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EPI in Dogs

 by zack on 04 Jul 2013 |
1 Comment(s)
EPI or Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is a deadly disease that has seen a sharp incline of recorded cases in recent years. The order is related to certain dogs inability to properly breakdown food and absorb nutrition from them. The cause is related to pancreatic health, and it is a terrifyingly debilitating condition. Luckily, the disease is treatable. Unluckily, the symptoms can be difficult to diagnose. So it’s important to be informed and stay on the lookout for any signs of the onset of EPI.

EPI Symptoms

Symptoms of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency are akin to dysentery. Lots and lots of diarrhea, increased gas, loose yellowish stools, pronounced weight loss along with an increased appetite, eating feces and other out of the ordinary materials, vomiting, in some cases increased aggression or fear responses, loud stomach rumbling, and occasionally there are no visible symptoms whatsoever.

As you can see, this disease is particularly frightening because the symptoms can be so variable, and ultimately very common to non-life-threatening conditions. After all, plenty of dogs will eat their own feces, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they all have EPI.

The main thing to look out for is consistent and unwavering gastrointestinal problems. To test for EPI you’ll need to have your vet do a blood test

EPI Causes

Reasons for canines contracting EPI are assumed to be genetic.  In fact, one of the most prominent methods of prevention is to fix the dog as soon as the disorder is identified. This way there are fewer occurrences in the overall gene pool of canines at large.

Despite recently learning that the disease is genetic, the specific genes that cause EPI have yet to be fully determined. However, every year further research is being revealed that would eventually suggest all the genetic markers will inevitably be identified.

EPI Treatment

Treating Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is relatively straightforward. It’s simply putting the enzymes necessary for digestion back into the dog’s system. This can be done intravenously or through taking simple preventative dietary measures. More specifically, the powdered enzymes required for EPI treatment are:
  • Lipase 
  • Protease 
  • Amylase 

These enzymes are usually available in one package, and the dosage which can be easily ascertained by a vet visit, is in general a single teaspoon for each cup of dry food.  This is usually administered with a fourth of a cup of warm water. This is to soften the food and keep the acidic enzymes from causing sores to develop in the dog’s mouth.

In addition to adding enzymes to the diet, your vet might suggest antibiotics and shots of vitamin B12.

Summing up

EPI is a very scary disease that often doesn’t show symptoms until the pancreas has been completely ravaged, and if left untreated it usually causes a very painful death due to malnutrition or organ failure. Keeping on top of your dog’s health concerns with a healthy diet and regular vet visits are a good preventative, but even then you should keep a close watch on your dog’s behavior and elimination habits.

As always keep checking back for more helpful pet information from the Petbucket blog. 

Comment(s)1 - Comment
EPI-Dog.com10 Jun 2014Reply
If anyone has dog with EPI, please know with some help and the tips to reduce costs and keep your animal stabilized for a long healthy life. Not a ad, rather someone who put up a site to help those who follow and to show people that do not be afraid is is manageable medication and cost. Thanks for posting about EPI in Dogs.

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