Dog Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency EPI
So we just had our checkup today with the internal medicine specialist vet for Chester, one of my Lhasa Apso dogs who has EPI or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. This is the first time we actually had a specialist appointment 12 months apart (previously it was more frequent) as our last blog post on exocrine pancreatic insufficiency was a year ago.
Chester was fasted for 12 hours just in case the vet wanted to do an ultrasound on him. But it turns out that wasn’t even necessary after the physical exam and reviewing the bloodwork from May. What really pleasantly surprised the vet was Chester’s weight.
Back in May during our regular annual checkup with our regular vet, I had reported that Chester was kind of stuck at the 18 pound level. The vet suggested we increase his food intake which I’m sure Chester did not mind! So after a few months of eating one full cup twice per day, Chester weighed in at a bit over 20 pounds this morning! The specialist vet never thought Chester would get over 20 pounds again.
She said that Chester is now even slightly overweight and it would be okay to decrease his food amount to maybe 3/4 cup of food each meal so that he can drop to maybe just under 20 pounds for a healthy weight, especially over the winter when both Chester and his sister Roxie are prone to gaining weight from a drop in outdoor activity.
Chester continues on his current lifelong treatment consisting of Pancrease powder, famotidine and vitamin B12 shots. The specialist vet kindly wrote us another written prescription for the Pancrease powder so we could source it cheaper from an online pet pharmacy.
I told the vet that Chester’s stools are generally good (not soft) and there is no signs of wet or loose stools. The only thing I notice different compared to his before-EPI days is that he tends to have a bit of heat sensitivity as he doesn’t like to go outside on the back deck during the summer but is the first to run out when it’s raining or during cooler temperatures. The vet didn’t think this was a significant observation to his condition.
So all in all after 2.5 years of his initial EPI diagnosis, Chester is doing really well with a good body weight and otherwise living a great life. Not only is he a happy guy at home with his sister Roxie and myself, he has a full social life with his doggie friends once or twice per week through our small dogs outings Meetup group which he enjoys.
I hope that for all those out there with EPI dogs, our case will act as some reassurance that our dogs can still live a normal, happy life as long as you do your best to keep them healthy as possible.
By the way, Chester is in the photo above on the left with his sister Roxie on the right as they enjoy an outing to Heart Lake Conservation Area this summer.