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ds with inefficient immune system
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Old 05-04-2015, 01:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

Bob, is EPI usually such a late onset? Is EPI age related? or triggered by something?

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Originally Posted by Bob Scott View Post
My older GSD has EPI. Ddiagnosed at about 8-9 yrs old. 11 this past Jan.

One thing I learned quickly was to believe a common saying in the EPI world.

"If you've seen one dog with EPI, you've seen one dog with EPI".

It took me, with Connie's help, almost a yr before I figured out a diet that would put weight on him and keep him healthy.

Every dog is different.

Thunder gets two cups of food with 1 tsp per cup of Panakare Plus powder, three times a day with One half cup hot water per meal. That sits for 20 mins before feeding it.

Dry coat , heavy shedding, REALLY smelly, runny stools, stool eating, dirt eating. Weight went from 80 lb to 64 lb before it was finally diagnosed, again with help from Connie.

Other then old and wobbly, like me He's healthy today but I have to be very strict about no treats, no snacks, etc. Without the powder it just goes through him and no nutrients are absorbed.

Almost 80% of EPI dogs are GSDs. Long haired Collies are #2 but it can strike ANY breed or mix.
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

not trying to answer for Bob but i have studied it in depth since i had an EPI dog

EPI is generally considered to be genetic. it is essentially the same as the human condition.
onset and degree of the problem can vary widely from dog to dog

some go longer before getting diagnosed. some get misdiagnosed, but once tested properly it is either there or not. symptoms are readily available on the net. most believe the dog is born with it, but that has not been confirmed either that i know of

bottom line : the dog must get enzyme supplements to be able to properly digest their food
pig enzymes are the most common used
another enzyme, called creon, is available but very expensive, but has some advantages. it does not have to be added to "pre-marinade" the food so it makes feeding less of a hassle and reduces prep time. it also is made for humans and will not irritate as much as the pig enzymes may if they are used improperly. it also comes in a variety of doses which makes it easier to adjust for the individual dog.

people who own EPI dogs generally become experts at stool/poop analysis //lol//

EPI can be managed and the dog can still work. i know of two PSD's who are EPI dogs. both gsds.

there are some people who believe raw is good for EPI dogs since there is more enzymes in raw compared to commercially prepared kibbles. but i doubt there have been definitive studies to confirm this yet

i'm sure Bob and Connie can supply more info
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

also, i forgot to say there is (or was) an EPI forum for people with EPI dogs
- mostly anecdotal and unless they changed their policy you either have to have an EPI dog to join or lie and say you have one
- i followed it for awhile and it's one reason why i agree with BOB saying there are as many ways to deal with it as there are dogs that have it
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:40 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

so my answers to Meg based on what i have learned from my EPI experience would be no, no and no

if i had one of the dogs where it is common, if it ever started to lose weight and had re-ocurring runs i would test it and be done with it. everyone should know if there dog is properly digesting its food rather than accept a vet diagnosis that the dog might just be a picky eater or have a food allergy.

that is why i connected it with this thread
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Old 05-04-2015, 10:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

Rick, I'm not familiar with Creon but the Panakare is about 200 bucks a month for my 80 lb GSD.

That's buying it through Lambert Vet Supply. At the Vets Office it jumps about 50 a month.

With Connie's help I originally started with raw. After about a year of that the cost were just to much considering I'm retired. The preperation also took more then a full day of doing nothing but chopping up chicken and freezing it it 2lb packages.

I've switched to BLUE Life Protection Formula.

It tool a lot of trial and error but it finally settled down to how I feed now.

If there was any plus side to feeding three times a day it was with my other GSD. He always got a bit runny if he ate to much at one meal so the three times a day has also been great for him.

I was feeding twice a day before this all happened and started the EPI treatment feeding four times a day and worked down to three.

Something as simple as trying to get down to feeding twice a day creates almost the original symptoms even with the enzymes.
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

after another vet visit, here's the latest plan. lev will continue on antibiotics until this bout is over. possbily he will simply be on rotating antibiotics until the allergy season is over. he's taking cephelexin but the vet has ordered cyclosporine. he would like to put lev on apoquel but apoquel is very difficult to obtain. he's on the list for it behind who knows how many other vets. it seems the manufacturers made what they thought was sufficient for two years and it sold out in a month. must be a host of allergic dogs out there. anyway, he's trying to obtain it.

he nixed the raw diet because of the high antibiotic content of the chicken i'd be feeding and also because we know lev isn't allergic to TOW since he has no problems with allergies during the winter months so his problem isn't food driven. the vet doesn't want to introduce another possible allergen. makes sense and i agree. he's not opposed to feeding raw but wants to wait and also wants me to locate an organic source for chicken and beef, or at least, a local producer who isn't loading his/her livestock with antibiotics. the herbalist agrees.

as for the medicinal mushrooms and other botanicals. no harm but probably little, if any, gain while he's on antibiotics since antibiotics will kill the medicinal herbs along with the bad guys. still its ok, and gives me a sense of doing something, however, ineffective it might actually be.

the herbalist suggested that we get him on track and then begin giving him minute amounts of the local flora--much like human immunology treatments, but orally rather than the shots. she is willing to prepare the concoction. this program, of course, can't begin until we decide if lev will be on antibiotics throughout the summer/fall. will talk with the vet about this but it seems like something to try.

that's where we are. i'll post as we progress.

again, thanks for your suggestions and concern.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

good luck with your plan

it seems to me the prescription antibiotics you mentioned, which you and the vet feel comfortable administering, would have a MUCH more significant (negative) impact on the dog than any amount of residual antibiotics found in non-organic fresh chicken, so i don't quite see the logic for using that reason to NOT feed raw

...and i'm not saying that just because i'm a raw feeder

maybe Connie has come across some studies that indicate raw chicken would add too much antibiotics in a canine diet. i never came across that reason in my limited study

was this discussed :
- would continued intake of prescription antibiotics might also have the effect of further weakening the immune system ?
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

rick, the prescription antibiotics are to be given just until we get him well. it may or may not require treatment throughout the allergy season. with luck it won't. then on to the raw diet with herbal supplements. w/o residual antibiotics in his system from chicken and such. the residual probably really doesn't all up to much but who knows and why go there if there's another route. the herbalist is really, really, opposed to having any antibiotic in his system during herbal treatment. she knows her stuff so why would i argue with an expert?

the good news is, after yesterday's visit he's MUCH better. so now we just have to get him well and work on keeping him there.

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Old 05-06-2015, 11:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: ds with inefficient immune system

Crossing my fingers for you Pat!
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