Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Treatment?

by George Stark

Hi folks

I have a seven year old GSD (Sky)...
He has always been somewhat of a small male he was the runt of a litter. He was around 89lbs until this last summer when suddenly he dropped to around 70lbs in a matter of weeks....

After many Vet visits that included Stool testing, two blood tests all of which showed everything to be normal??? We decided to treat him as if he had this Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency deal even though testing could not confirm this.....

We put him on a enzyme supplement and grain free meals.... We can only maintain his low weight, he will not gain or put any fat on... he is literally skin and bones and he injures himself more easily because he has zero fat.

His stool is normal, he thinks he's normal, he has high energy level and loves to run. Yes he is always hungry but he poops as fast as I can feed him so he maintains and does not gain. He probably has four to five bowel movements a day.

His stool is normal and looks good. Just too much of it! I just want to put some fat on this boy. I think the supplement is helping to keep the stool normal... but I don't know what to do about getting some fat to build.. to gain some weight...

I'm curious if anyone has seen this before? Again in every other respect he is normal even his tests are normal.. but his ribs are right there he looks fragile....
Thanks For Reading


Comments for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Treatment?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 06, 2011
by: Anonymous

I sympathize for you, our boy was diagnosed 6 months ago at 2yrs of age and it has been a battle ever since, but we are finally making progress!

My best recommendation is to check out these VERY helpful sites:



You will find an abundance of information and if you join the epi global group you will have access to tons of stories and tips from epi pet owners.

Curious, you said you had testing done and came back normal? Did your vet run what is called a TLI (Trypsin-Like Immunoreactivity) test? It is the only test that can determine if he in fact has it or not.

A good chance he could also have SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) another common condition associated with EPI. The bacteria basically attacks the food before it can be digested by your dog. Therefore despite your wonderful efforts of adding the enzymes to his food it is all going to waste. If that’s the case the vet will simply prescribe an antibiotic in pill form which should clear it up in two weeks.

Another important thing to consider is to have your dog’s vitamin B12 levels tested. Generally dogs with EPI will have very low B12 which is a contributing factor. Our dog required one shot a week for 6 weeks to replenishs levels and continues to get one shot per month to maintain. We purchase the B12 and needles directly from a pharmacy and administer ourselves for a fraction of the price the vet charges to do it!

Our boy had all of this which made for a very slow start and a lot of frustration at the beginning. Be prepared to try different types of food as well. You are right to serve a grain free low fiber food! But don’t be scared to try out a different type of protein source as our EPI boys are more susceptible to allergies and have sensitive stomachs.

We have switched from fish based kibble to raw chicken to raw beef and now onto lamb and rice kibble and he has taken to it very well and is now up 10 lbs! (He had dropped from 80 lbs to 64lbs so we are getting closer)

Have you considered an all raw diet? It can be a WONDERFUL alternative for EPI dogs! Our boy did great on raw beef and veggies for a while but then started developing allergies so we are back to kibble.

Also any change you make, even if it’s a slight one, do it gradually and give your dog time to adjust so you can 100% nail down what factors cause what good/bad reactions.

Consider your enzyme source. Are you putting pancreatic enzyme powder on his food? Or is it tablet form? DEFINITELY use powdered enzymes if you can, and make sure to add some WARM water, it helps activate the powder. It is recommended to let the food sit for 20 min before serving but we find waiting at least 30-60 min is more effective. If cost is a factor for powder check out the site, we order it in bulk and it lasts us a few months!


Stay positive, don’t give up on him and best of luck!!

Jul 21, 2010
Dr. Kruger
by: Max

You may want to do an internet search on Dr. Kruger. He is a retired Vet who also raised GSD's. He has a lot of information and supplements to help digestion.

There is also information on yeast overgrowth causing additional problems with digestion. Some foods that are recommended are Precise, Nutrisource, Natural Planet Organics, By Nature, Fromm Family Foods, Wysong, Timberwolf Organics, Country Pet, The Honest Kitchen, Northwest Naturals, Bravo Raw Diet, and more.

I am actually having my GSD tested for EPI Friday because he has had a noticable weight loss and some loose stools. He is also a very picky eater so I have been doing a lot of research just this evening.

Good luck.

Feb 26, 2010
Prozyme works great!
by: Leslie

My dog too had this exact same problem. My vet recommended Prozyme (approximately $22.00 per bottle from the vet). I sprinkle 1/4 tsp per cup of food and it made all the difference in the world.

He was able to gain weight although he could use a few more lbs., he is so active that I don't think that will happen until he settles down. A good dog food will make a big difference. I feed my lamb and rice which is much easier to digest. Just my .02. I hope this helps.

Jan 17, 2010
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
by: Anonymous

Our Shepherd has had the same problem since he was about 2 years old. He went from 85lbs. to 69lbs.. His testing revealed he has a exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

We sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Panakare Plus Powder on his food. We also feed him Eukanuba sensitive stomach dry food with 3/4 cup of fried hamburger and white rice mixture. Once a week we cook up equal parts of hamburger and rice and place in baggies for his 2 daily meals with the Eukanuba.

Our boy Gunner gained his weight back immediately and continues to hold his 86lbs. He too is also active. We have tried everything, and this is the best to combat his runny stool and weight loss. We have been doing this for years successfully. The Panakare Plus Powder needs to be prescribed by your vet. Good Luck.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to GSD Questions Form.

Sign up for promotions, news, discounts, and the chance to win prizes for you and your German Shepherd

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you German Shepherds Rule.