EPI (Endocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency). General Chat

Discussion in 'Akita' started by Branjo Snow, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Branjo Snow

    Branjo Snow New Member

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    EPI (Endocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency).

    My Akita (Luna) has been losing weight more and more since she turned 1 in November. Loose to runny stools constantly for three months, she was just dropping the weight. I tried the whole rice and chicken with zero difference to her, I tried switching kibble again no change other than the color of the poop. She was a muscly 64lb now she is 55lbs and a spine you can feel easily and her butt bones you can feel.

    She's been at the vet a few times and every time the poop tests came back negative for parasites. The vet has her on Metronidazole 500mg the last few days to control the diarrhea. The frequency and urgency that she needed to go outside has lessened over this last day. Tomorrow she goes for a blood test to see if it is EPI, I did a some reading and its apparently quite manageable with the right enzyme supplements. I found a very reputable site called enzymediane.com who specializes in the particular enzyme for this deficiency.

    To me she seems to tick all the EPI boxes and I was just wondering if anyone has had any experience with EPI before?
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  3. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    In the past I had a Golden Retriever dog, Merlin, who had EPI. In those days the test was done on the faeces. He did not have diarrhoea as such, but he would do several motions on a walk, and each one would be looser than the last. When his poo started to look clay coloured and his bottom was a little greasy, we decided to have him tested. He also tended to have a dry flyaway coat.
    The vet put him on Pancreatin capsules, which were instantly successful. They were quite expensive in those days, so after a year or so, the vet suggested that we could try using a cheaper but narrower spectrum drug. This also worked for Merlin, and is what he stayed on for the rest of his life.
    He died at 11 with heart/lung disease, I believe unconnected to his pancreatic problem.
  4. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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  5. Branjo Snow

    Branjo Snow New Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys, I really appreciate it.

    @GsdSlave, yeah the vet said no food for 12 hours before. The last food she had was last night about 6pm, she's staring at me right now with a "Where the heck is my breakfast big fella?" look on her face.

    @CaroleC, its so good to hear that Merlin was able to have a happy normal life, that really helps me at the moment. I lost a Husky a year ago to something I still don't know what it was, I just had those helpless feelings all over again ya know?

    The Metronidazole must be taking effect though because she didn't poop at all last night, before she would poop more often than she pee'd. I'm just lucky the weather here is like Antarctica at the moment, I'd have zero chance of picking that up in the summer let me tell ya. I have to let those little cow pats freeze first lol.

    I am kinda bummed though that its probably going to be for the rest of her life, but I love her to bits and I would sell the shirt on my back to keep her healthy. I suppose for the amount of things that can happen to our dogs, EPI isn't that bad.

    Thanks again guys, I'll post more when I get the results.
  6. Malka

    Malka Member

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    I do not understand nor know anything about this problem but I send you love and vibes - because that is all I have to send you.
  7. Branjo Snow

    Branjo Snow New Member

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    Hey I'll take that with a smile, thanks Malka :)
  8. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    I was just wondering what’s the latest news with Luna, any improvement ?
  9. Branjo Snow

    Branjo Snow New Member

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    Ok I just got back from taking her for the IDEXX TLI test and I got a print out of the last blood work she had done, maybe someone can make some sense out of it.

    I was told I would get a complete Thyroid panel on her insurance but it looks like they only did the bare minimum T4 which seems to be low but tells me nothing.

    https://ibb.co/bXoLSR
    https://ibb.co/fzN3gm

    The Metronidazole should have taken effect by now but she is still pooping pudding cow pats. Again she shows no signs of sickness, she's such a trooper its hard to tell if she is in discomfort at all.
  10. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Sorry Branjo, I'm not good at interpreting these things, and Eddie's results seem to use a different scale. I'll give you the figures from his last ticker tape - he has his next in-house blood test this Thursday. Unfortunately for me, our endocrine specialist vet has secured an internship at a prestigious institution, but as Ed seems to have been producing steady results, I hope it won't make any difference.

    T4 37 14 - 52 nmo/L
    CHOL 4.7 3.2 - 7.0 nmo/L
    QC OK
    HEM 1+ LIP 3+ ICT 0

    The best user guide to thyroid problems in dogs is Jean Dodds and Diana Laverdure, The Canine Thyroid Epidemic, Dogwise Publishers. If you preface the title with pdf. in your browser, it should be available to download as a free ebook.
  11. Branjo Snow

    Branjo Snow New Member

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    Yeah it may as well be in Chinese for me too lol, but thank you for that thyroid pdf reading it right now.
  12. Malka

    Malka Member

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    That is not a full Thyroid test. And that means nothing. Pereg had yearly full thyroid tests - I think there were seven or eight tests, not just the basic T4 - which is all most vets usually do, and Pereg's blood had to be sent to a specialist laboratory to have a full panel done.
  13. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    I seem to remember that Eddie's external test had figures for,
    T3, T4, TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), Cholesterol, and Free (or was it Ionised - fuzzy memory) Calcium. There was quite a list, but not all were relevant to his condition.

    HEM and LIP are self explanatory, but I don't know what QC and ICT on his in-house test means, do you know @Malka ?
  14. Malka

    Malka Member

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    @CaroleC - I can find all the tests, what they mean - they are all on my computer and I also understand what each one means, but to be honest it would hurt me to pull out the results of all of the tests, and I also have hard copies. And of course Ram has everything on his computer.

    Yes I know what they are without even looking but please do not ask me to go back there and look, because that was my beloved Pereg and please do not take me back there again.
  15. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    OK, sorry to have raked up a sad memory. I just couldn't find these two abbreviations on the 'What your dog's test results mean' list that I refer to. They can't be significant or one of the vets would have mentioned them.
  16. Malka

    Malka Member

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    No problem Carole - I just did not want to go back there, but thank you for understanding.

    The problem is that some of the "What your dog's test results mean" actually does not explain anything. I have always been so lucky in having Ram who always explained everything and taught me so much.

    I just can not go back there yet.
  17. Branjo Snow

    Branjo Snow New Member

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    Yeah I had high hopes of comparing these results to some on Akita specific websites I had found, they are apples and oranges in comparison.

    Right now I'm looking for a new vet, I seem to have fallen into the trap thinking a nice vet is a good vet.
  18. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    ICT - Indirect Coombs Test? Detects antibodies which may indicate the presence of AutoImmune disease. Surprised that this is a zero figure for Ed!
    I still cannot find QC. Perhaps it will turn out to be something as simple as Quality Control! Will try to remember to ask the vet on Thursday.
  19. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    I’m glad you are searching for a new vet. I feel for you baecause all that you have done is so time consuming and isn’t helping Luna and if you are like me, if the dog is suffering then I suffer !
    Keep the updates coming, people on this site genuinely care, plus, every experience we share can be useful knowledge to pass on !
  20. Malka

    Malka Member

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    I struck lucky - Ram had been my Vet for yonks and I knew exactly what had happened when my beloved Pereg had her first GM and Ram said she was epileptic. And I said that's OK, she is not ill she is just epileptic. And Ram said I am not ill but I am also epileptic. And like the idiot that I am, I said "but you still drive". Turned out that he had brain surgery so no more medication needed, but he taught me so much.

    When someone - like me - has a wonderful Vet, they are worth their weight in gold. But sometimes they are hard to find - I just hope you find a new Vet as wonderful as Ram.
  21. Branjo Snow

    Branjo Snow New Member

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    Well I just got the results and her TLI is <1.0 ug/L which is super low. I'm just glad to know what is wrong now.

    So I'll be ordering a 6 months batch from enzymediane.com and some "intrinsic" B12 from wonderlab.com

    It feels like a load has been lifted off my shoulders. I know its a life long treatment but it could have been so much worse.

    Will keep you all posted on her progress, and as always thank you guys for the instant support and good vibes, I am in your debt.

    Branjo :)

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