Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency in the German Shepherd – EPI

hi everybody this is Debbie with total dash german shepherd.com and today would have take just a couple minutes to share some information with you about a condition that not a lot of people are aware of that have German shepherds and it’s called epi or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency now what exactly is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency also often called epi basically epi is the medical condition in which the actual pancreas and your dog stops producing enough digestive enzymes to help your dog digest its food normally in the small intestine now it’s a shame just how many German Shepherd owners don’t even have the idea you know what this condition is or don’t even know what it exists and it’s also even worse to realize just how many vets aren’t up to speed on being able to evaluate or treat this this potential condition in your German Shepherd now epi can result from primary pancreatic disease or also it can occur as a result of any number of diseases that interfere with the correct production of enzymes by your dog’s pancreas or also of those activation of those enzymes actually within your dog’s intestine now in dogs that are actually diagnosed to have epi the German Shepherd dog is really really common as well as the rough Cody collie and of those dogs that are actually did not excuse me diagnosed with epi about 70% of the mederma Shepherd in about 20% of rough-coated collies now what is the pancreas and epi in the first place what does it have to do with my German Shepherd well following basically is a real brief explanation the excellent part of the name deals with the pancreas and its ability to produce enzymes we use or our dog uses to digest its food properly now without adequate production of these particular enzymes your dog won’t digest his food properly so if your dog can’t digest its food properly it also won’t be able to absorb any of the nutrients as well so typically the exocrine functions of the pancreas can malfunction in one of two ways and this disorder can be potentially life-threatening especially in its acute form however it does respond quite well to ongoing and daily treatments so like we said before typically the pancreas can malfunction in one of two ways first of all in pancreatitis the dog’s pancreas actually becomes inflamed which in turn causes vomiting loss of appetite dehydration and this condition requires immediate veterinarian attention now secondly of what you probably see most often a previously healthy animal will soon begin to exhibit some or all of the following symptoms the dog will be ravenously hungry just can’t get enough food to eat it would just drink water like there’s just you know no tomorrow and this is probably the most telltale sign of all it’ll have really soft cow patty type stools and so just keep this in mind no matter how much your dog eats it’ll be hungry soon after and also this is even even more so important it’ll begin to lose weight so typically EP on the german shepherd presents itself somewhere between the ages of one to five years of age and young adult dogs and the diagnosis of epi also needs to be confirmed by the use of laboratory tests by your veterinarian so what are the signs of epi in German Shepherd well some of the things to really watch out for diarrhea really foul-smelling feces and this is due to the high fat content part of your dog’s diet and also because of all the food ingredients that non-diet digested completely your dog will become now nourished it will have increased gut sounds you know it’s like its stomachs rumbling it’ll have diarrhea and that really foul-smelling kalpeni type feces there’ll be weight loss in your dog even though it’s eating like a horse it’ll also have a lot of signs of nutritional deficiencies such as dry and brittle hair maybe even anemia like we said before it’ll be just have a ravenous appetite and they’ll just be you know just drink water all the time so what exactly is are the treatments for EP on your German Shepherd so treatment often involves the use of replacement pancreatic enzymes and these are given orally to your German Shepherd now occasionally your dog will also receive oral antibiotics that most often these epi products are given in powder form or either they’re given tablets and you crush those which are then also mixed in with your dog’s food and left on it for about 30 minutes or so at room temperature before you actually feed your dog so what are the recommended diets for German Shepherds that have epi pretty simple basically deals with feeding your dog several small meals about three or so at least you want to feed your dog a highly digestible complete raishin and if you have questions about you know what choices are speak with your veterinarian and also the ideal diet for a German Shepherd has epi it’s a food that’s low in fiber low in fat and low in those excess carbohydrates now once your dog is diagnosed with epi at this treatment it’s a lifelong commitment for both you and your dog now may be possible to regulate the condition of epi in German Shepherds who aren’t you know so severely affected you know by giving them a bland or a low fat low fiber diet with over-the-counter supplements but for those dogs that are more severely affected a life time regime is going to be required so if for some reason API enzyme supplementation stop for any reason then all those unpleasant symptoms will recur in your dog and very soon after you stop the supplementation so oftentimes the German Shepherds response to therapy can also be seen within a week or so starting treatment so if your dog is having any of those problems with you know the foul-smelling stools the cow pedestals ravenous appetite once you start giving your dog the supplementation he’ll probably start having better results you’ll be seeing better poos and a lot of the other symptoms will start reducing in a very very short period of time now the owner of a German Shepherd who has actually been diagnosed with epi needs to be very attentive to their dog’s overall condition at all times so after you actually figure out the exact amount of enzymes that are needed to produce normal stools in your dog and to help stop that weight loss you’re you can also begin to actually feature dog enough food to help your dog even regain some of that way that it’s lost previously and just keep in mind also relapses are always possible and they are shown it in either of the possibility of you know the return of that diarrhea or also and resume weight loss so the owner has to to really keep a careful watch out for any of these returning symptoms now generally speaking as long as you’re very vigilant and maintaining the dog’s diet and giving it the proper enzyme supplements the dog that has epi can you know easily live very happy and relatively normal life just as long as you keep a supplementation up now if you’d like to learn more information about the german shepherd dog we’d love to have you come by and visit us at any time we have all sorts of articles we have videos we have a blog newsletter all sorts of information about the history of the breed health articles training articles just loads of information about nothing but the german shepherd dog so again if you get a chance we’d like to invite you to come by and check us out and that’s a total dash german dash shepard.com thank you very much for your time and if you want to learn more about epi and the german shepherd please talk to your veterinarian y’all have a good day and thank you very much

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6 Responses

  1. leandrodude says:

    Thank you, this is very hard on my family…

  2. wa4aos says:

    Very informative video.. Thanks
    Our German Shepard had the symptoms you described last year and our Vet, Dr. Burns Laurens, SC diagnosed the problem immediately; She is a great Vet.
    Anyway, Abby, our Shepard has been on Pancreved since and is doing great.
    The only problem is the last bottle of supplement was $155 yikes..
    ANy suggestions on a good but less expensive product??

  3. simonps1966 says:

    Thank you for the informative video – i have a 4 month Chocolate Labrador that the vet thinks may have EPI.

    vet has yet to confirm diaganosis with tests.

  4. Pearl Galsworthy says:

    Very Informitive. Rex our German Shepherd has had the condition for two years. We add raw pancreas to his meals & he is doing well so far.

  5. Renee Turner says:

    For support you can join Pets with EPI on facebook …..

  6. wa4aos says:

    Thanks. Can you suggest a suplimentation that is not so expensive. I get ours at K9 Cr. but it's ~$140 for a 4 – 5 month supply.

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