Maybe not EPI?

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.
Nking2121
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Posts: 4
Country: United States
Pet name: Jax
My name: Nate

Maybe not EPI?

Post by Nking2121 » 12 Jan 2020, 12:36

New member.

Hello all. We got our GSD boy Jax at 8 weeks and he will turn 1 on Jan 30. Since we’ve had him one thing has stood out and that was his very inconsistent poops. They have ranged from formed and soft to cow patties to huge, fluffy and soft and even runny. The thing that stayed consistent is they have almost always been yellowish and sometime glistening. We had heard that finding the right food for GSDs could be tough so now it seems like we have tried everything. About two months ago his stools were getting softer and softer, pretty runny actually, but still yellow, and we noticed he hadn’t really gained any weight between September and November (8-10 months old). He remained a happy, full of energy pup so we weren’t too concerned. After a lot of research We decided to switch to a raw diet. With two weeks of raw his stools remained runny or cow patty texture and he was down about 4 lbs. We called the vet. Our Vet gave us instructions feed ground chicken/turkey with rice and or pumpkin. After three days of this diarrhea began. He needed to go out every couple of hours And eventually only water was coming out and he had zero appetite. He spent two days at the vet getting fluids antibiotics and other meds. He came home with Hills I/D prescription were food and kibble. He seemed to do better while on that, though stools still weren’t perfect. To keep this from dragging on too long our vet mentioned that due to the price of EPI testing some people have just started trying the enzymes and have had success. So he’s been on pan tenex for two weeks now and is on Taste of the wild - salmon recipe. It was one of the lowest fiber/fat choices we found. His Stool aren’t quite as yellow, but they are still soft and HUGE! Giant voluminous stools. He’s getting 2000 cal/day in 3 meals and he isn’t loosing weight, but still isn’t gaining weight. Could it be something other than EPI? Or does this sound like EPI to you guys. Also I have spoken to the families of his litter mates and they too have had trouble finding the right food for their pups.

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jilbert57
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Posts: 951
Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: Maybe not EPI?

Post by jilbert57 » 12 Jan 2020, 14:42

Hi and welcome to the forum.
The only way you will know how to treat your dogs condition is to have the Tli. There are other conditions whose symptoms mimic EPI so a diagnosis is needed for correct treatment. This is from the Whole dog Journal when I googled average price of Tli :

EPI Testing for Dogs
TLI measures the dog's ability to produce digestive enzymes. The test is done following a fast of 12 to 15 hours, and costs about $100. Although other laboratories can run the TLI test, most blood samples are analyzed at Texas A&M University."
I would advise having the B12 and Folate tested also.

It is fine to use the enzymes for a short while to see if they help but we do not recommend for long term use unless diagnosed EPI. How long are you incubating enzymes and food?

There are 4 cornerstones that need to be met before pets with Epi will thrive:
Enzymes
Diet
Antibiotic(if SID is present)
B12

This will help: https://epi4dogs.com/epi-quick-guide-usa/

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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Jean
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Posts: 986
Location: South Liverpool
Country: United Kingdom - England
Pet name: Kara, lost 10th May 2019
My name: Jean

Re: Maybe not EPI?

Post by Jean » 13 Jan 2020, 12:16

Welcome from the Uk

To be certain as Jill has advised, the only definitive solution to diagnose EPI is to have a specific blood test which as per theTexas test centre needs to be at least 8 hours food fasted, so ask for the cTLI test if that is your decision

Personally i would steer clear of chicken and any rice, its dificult to digest correctly for an EPI DOG,

Food is a very touchy subject as not one is perfeect, or anywhere near it

My girl coped well on lamb based kibble, no grain , no rice no chicken or poultry fat and that was for 9 years

Let us know

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

Tuckaboo.
Member
Posts: 255
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Tucker
My name: Pam H.

Re: Maybe not EPI?

Post by Tuckaboo. » 13 Jan 2020, 18:58

Jean, my vet, who was trying so hard to save me money that he didn't charge me for any of the lengthy appointments I had, quoted $440.00 for the EPI test at Texas A & M. I would love to know where to get the test for $100.00, because even though all of his symptoms have improved, I understand that the administrators feel strongly that it should be done. What am I risking, by just following the EPI protocol?---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.

Tuckaboo.
Member
Posts: 255
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Tucker
My name: Pam H.

Re: Maybe not EPI?

Post by Tuckaboo. » 13 Jan 2020, 19:11

Sorry, Jean, that should have been addressed to Jill.--P
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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Madelon
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Posts: 938
Location: Nashville, TN
Country: United States
State: Tennessee
Pet name: Doc

Re: Maybe not EPI?

Post by Madelon » 13 Jan 2020, 19:53

Hi and welcome to our EPI family. GSD are prone to digestion issues unfortunately. My GSD was diagnosed with SID (small intestinal dysbiosis - formerly called SIBO) at 3mos old - my vet also tested him for EPI at that time but it was negative for EPI. So we treated the SID and he did fine for 10mos until he started losing weight and was tested for EPI again and that time it was definite EPI.

What you are describing sounds like SID. Now, GSD (and other breeds) can have SID without having EPI - so I would highly suggest getting the test for EPI done because if it's not EPI there's no need in spending the money on the enzymes. To treat SID we recommend a 45 day course of Tylan and then SLOWLY wean off, HOWEVER, before you try the Tylan antibiotics, recent research has shown great results using Slippery Elm Bark Powder, which is what I would try first. With SE you should see an immediate change in the poop within 24-48 hours. If there's no change then I would ask the vet for Tylan. If your dog does not have EPI, I highly recommend Royal Canin GSD dog food - the breed specific - there's a lot of research behind it and it's geared towards their digestion issues - not sure if you've tried that one or not - but if your dog does have EPI then this food won't fit the parameters.

Here's the link to the information and dosing on Slippery Elm - be sure to mix with 1-2 tablespoons of water and put directly on the food https://epi4dogs.com/slippery-elm/

Here's the link to the information and dosing on Tylan - https://epi4dogs.com/antibiotics/

Please share this information with your veterinarian. It's okay to treat as if EPI short term but not long term as EPI can mimic many other conditions and you don't want to not have an accurate diagnosis. The test usually costs around $225 and your dog will need to be fasted for 8-12 hours and we recommend drawing blood on Mon, Tues or Wed so that the blood is not sitting around without being stored correctly.
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

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jilbert57
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Posts: 951
Country: United States
State: Washington

Re: Maybe not EPI?

Post by jilbert57 » 13 Jan 2020, 20:27

Hi Pam, the risk is treating the wrong condition, with symptoms that mimic Epi.
I paid 185.00 in 2017 for Tli, folate and B12 for TJ . His tests were done by IDEXX, not TAMU.

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: 255
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Tucker
My name: Pam H.

Re: Maybe not EPI?

Post by Tuckaboo. » 13 Jan 2020, 20:48

I guess my next question is: What mimics epi? Thanks---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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Madelon
President
Posts: 938
Location: Nashville, TN
Country: United States
State: Tennessee
Pet name: Doc

Re: Maybe not EPI?

Post by Madelon » 13 Jan 2020, 21:02

Hi Pam. Unfortunately lots of thinks mimic EPI - IBD, cancer, tick disease, etc etc. We've actually had a case where the dog was not diagnosed through a blood test and the dog was treated as EPI for about 2 years and then the dog passed away - when they did the tests after death it was determined the dog had a tick disease that was totally treatable but did NOT have EPI - sooooo that's why we say it's okay to treat short term as EPI but not long term without a proper diagnosis.
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

Tuckaboo.
Member
Posts: 255
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Tucker
My name: Pam H.

Re: Maybe not EPI?

Post by Tuckaboo. » 13 Jan 2020, 21:41

Alright then! I'd still like to find a test for less than $440.00. Thank you so much---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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