EPI - Does Your Diabetic Pup Look Too Skinny?
At the beginning of this past Summer, I noticed that Ella was looking a little bit thinner. I wasn’t too concerned about her weight loss, she was still eating plenty and I know that you should be able to feel the ribs, but not see them. This was the case with Ella, at least at the beginning.
By the middle of Summer, I checked her fasting numbers and she was registering at around 400. I figured that this meant that she wasn’t getting enough insulin, and possibly her weight loss was also tied into the amount of insulin she had been receiving. I also changed her diet to include more fiber and fat in her kibble.
Not to be too gross, but her poop was also more and more runny, and more frequent. She began having ‘accidents’ in the house much more often. So we decided to google the symptoms – the weight loss, the voracious appetite, the runny stools, and found a condition known as “Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.”
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) causes problems in how the dog digests food. Basically the dogs pancreas is not making enough of the enzymes needed to break down the food digested by the dog into absorbed nutrients. Ella was starving to death because her body wasn’t absorbing the fats, vitamins, and minerals it needed to survive!
I took her to the vet where they ran a GI Panel, and 3 days later the diagnosis of EPI was confirmed. The good news is that it is treatable with a powder supplement that is only available through the vet. I originally purchased a powdered enzyme and probiotic, but although it’s good for healthy dogs, it wasn’t what Ella needed. In just over a week of adding the powder to her meals, Ella has put back on a pound and a half, and is back chasing squirrels!