Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency—Oh My!

A healthy Skye—she’ll get there again.

We’ve got a very sick dog. After a month and a half of symptoms and eight pounds weight loss, we got the diagnosis of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).

Skye is producing almost no digestive enzymes. That means she’s hungry all the time but starving since she’s been getting little nutrition from her food. I feel like a bad parent in that it took so long to get her diagnosed, but we had to run through all the logical rule outs.

We had no idea how sick she really was. Throughout all this she’s been her usual energetic self: chasing around the yard with BFF Larry, eager to run after the ball and frisbee, celebrating Packer touchdowns.

Our vet has been very helpful. She’s getting Skye into a study on EPI at Texas A & M University. The benefit of the study is free blood work and supplements for about four months, plus we’re helping further the science in the field.

I’m writing this because it’s pretty much all I can think about right now. I’ve learned more about the pancreas than I ever wanted to know, and I’ve examined more poo than I ever, ever wanted to. I’m looking forward to a day when, after the good-morning-kiss, the first thing my husband and I say to each other isn’t related to how the dog ate or…well…you know.

The initial shock of the lifelong treatment cost has settled to a dull, aching throb in the wallet. The enzyme supplement is shockingly expensive, but the internet has turned up some sources that will save considerable money.

The good news is: she should be fine. Skye started the supplement three days ago, and it’s looking hopeful—and you know what I’m looking at to judge that!

Here’s a link to a website all about Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. The “before” pictures are pretty grim, but the “after” pictures are encouraging.

If any of you out there in Cyber World have dealt with this illness in dogs, I’d appreciate your comments, tips, and any helpful links.

Cristine Eastin © 2012
Categories: Pets | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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