lucy: F1 Goldendoodle, DOB 2/28/2017, "sister" to F1B Linus
EPI Diagnosis: At age 5yr 11 mo after rapid weight loss (3/28/2022: 63.4 lbs, 11/21/22: 55.0 lbs, 12/28/22: 50.0 lbs, 1/5/23: 49.3 lbs), hind end weakness, and poop index 6. Dx'd with cTLI of 2.6, Cobalamin of 251, No indication of Pancreatitis (Lipase Immuno: 30).
Current Diet: 1 c NutraSource Large Breed Chicken with Rice, 1.5 c Steve's Raw Chicken w/ 3/4 tsp Panzquin w/Cobalequin 2x per day

User avatar
jilbert57
Staff
Posts: 2114
Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by jilbert57 » 04 Feb 2023, 13:59

Hi Renee and welcome.
Was Lucy put on B12 shots once a week for 6 weeks or started on oral B supplementation? The B12 needs to me in the mid to upper range around 600 or greater.

It sounds like SID. Was Lucy given an oral antibiotic when she was diagnosed? We recommend Tylan 2 times a day for 45 days.
You can start the slippery elm and if that helps the vurps along with addition of enzymes and B12.

I have 2 terriers. I feed them at opposite ends of the kitchen but stand in between them and pick up the dishes when they are done. Each dogs nutrition has to be taken into account I don't feel bad feeding one differently then the other. They do better on different diets.

Just remember all food, treats etc needs to have enzymes.

Jill
My name is Jill and we live on the Hood Canal in Washington State. We currently have 2 Jack russells, TJ is 8 and Sadie is 2.

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.

LucysMom
Member
Posts: 5
Country: United States
State: Ohio
Pet name: Lucy
My name: Renee

Re: Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by LucysMom » 04 Feb 2023, 21:01

Thanks for the reply!

She was not put in oral antibiotics, but our enzymes have a Cobalamin Supplement (Panzquin with Cobalequin). It seemed like she was doing great until the vurps which is when I tried to lower the Enzymes to get rid of the vurps.

Do you give your terriers different food completely (kibble vs fresh/raw and/or chicken vs beef, etc.) or so you stick with the same type and flavor, but different formulas?

We noticed that they are naturally starting to avoid each other's bowls, which is good, but I still worry about them wanting the other's food.

Thanks again!
--Lucy's Mom, Renee
Lucy: F1 Goldendoodle, DOB 2/28/2017, "sister" to F1B Linus
EPI Diagnosis: At age 5yr 11 mo after rapid weight loss (3/28/2022: 63.4 lbs, 11/21/22: 55.0 lbs, 12/28/22: 50.0 lbs, 1/5/23: 49.3 lbs), hind end weakness, and poop index 6. Dx'd with cTLI of 2.6, Cobalamin of 251, No indication of Pancreatitis (Lipase Immuno: 30).
Current Diet: 1 c NutraSource Large Breed Chicken with Rice, 1.5 c Steve's Raw Chicken w/ 3/4 tsp Panzquin w/Cobalequin 2x per day

User avatar
jilbert57
Staff
Posts: 2114
Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by jilbert57 » 05 Feb 2023, 09:32

Our two terriers do not have EPI or pancreatitis. The older eats The Honest Kitchen beef grain free and the other eats Royal Canin Dental diet. They eat at opposite ends of the kitchen and I stand in between until they are done.
What diet are you feeding? EPI dogs usually are better on a grain free diet of 3.5% fiber or less.

Jill
My name is Jill and we live on the Hood Canal in Washington State. We currently have 2 Jack russells, TJ is 8 and Sadie is 2.

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.

LucysMom
Member
Posts: 5
Country: United States
State: Ohio
Pet name: Lucy
My name: Renee

Re: Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by LucysMom » 05 Feb 2023, 18:58

They're eating NutriSource Large Breed Chicken with Rice mixed with some raw BARF patties. It's in my signature. Linus is getting just a half patty on top of his, and Lucy is getting a patty and a half with 1.5 c of the NutriSource. It's 4.0% fiber. We were considering a switch to NutriSource Element Coastal Plains, which is 2.5%, if we aren't seeing any improvement. However, so far, we've been seeing poop index 2, as long as we're at 3/4 tsp of enzymes with her meal.

I found most grain free had high fiber fillers, such as peas. But the NutriSource had a lot of good options, and our local specialty pet food store said they like the NutriSource and the ability to rotate between their formulas.



Our kitchen isn't large enough that they can be separated like that. I wish we had more space. But they're learning to eat out of their own bowls. It's been about a month now, and they have different height bowls, too, since Linus is about 1/2 foot taller.
--Lucy's Mom, Renee
Lucy: F1 Goldendoodle, DOB 2/28/2017, "sister" to F1B Linus
EPI Diagnosis: At age 5yr 11 mo after rapid weight loss (3/28/2022: 63.4 lbs, 11/21/22: 55.0 lbs, 12/28/22: 50.0 lbs, 1/5/23: 49.3 lbs), hind end weakness, and poop index 6. Dx'd with cTLI of 2.6, Cobalamin of 251, No indication of Pancreatitis (Lipase Immuno: 30).
Current Diet: 1 c NutraSource Large Breed Chicken with Rice, 1.5 c Steve's Raw Chicken w/ 3/4 tsp Panzquin w/Cobalequin 2x per day

User avatar
jilbert57
Staff
Posts: 2114
Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by jilbert57 » 05 Feb 2023, 19:09

I just measured. My kitchen is 12 feet long and 6 feet wide. So not very big. All it takes is standing between the 2 bowls and I face them away from each other.
Yes, I am sorry you did post it in your signature.
I would look in our food options and find a grain free kibble with no peas or legumes. Just my opinion.


https://epi4dogs.com/dog-food-options/

Jill
My name is Jill and we live on the Hood Canal in Washington State. We currently have 2 Jack russells, TJ is 8 and Sadie is 2.

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.

User avatar
Olesia711
Founder & Research Director
Posts: 3910
Location: North Carolina
Country: United States
State: North Carolina
Pet name: Izzy
My name: olesia

Re: Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by Olesia711 » 05 Feb 2023, 20:18

hi Renee,

I jsut looked at Lucy's food ... "NutraSource Large Breed Chicken with Rice," it has 3.5 fiber content. and the main ingredients are: "Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, natural turkey and chicken flavor, chicken fat (preserved with tocopherols and citric acid)," no peas/lentils, etc... so that is good... but rice, barley and oatmeal are the 3,4,& 5th ingredients....... BUT..... sInce she "appeared" to do well with this food WHEN you gave 3/4 tsp of enzymes.... i would even though it has some grain in it:

1. stay with the 3/4 enzymes (for now) ..... and "try" continuing with this food and the raw Barf food you were giving her and add "slippery ELm powder"... see if that improves the burps. (the combo of the kibble and raw is not such a bad way to go..... but you can also do the kibble and add your own cooked meat if you want to still feed healthy but save on the expense) BTW.... a #2 poo on the poo chart is .great!... HEnce why my suggestion would be to continue (for now) with the food you are giving and try the below suggestions first.....

if the above doesn't improve the burps.... based on your posts.... then next try:

2. Talk to your vet about "trying (temporarily) an acid reflux med ,,,, let your vet know that Omeprazole usually works best with most of our EPI dogs, but have him determine if this would be okay for Lucy and what the dose would be for her.

3. The next thing that you should do simultaneously.... is talk to your vet about putting Lucy on a good probiotic (with prebiotics). some of the ones that we suggest because they tend to work well with most (but not all) of our EPI dogs are the following products:
Visbiome (prescription)
Proviable (prescription)
VetriScience Mega Probiotics (OTC)
Mercola Complete Probiotics (OTC)
...just know that when you start any probiotic.. start with LESS than the recommended dose and work your way up to a full dose over the course of a week or two.

4. If none of the above helps alleviate or at least improve the "burps" then next thing i would do is change the food, as it could very well be the grain in the food and go on our site or the chewy website and looks at low fiber content foods with no grain.... (and avoid any product that does pea/lentil splitting - -means uses it in the formula in different formats, like peas, pea flour, pea protein, yadda, yadda...bad for our dogs)..... and buy the smallest bag of food possible to start with to see if whatever you chose does or doesn't agree with Lucy.

5. And if none of the above really helps.... THEN after a few weeks or trial and error of all of the above.... then it is time to ask your vet to prescribe a course of Tylan for 45 days (twice daily with food) to get the SID under better control.

Regarding the B12.... "Panzquin with Cobalequin"..... great product, BUT notice that there is only 500µg B12 in 1 scoop (which i am guessing is 1 tsp) ... you are giving 3/4 tsp ... so she is only getting 375µg twice a day = 750µg... I am guessing Lucy weighs approx 50 to 60lbs ? If so... she should be getting 1000 µg B12 daily.... she is not getting enough. My suggestion is to order WOnderlabs Pet Factor B12
https://www.wonderlabs.com/itemleft.php?itemnum=K9688
use the Epi4Dogs coupon and save 20%: "Epi4Dogs15"
Just open the capsule, divide the powder into 4 parts (it doesn't have to be perfect) and mix in that 1 part daily to her food... and you should be all set.


Regarding feeding.... i agree with Jill...... feed each dog what best suits them (and do the best with what you can afford!) even different meals if need be :) If they try to eat from each other's dish... then maybe you just have to stay between them.. or put up a visual barrier 9 like a piece of cardboard or something..........

hope some of this info is useful and please share our suggestions with your vet too. Lucy will get the best help when everyone is on the same page :)

Oh... before i forget...... the best tool in your tool box when managing an EPI is to start keeping an EPI log..... here are some templates that might help you get started:
https://epi4dogs.com/epi-log/
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.........

LucysMom
Member
Posts: 5
Country: United States
State: Ohio
Pet name: Lucy
My name: Renee

Re: Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by LucysMom » 05 Feb 2023, 23:47

Thanks so much for the tips!

I was trying the raw with a little kibble at first, as it was more easily digestible to get her weight up, and was going to try to wean back to the kibble and add some of our fresh meat if she was doing well. We'll see. I noticed that lowering the enzymes made a huge difference in her poo. She has to have at least the 3/4 tsp, but her vurps and the smell! 🤢 I know it might go away, but I'm really thinking it's the enzymes doing their job.

Question on the Slippery Elm Bark.... Isn't that supposed to help with the vurps? I might have misunderstood its use. I will totally ask our vet about the Omeprazole. There are three of us on it here, so what's one more! LOL

As long as Lucy is gaining back to her ideal weight, has normal poo and energy, and B12 stays up, I'd like to keep her on the NutriSource. They've both been on it since they were puppies and have done great.

The Panquin with Cobalaquin has a scoop that is 1/4 tsp., so I use 3 scoops = 1500µg B12.... I watched for that specifically when I was reviewing enzymes. I know it's not the 8x or 10x, but it was highly rated and had the B12. Our vet wasn't recommending B12 shots yet, but I felt that she needed the supplement given her low numbers.

I'll also check with him on the Tylan and Pre- and Probiotics. He's really open to working with us and is one of the best in our area. I've shared this group with him already, and Texas A&M has a lot of great resources, too. That's where he sent her bloodwork.

One more question.... SID.... How do we know if she has it or if it's flared up?

Thanks again!
--Lucy's Mom, Renee
Lucy: F1 Goldendoodle, DOB 2/28/2017, "sister" to F1B Linus
EPI Diagnosis: At age 5yr 11 mo after rapid weight loss (3/28/2022: 63.4 lbs, 11/21/22: 55.0 lbs, 12/28/22: 50.0 lbs, 1/5/23: 49.3 lbs), hind end weakness, and poop index 6. Dx'd with cTLI of 2.6, Cobalamin of 251, No indication of Pancreatitis (Lipase Immuno: 30).
Current Diet: 1 c NutraSource Large Breed Chicken with Rice, 1.5 c Steve's Raw Chicken w/ 3/4 tsp Panzquin w/Cobalequin 2x per day

Chance
Member
Posts: 216
Country: Canada
Pet name: Chance
My name: Andrea

Re: Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by Chance » 06 Feb 2023, 00:44

I think the others here have given you excellent advice. I used to have 2 dogs. One with Addison's disease, one EPI. Both on different foods (not by choice...way back when, they were fed the same. They both ate quickly, then played musical bowls 🤣. When foods changed, I too fed opposite sides of the kitchen and stood between and watched). I've since lost the Addison's dog (5 months before his 16th birthday).

I feed raw as well. I do homemade. It's a LOT more work, but it's MUCH cheaper. About once every 5 or 6 werks, I typically buy a big batch of food and take a weekend and get it all ready. I add the supplements at that time (ground kelp, taurine, fish oils, etc); so nothing to do the rest of the month except grab a meal to thaw for the next meal. (I'm very lazy, so I don't like preparing meals every day 😅). The weekend I take to make the food and portion all the meals just about kills me...but like I said, it saves a lot of $$$! It's cheaper this way than when I did feed kibble way back when.

User avatar
Olesia711
Founder & Research Director
Posts: 3910
Location: North Carolina
Country: United States
State: North Carolina
Pet name: Izzy
My name: olesia

Re: Lucy - Another Newbie

Post by Olesia711 » 06 Feb 2023, 11:53

oh WOW..... you did/do homemade too?! It sure is a LOT of work..... been there done that.

I finally settled on a combo of mostly home-made with some kibble.... that worked out best for me personally. How and what you feed your dog i feel should be a decision made by the owners with works best for their individual dog and for them too..... BUT...... I swear feeding some or all real food contributes to a more healthy/longer life.... of course, this is all just my personal opinion, but all 3 of my SWDs had serious and/or multiple health conditions...... my oldest, Rico, had Cushings..... and lived for 11 years with the condition.... he past at 16 years old... one vet told me Rico should have been written about living so long with Cushings......supposedly they usually only live about 4 years with this condition) ..... and the same with my EPI gal Izzy, who also lived with Diabetes for 8 years.... vet said that is almost unheard of (living so long with Diabetes). Of course there is no proof, but i have always suspected that feeding wholesome food, at least some/part or all of their meals.... had a positive impact on their health........
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.........

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests