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Hey Poodle Friends! :) **LONG POST but worth reading**

So Milo and I have been pretty much MIA on this forum for about 1+ year, but for good reason...it has been one HARD year for Milo :(

Almost exactly 1 year ago Milo was diagnosed with EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency)

While EPI is fairly rare I wanted to make a post to increase the awareness of it. Luckily we see a GREAT vet and I feel like it was caught as soon as possible. Basically some early signs that started when Milo was 1.5 yrs were:
- chronic diarrhea, specifically large amounts, light colored (for Milo) and GREASY/OILY!!! The textbook term is "cow patty" poops. Actually one of the fist things I noticed was Milo's backside looking wet, I thought it was from him sitting on wet grass but it was really from his oily and greasy poops.
- lethargy (it was summer and I thought the heat was getting to him)
- weight loss even with increased appetite and food consumption

No matter how much dogs with EPI eat they will continually lose weight. They don't produce the enzymes needed to break down food and digest it on their own. After the consistent diarrhea and no real improvement with any chicken and rice diet etc Milo went to the vet and had lost almost 6lbs! (he was 38lbs) so 6lbs was a lot of weight.

All routine bloodwork was normal so Milo was initially put on a prescription food, which he did not want to eat much so he lost even more weight, metronidazole also did not help clear things up much. Then he was tested for EPI (TLI testing) and results came back without any question as positive EPI with a score of <1 ug/L (normal is 5-35ug/L)

Sadly there is NO CURE for EPI but it can be MANAGED. So with every meal for Milo he gets special enzymes mixed into his food that will allow him to digest. While the enzymes cost more than someone may budget for a "normal" dog the website EnzymeDiane sells enzymes at affordable prices, which I am grateful for.

The major areas of Milos EPI management are:
-Enzymes, and enzyme to food ratio
- B12 (he gets one B12 pill with intrinsic factor daily) Wonderlabs is a great supporter of EPI
- food, TOTW has been a popular food brand with EPI dogs, (making 4% or less fiber in food which has shown to be best for the dogs)
- Antibiotic (Tylan powder) because EPI dogs can have flare ups called SID/SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) Milo finished a course of it, 45+ days, this spring, some dogs are always on a maintenance dose.
-**Slippery Elm (powder)**LOVE this, Milo gets 1/2tsp mornings and evenings with his meals, it has several great properties and helps loose stools and other inflammatory bowl issues, I recommend anyone looking into this. It's actually recommended to try this before antibiotics.

Along with the TOTW food I also add ground beef, alternate coconut oil and salmon oil, and recently a bit of sardines. Now 1 year later, Milo is very stable, he has stayed a consistent 40lbs (I wish he'd put on a bit more weight), his poops are also normal, and best of all he's full of energy again. It was extremely heartbreaking to see him have no energy, as well as have some mood changes. One morning he did not even want to get out of his bed :(

I know this is a LONG post but with my experience with poodles they can have finicky stomachs. It is easy to keep trying different foods etc to clear up diarrhea or bad poops. EPI is not normally on a vets radar either. Also the most well know breed for this condition are German Shepard's. I really hope to spread the knowledge about this condition to fellow poodle owners :)

I did get Milo from a reputable breeder, who I notified about the condition as EPI is thought to have a genetic link. The breeder had never heard of EPI, and has never had a dog with it.

I love Milo so much, his personality and sweet disposition really can't be beat. He makes everyone smile who sees his happiness. I feel that caring for him with his EPI has created an even stronger bond.

Thanks to EPI4Dogs website and forum for all the EPI knowledge and help, this has been a lifesaver! I have spent countless hours researching through that website and forum.

Thanks for reading! I hope to be a bit more active on here now! :)
-Abby&Milo

 

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What a great ending to Milo’s story ! I wish him a long and happy life. He sure has a great mom to take care of him !
 

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Hugs to you and Milo! He looks happy and healthy, kudos to you and your good vet. I have never heard of EPI and thank you for informing me, PF and Google about management.
 

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Thanks for posting - and it will be a great resource for people who are researching EPI.

I'm so glad you have figured out a routine to keep Milo stable.
 

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Thank You so much for your story! It is information like this that brings awareness and perhaps will save someone elses dog!

P.S. What a good looking boy Milo is.......hope to hear a lot more from you on 'life with Milo' that are just happy & fun!!!LOL!
 

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Milo looks great! How old was he when you found out about the EPI?
It sounds like you have a really great handle on the management. I have had patients on pancreatic enzymes with every meal (nurse) and it’s amazing what can be replaced if you don’t produce it naturally, like insulin too!
I hope he continues to do well:)
Jen and Sage
 

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Thank you for sharing your experiences with Milo. I had never heard of this before. I am so glad that Milo is doing well now .
 

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Abby was kind enough to share all of this information and Milo's diagnosis with me at the time he was diagnosed. She felt it was important to share with me at the time since Milo and my Poppy are litter mates, siblings.

Abby wanted to give me a heads up so that I could be aware in the event that Poppy developed the same symptoms. I was so grateful that Abby was thoughtful enough to share, in the midst of a very upsetting situation for her and Milo.

Poppy is fine and hasn't shown any symptoms of EPI. It is a condition about which I knew nothing, however have since done lots of research and study.

I am so happy that Milo has the Mom that he has. Abby has done an amazing job of caring for him and helping him become healthy once again. She is very fortunate to have a veterinarian who was on his toes and diagnosed this situation quickly and correctly.

Knowledge is Power and Abby has done an amazing job with Milo. I am glad to see them back on the forum again. Hopefully Abby will share more "action" photos of Milo. He look fabulous and is the spitting image of his crazy wild sister, Poppy!

Congratulations, Abby, on turning around a difficult diagnosis and I hope you and Milo continue on an upward trajectory! I expect nothing but continued success and good health for Milo!

Thank you for sharing your story with everyone. You never know who will be affected in a positive way by your sharing this with us all!

Fondly, Cathy and Sister Poppy, the pool puppy
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Milo looks great! How old was he when you found out about the EPI?
It sounds like you have a really great handle on the management. I have had patients on pancreatic enzymes with every meal (nurse) and it’s amazing what can be replaced if you don’t produce it naturally, like insulin too!
I hope he continues to do well:)
Jen and Sage
Thanks! :) Milo was about 1.5 years old..I remember thinking why would he all of a sudden show signs of EPI now, but it's actually a common age when dogs are diagnosed. I read about 90% of the pancreas has to be atrophied in order to show the symptoms which is pretty crazy!

The enzymes really are amazing, I remember Milo showing improvement within days!
 

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I am VERY glad Poppy does not have EPI and you don't need to go through it. Hopefully all Milo and Poppy will share is their big and crazy personalities (and of course their good looks) :)

One of the brothers is fine as well. My guess is Milo was just a fluke, his EPI I mean LOL. But I do feel like I was meant to have him!
 

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Thank you so much for sharing! No doubt that in the future this post will help someone who is trying to figure out what is wrong or who has gotten a new diagnosis of EPI for their poodle. Bless you and milo!
 
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