New Member introduction and questions

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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Boonesgrama
Member
Posts: 15
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Boone
My name: Joanne

New Member introduction and questions

Post by Boonesgrama » 12 Feb 2020, 19:11

Hello and thank you for accepting me into this forum. I am grandma to an 11 month old Bernese Mountain Dog named Boone who is having a hard time. We have been to the vet many many times in the last few months with no diagnosis . Today our vet finally tested TLI B12 folate at my request. He also is ordering a canine diarrhea panel. He sent us home with Panacur liquid and Purina Calming care packets to add to his food once a day.

My first question is how long does it usually take to get the results to these tests?

Boone has soft smelly stools for months (5-6) times daily. Sometimes it’s yellow, sometimes grayish brown. Sometimes it’s liquid and sometimes it’s like pudding or a little bit formed but never like it should be. He was first diagnosed with giardiasis and treated with antibiotics, we put him on Royal Canin GI and he seemed to get better. Follow up giardiasis test negative, stinky diarrhea returned after a while. I researched and found epi and asked the vet to test. Instead he did a full blood work up and his cortisol was low so he ordered an ACTH test and urinalysis which were both normal. I asked why we were not testing for epi and he said because his bloodwork did not indicate anything wrong with his pancreas.

My 2nd question is would regular hematology and chemistry blood tests show signs of epi and what would those be?

During all this time I changed his food again to taste of the wild and again his stool got better but not great and still 5-6 times a day and smelly. He started getting ear infections, paw infections and acting crazy. He runs around like he’s unable to settle down, scratches at the floor when there’s nothing there. He drinks a ton of water and eats his food ok but prefers to eat things that aren’t food. He started eating his poops so now I can’t let him go outside because he runs around just looking for things to devour like he’s crazed. He pants a lot even when he’s just laying down, I feel so bad for him because he seems so bothered all the time. He’s a sweet boy but he’s been getting aggressive and has bit me under the arm a few times pretty hard and has ripped my other dogs ear. My vet had the nerve to suggest possibly putting him down and admonished me for not putting a muzzle on him. I feel like he suffers enough with whatever we haven’t been able to diagnose yet that I can’t bring myself to muzzle him too. He hasn’t lost weight in the past month but he is about 20-30lbs underweight for his breed and also short in stature but his paws are huge like he hasn’t grown into them. In the past 4 months he hasn’t grown but he did gain about 4lbs.

My 3rd question is when a puppy has epi and if it stunts their growth, once they get proper treatment will the grow to their proper height and weight or is it too late at 11 months?

I’m sorry this is so long but I am so upset and so worried about our sweet Boone. It’s crazy but I almost want him to have this so he can finally be treated and start to live his best life because we don’t even know what that looks like yet. He is honestly the sweetest most loving boy who loves hugs. I just believe that he doesn’t feel well and it comes out as aggression and weird behaviors because he can’t tell me any other way. I’m genuinely interested and grateful for any input and advice as well as hopefully a few answers.

Thank you in advance.

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Ehellriegel
Member
Posts: 28
Country: United States
State: Georgia
Pet name: Fi
My name: Eleanor

Re: New Member introduction and questions

Post by Ehellriegel » 12 Feb 2020, 19:48

Hello and welcome to the EPI family! A staff member of the forum should respond to your questions soon, but I wanted to go ahead and try to help so you can maybe get a little peace of mind!

As for Boone, his symptoms definitely sound like EPI. When we got our German Shepherd pup (she is 11 months old, too) tested, we got results on Saturday morning after getting blood drawn on Wednesday, so just a few days! If I were you, I would go ahead and order the sample pack of enzymes (Pancreatin 6x) from EnzymeDiane so you can get him started right away when you get the results back if he tests positive for EPI. That’s what we did for Fi (our girl), and it saved us a valuable few days of her losing more weight!

As for the aggression, many dogs begin showing aggressive tendencies when they have undiagnosed EPI because they are essentially starving. The lack of food and nutrients makes them want to eat anything and everything (including their own poop), and the hunger can definitely cause aggression towards others.

I am interested to see what others say about the growing into the size he’s supposed to be, because I worry about that with Fi as well! She always had huge paws but never seemed to grow quite as much as she should have. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help with that question.

It is good that you have gotten his B12 checked at the same time, so that way you can know if you need to start him on B12 supplements in addition to enzymes if he has EPI. B12 is critical because 80% of EPI dogs cannot naturally maintain their levels, so they will need supplementation for life. WonderLabs has a wonderful B12 supplement with Intrinsic Factor so it is able to be absorbed by the body better!

As for food, he needs something that is low fiber (under 4% is best) and preferably grain free! A food that is suggested on here a lot that we have switched Fi to with wonderful results is Sport Dog Elite Herding (Buffalo and Sweet Potato). Is is grain free but does not include legumes or peas, so no extra worry about future heart problems.

I hope I have answered some of you questions and I know there will be more replies to help you out soon!!

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Boonesgrama
Member
Posts: 15
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Boone
My name: Joanne

Re: New Member introduction and questions

Post by Boonesgrama » 12 Feb 2020, 20:10

Thank you for your quick reply and answers to some of my questions as well as information about the enzymes. Can you order these without a prescription? How about the b12 with intrinsic factor, prescription needed or no? I put him on taste of the wild grain free but I’m not sure what the fiber content is, I’ll have to check on that. Before Fi was diagnosed had she dropped a lot of weight or just not growing as much as other GSP her age? Boone was about 64lbs about months 6,7,8 then when we changed to taste of the wild and he got a little better (along with antibiotics and steroid shots) he gained about 4lbs since then but nowhere near what he should be and nothing since. Also, his coat looks shabby, did you find this to be the case with Fi? So many issues I don’t even remember them all sometimes. Thanks again for your feedback and warm welcome.

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Ehellriegel
Member
Posts: 28
Country: United States
State: Georgia
Pet name: Fi
My name: Eleanor

Re: New Member introduction and questions

Post by Ehellriegel » 13 Feb 2020, 08:13

Good morning!
No prescription needed for either the enzymes or the B12! It saves a lot of time and money which is helpful to everyone. I emailed Diane when I ordered the starter kit to let her know that I hadn't had any tests confirmed yet, but my suspicion was that Fi had EPI, and she put it in priority mail for free so I would have it sooner. She is fantastic!

When Fi was diagnosed, She had lost about 6-8lbs and was only 52lbs when she should have been well over 60 based on her parents and siblings. I believe she has grown very slowly, but I'm not sure if it was because of the EPI or not. She always seemed to be underweight for what a GSD should be at every age range. Now that she is on enzymes and B12, she is starting to get very big very quickly! It's like her body is catching up and it makes me so happy. She looks like she's already put on the weight she lost and more, but she's not getting chunky. For reference, she was only 18lbs when we brought her home at 3 months, and by 6-7 months she was only 45lbs. When we took her to the vet for the EPI blood test, she was 52lbs and I knew she had lost some weight (I think she was around 60lbs), so that meant that at most she had put on 15 lbs over 4-5 months which seems very low. I am interested to hear the opinions of the staff members of this site regarding the age and growth rate!

As for her coat, it never looked very shabby because of the EPI. She had only had diarrhea for about 3 weeks when we got the blood test done (I had a gut feeling and didn't want to wait), so we were lucky in that we caught it very early before she degraded too much.

I hope this information helps!!

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Jean
Staff
Posts: 810
Location: South Liverpool
Country: United Kingdom - England
Pet name: Kara
My name: Jean

Re: New Member introduction and questions

Post by Jean » 13 Feb 2020, 09:16

Welcome from us in UK

A Bernese, how beautiful they are

Questions first

A regular blood panel,will,not show EPI it is a special, 8-12 hour food fasted test

It usually takes a few days for a result as it's not an in house test, normally sent to Texas AM University

Keep an eye on the lo cortisol

It certainly didnt stunt my Kara in any way she was 90 pounds for 8-9 years and EPI stable until we lost her to DM in May 2019

The "aggression " and behaviour you describe is something like what we had with Kara, and could be down to low cobalamin (b 12) they become e extremely crazy

You could maybe order some b12 with intrinsic factor from Wonderlabs

It coud also mean he is hungry, and is lashing out, does he have any rumblings in his tummy

Although you are saying he hasnt lost weight , he hasnt gained which would be normal, my Kara was 39 pounds at her worst at 14 months and a skeleton on 4 ,legs

Please keep a diary on what you do, and as for the vet, would they PTS their children if they had issues, I think not

Dont beat yourself upset about that seen it far too many times in nearly 10 years

So let us know the outcome and we are here for any questions and length is good

Jean
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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Boonesgrama
Member
Posts: 15
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Boone
My name: Joanne

Re: New Member introduction and questions

Post by Boonesgrama » 13 Feb 2020, 11:07

Thank you Elenor and Jean for your help. I did as you both suggested and placed an order for the enzymes and b12, I can’t wait to get the results and hopefully start treatment. Yes, only just recently I have begun to hear rumbling in his belly, not all the time though. He has gas from time to time but again, not daily or anything. I have been doing a lot of reading in this website and I’m not totally convinced that Boone has EPI based on symptoms but I am thinking he probably has SIBO. I also feel maybe a lot of his symptoms could be coming from low b12.

Last month when we had his bloodwork done his cortisol was 1.6 (low) then he had an ACTH test done and it was normal. His Cholesterol is high at 421 but everything else came out ok.

Boone is not my dog, he’s my daughter’s but she is away at college and there is no way for her to be dealing with the pooping issues, 6 times a day, as well as frequent vet visits and attention he requires as this time. We are hoping to get him diagnosed, on a treatment plan that eventually she can handle (hopefully by next semester) She will be home with him soon for the summer so she will be able to organize a schedule that will work out for the both of them.

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Jean
Staff
Posts: 810
Location: South Liverpool
Country: United Kingdom - England
Pet name: Kara
My name: Jean

Re: New Member introduction and questions

Post by Jean » 13 Feb 2020, 11:25

well you are a good Dog and Daughter Mom

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: 239
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Tucker
My name: Pam H.

Re: New Member introduction and questions

Post by Tuckaboo. » 13 Feb 2020, 18:25

Oh, Joanne, your guy's symptoms are so much like Tucker's were; I'm pretty sure I know how you feel. The poo eating, scratching at the door & whining to get outside because he thought there was a pile somewhere out in the yard. Having a vet who wants to test everything but what you want. It's good you found this group. I see you've been given the best resources for enzymes & B12, but has anybody mentioned Tylan or slippery elm? Each of these addresses the bacteria that is probably also plaguing your pup's small intestine. Slippery Elm, either NOW or Wonderlabs, is sold on amazon, too. Tylan is by prescription from the vet, but you can buy it OTC from Foy's Pigeon Supply & another place, too. So, all of these are things I have learned from this wonderful forum, and I just want to say take heart, ask anything you need to. No question is stupid, and there are people all over the world who will jump in and share their experiences with you. We talk about poop all the time! We all want to help, as we have been helped before.---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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Boonesgrama
Member
Posts: 15
Country: United States
State: Florida
Pet name: Boone
My name: Joanne

Re: New Member introduction and questions

Post by Boonesgrama » 13 Feb 2020, 23:16

Hi Pam, thank you for your kind words of wisdom and hope! I have been doing a lot of reading on here and have already looked into the slippery elm, I’m sure I’ll be ordering it tomorrow. Waiting for the test results is tough, I can’t wait to stop wondering and worrying and start helping our sweet boy. I would have left our vet but he’s the 2nd one and I just don’t want to start over again. The first one didn’t listen at all, everything was “normal for a puppy his age” and fixed with canned pumpkin and dozens of endosorb tablets. The new one did not listen either but is coming around. Hopefully we will get our results in a day or two. If Boo e is diagnosed with epi I will probably be changing vets again at that time. Did Tucker pant heavily at times? Boone has times of random heavy panting and I don’t know if maybe there is something else going on. We never did xrays, that might be another thing we are going to have to do. Anyway, sorry I’m rambling on and on, haven’t had much sleep as I’m sure you and many on here have experienced with their sick pups.

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Jean
Staff
Posts: 810
Location: South Liverpool
Country: United Kingdom - England
Pet name: Kara
My name: Jean

Re: New Member introduction and questions

Post by Jean » 14 Feb 2020, 09:38

i have never cried as much over any animal like I did with Kara, she was so thin and pathetic, but still lively the vet I took her to said EPI was very unlikely as she was too ,she was 14 months old

i had a cat with EPI in the 80's you dont forget the smell, so I insisted on the test 3 days later he was on the phone apologising

so we started on enzymes which cost a fortune , but she was insured so .............

we had her to the vet hospital here and she improved very slowly

I certainly would look at getting Tylan as an antibiotic, and of course, b12 from Wonderlabs
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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