Has my Dog got 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.
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Lenus
Member
Posts: 7
Country: United Kingdom - Wales
Pet name: Lenus
My name: Ray Davies

Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Lenus » 20 May 2020, 07:11

Hi there, I'm Ray from Wales, UK and I'm on this journey for my companion Lenus. He's a rescue Lurcher who suffered horrific abuse by his previous owner (unknown) and believe his life should be the one he deserves, a good, healthy and lengthy one.
His recent history: He came to us in late January 2019 via a rescue centre acting as an agent for a Veterinary Hospital. He had been treated in the Hospital after being found in woodland in a near death condition. Gunshot wounds and a massive cut to the back of his neck. The Vets at the Hospital worked hard to save him and rebuild his jaw, skull and repair the heavily infected neck cut. They also removed most of the shotgun pellets from his face and head. Their skill and devotion coupled with his inner strength got him through physically. Mentally he's getting there at his pace.
The EPI concern: He was on a diet of (vet recommended) Chappie for sensitive stomach, wet food and kibble. I was concerned with his poo from the outset, it being yellow and very soft. A few months earlier we had lost Piper, another Lurcher to inoperable Tumours that had entwined her Pancreas, Spleen and Liver. Her poo had been the same colour prior to her death so as you can imagine, warning bells screaming out. We took Lenus to our local Vet in his first week with us. His poo was tested for nasties but nothing showed up. We gave him the expensive, Vet recommended food and drugs for a week or two and it seemed to ease the condition. Not perfect but better colouring at least. Thinking it was over we were told to continue as before with Chappie and kibble mixed. Been off and on for more than a year now with not much improvement despite changes in diet and umpteen visits to the vet. I'm pretty sure they think I've got some chronic obsession with poo.
Finally: By chance I stumbled via google to the condition EPI and this wonderful resource, thanks for having us. He is currently on Royal Canin sensitive kibble with the addition of a probiotic powder containing Slippery Elm. His poos are brown, not yellow but still softish. Been on this just over a week with another week's worth of the kibble to go. Next week we are going to try him on Workinghprs duck and potato. Found the link to this Company on here where the Company owner had given samples for EPI Dog owners to try. Seems good from the reviews so far.
We have also bought Dr Mercolas complete probiotics for Dogs and delivered yesterday, Panzym powder. Lenus hasn't been tested for EPI due to the difficult times we're in at present. Did ask the Vet (by telephone) last week but he told us to try him, yet again on the Royal Canin, which sort of half works.
Another thought entered my head (eventually) that another cause of his lack of digestion could be an intolerance to rice, it's present in Vet Chappie and most kibble? So he's off anything containing rice until we find otherwise. It is only the last month or so that he appears to be losing weight. This was pointed out by another dog walker who knows him from his time with us. Can't weigh him because the Vets are closed so it's by looks alone and with him being here constantly, we don't really know. Familiarity breeds ignorance.
For the immediate future we will try him on grain and rice free Potato with duck and Panzym. Update as and when available.
Apologies for the lengthy intro but it is a major concern for us. If nothing else it'll help pass the time if you're in lockdown 😊🐆
Many thanks for your time and for being here, Lenus and servants

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Olesia711
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Location: North Carolina
Country: United States
State: North Carolina
Pet name: Izzy

Re: Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Olesia711 » 20 May 2020, 11:07

OMG... Ray, thank you for taking this wounded soul into your home and giving him a second chance. Such horrible things were done to him... i just don't understand how a human being could viciously attack an animal... may whoever did this get their due and are punished. And thank you to your vet to for working so hard to save Lenus.

One of our staff here on Epi4Dogs (Fiona) , also from the UK has a rescue lurcher.... and it took her over 2 years to find a food that agreed with him (Dexter) ..... i will ask her to chime in on your post.

SO.... to answer your question... techinically you really need to do the TLI blood test to confirm (or not) that Lenus has EPI.... but.... so far, your observations do correspond with EPI symptoms, the only problem is that the same symptoms can be other conditions.

BUT the fact that the poo was checked for nasties and nothing is showed up, but still the soft stools, and the fact that the stools have that yellow color ... the fact that with the addition of slippery elm,,, the poos are brown but still soft... could be EPI related or a food sensitivity, since the Royal Canine sensitivity food helped but not fixed.... what we do see a lot of is EPI + food sensitivity.

But now the further weight loss, another check mark for possible EPI...

We understand that even though the proper way to diagnose is via testing, but that sometimes that is not always an option at the moment.. SO.... with possible EPI... what you can do without causing any harm is start treating the dog with EPI protocol on a temporary basis until you can test to see if that helps... but then when you are in a position to have the test done, please do so because there have been cases where everyone "assumed" the dog had EPI, all the EPI signs where there and they treated for EPI and did not test. Unintended consequence was that the dog died from a condition that could have been properly treated and upon autopsy, the dog never had EPI....

OKAY.... so... what i would recommend is to

1. start giving proper enzymes with EVERY meal (no cheating or giving treats inbetween without enzymes). Since you are in WALES, check out our UK brochure https://epi4dogs.com/epi-quick-guides-outside-usa/ this will list products available and dosing instructions. Dosing instructions on product labels are NOT always appropriate to effectively treat EPI.

2. Next, contact Chemeyes in the UK https://www.chemeyes.co.uk/product/vita ... ic-factor/
and order B12 pills, cuz whether this is EPI, IBD or some other gastro intestinal condition, since he sounds like he is not absorbing all the nutrients from the food, his body is most likely low in B12.

3. once you start giving the enzymes, first try a food with no grain in it (and avoid products that are loaded with various forms of peas) if you can, try a food that has less than 4% fiber content in it. Many EPI dogs (although not all) cannot handle grain once they are on the enzymes... as fiber can inhibit the efficacy of the enzymes from 0% up to 50% . OUr problem is that we have no idea what percentage is affected in which dog. SO.. our general statement is to "start" with foods that are very low in fiber content. Also... always start with the smallest bag of food possible so as not to waste a lot of money trying different foods... AND keep a record of the foods you try and the ingredients and the results (poop!) after a while, you will start to see a pattern emerge and that will help you understand what foods agree or not for Lenus... Use this EPI log as a template to give you an idea of what to track https://epi4dogs.com/epi-log/

4. Next.... there is a possibility that if Lenus does have EPI he also has IBD or a food sensitivity.... so, if none of the low fiber foods deliver normal looking poos, then ask you vet to try a different prescription food by Royal Canine, ask for "Ultamino" it is a hydrolyzed food that out of all the hydrolyzed foods, this one seems to be the most effecitve one with "most" EPI dogs that have a food sensitivity.

5. The probiotics along with slippery elm (which is a prebiotic) is good... to me it does not sound like there is SID (small intestinal dysbiosi/formerly called SIBO)that is out of control.... it sounds like it is well managed so i am NOT going to recommend the antibiotic, Tylan< which is what is the drug of choice for SID, that is present in all EPI dogs- - and the goal (since we don't know how to eradicate it) is to keep it well managed.

Treating a dog with enzymes, etc for EPI even though the dog has not yet been diagnosed with EPI will not hurt the dog, HOWEVER, you do not want to do this indefinitely... eventually you will need to test. If the dog does not have EPI and you keep him/her on enzymes unnecessarily eventually it will make the dog have loose stools...

I hope this helps a little even though i could not give you a definite answer.
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.........

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Jean
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Posts: 890
Location: South Liverpool
Country: United Kingdom - England
Pet name: Kara
My name: Jean

Re: Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Jean » 20 May 2020, 14:50

Hello Ray

It's so hard at the moment with money being tight, and the worries without all of this

If you would like to, please ring me,I am in Liverpool, tonight is no good, but tomorrow any time after 9.30 am what part if Wales are you

I have never been a Chappie fan but vets are for some reason

0151 726 1468

Tired tonight after a day on the allotment, so I will read this through first thing

Jean

Forum Director
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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Fiona
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Posts: 6
Country: United Kingdom - England
Pet name: Dexter

Re: Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Fiona » 20 May 2020, 16:06

Hello and welcome

I have 2 rescue lurchers, one with Epi, so understand the challenges with these wonderful dogs.
It sounds like your lad has really had a terrible time, but he's landed on his feet now.
Lurchers do tend to have very sensitive tummy's and in my experience a grainfree diet suits best.
One thing with lurchers is that they do not cope with a lot of food in one go, so try to split the meals into 3 meals until he seems stable and then he may cope with just 2 meals a day.
I have my epi lurcher on panzyn, it works very well and does not need incubating. Splash some walk water on the kibble (body temp) and stir the panzyn in and feed immediately.

I think Jean is going to contact you tomorrow, I'm in work until the weekend, but will also be happy to help if you want to talk Saturday/Sunday
My number is 07462929797

Fiona x
Dexter was dianosed in October 2012 at 20 months old weighing just 14kg. Dexter was difficult to stabilise but has now been stable for 5 years, and now weighs a stable 20kg
Diet Millies Wolfheart - Gundog recipe (185g twice daily)
Slippery Elm 1tsp with breakfast
Tylan twice daily
B12 injections monthly

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Lenus
Member
Posts: 7
Country: United Kingdom - Wales
Pet name: Lenus
My name: Ray Davies

Re: Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Lenus » 21 May 2020, 04:52

Thanks for the quick responses and concern. Nice to know there are people like you out there. I failed to mention his other, slightly worrying recent traits. He is of late scratching himself more than usual. I treat Lenus for fleas every 2 months whether he's been in contact with other dogs or not. Other EPI reported symptoms he has shown, is constant hunger to the point he's trying to get into his food cupboard AND THE FRIDGE! We've had Lurchers and Greyhounds for the last 20 years and they've all been scavengers and opportunists when it comes to anything organic but this is something different, almost manic. He's even given me the 'Lurcher lovebite' a couple of times when he knows his food is due, or well overdue as he would say. His coat has lost its lustre as well. Is it EPI, is it something else? I just don't know and have no way of getting him tested by our Vet at the moment because of Covid 19 and the lockdown. Emergencies only and that's how it should be.
Strange it's only recently the change has occured, his poo colour has always been a concern as was his eating of it (this was when he first came to us some 15 months ago. He has to be watched) but these other traits/conditions have only recently appeared. Culmination of the build up? I don't know. Meanwhile I will start him on Panzym today as soon as I work out the correct dosage. Bit confusing when the directions are given in teaspoons and then say a teaspoon is 2.6 grams when in fact a standard teaspoon is 5 grams or ml? Oh, and we feed him 3 times a day with a slow feeder bowl. A maze like thing which makes it last 5 minutes instead of 1.
Again, thanks for the very swift support, much appreciated, Ray and his Master, Lenus.
Ps, explanation of his name, Lenus. Lenus was the ancient Celtic, Warrior God of Healing. Later adopted by the Romans and renamed Lenus Mars. He has two sites made for him in the UK, one in Chedworth and another in Caerwent. Well I thought it fitting anyway 😊

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Jean
Staff
Posts: 890
Location: South Liverpool
Country: United Kingdom - England
Pet name: Kara
My name: Jean

Re: Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Jean » 21 May 2020, 05:30

Give me a bell, we used Panzym for 9 years , ut give me half hour, trying to sort out a blood test !
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

User avatar
Jean
Staff
Posts: 890
Location: South Liverpool
Country: United Kingdom - England
Pet name: Kara
My name: Jean

Re: Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Jean » 22 May 2020, 06:50

Good to talk with you Ray

Just keep in touch

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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Olesia711
Founder
Posts: 1134
Location: North Carolina
Country: United States
State: North Carolina
Pet name: Izzy

Re: Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Olesia711 » 22 May 2020, 11:05

Thanks Jean for reaching out and speaking directly to Ray via telephone. You're the best!
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.........

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Lenus
Member
Posts: 7
Country: United Kingdom - Wales
Pet name: Lenus
My name: Ray Davies

Re: Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Lenus » 22 May 2020, 13:44

Thanks to Jean? You can say that again, very nice, approachable, knowledgeable, a great person all round. Put me at ease straight away and I know she's there for Lenus and willing to chat and pass on her experiences anytime. Top of my Christmas card list 😁

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Lenus
Member
Posts: 7
Country: United Kingdom - Wales
Pet name: Lenus
My name: Ray Davies

Re: Has my Dog got EPI?

Post by Lenus » 22 May 2020, 14:55

Also got Fiona to thank for offering her time and knowledge. I will phone, thanks. That's another Christmas card to buy but well worth it.
I will post Lenus's progress, hopefully soon. He's now started on low dose Panzym and slippery Elm. No more chappie either. Just finishing off the Royal Canin sensitive dry food and then onto 'Workingdoghprs' Duck and potato. Heard good things about it. Fingers crossed it all works. Keep you posted. Again, thanks

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