Dog exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or EPI, is a serious disease whereby the pancreas fails to produce the correct amount of digestive enzymes which causes severe digestive problems. If left untreated, EPI can cause malabsorption and ultimately starvation, organ failure and even death!
Causes of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
There are three main causes of EPI:
- Pancreatic acinar atrophy (PAA)
The most common cause of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatic acinar atrophy is a condition in which the pancreas undergoes atrophy. It reduces in size. While PAA can occur in any dog, particularly large-breed dogs, it most commonly occurs in German Shepherd Dogs and Rough-Coated Collies.
- Chronic pancreatitis
A chronic disease of the pancreas. This can ultimately lead to dog exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, a disease which is much more serious than pancreatitis itself.
- Pancreatic hypoplasia
The result of a dog being born without a fully functional pancreas.
Symptoms of exocrine pancreatic Insufficiency
Unfortunately, the symptoms of dog exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can also be symptomatic of other canine health problems. That said, they include:
- Lose stools or diarrhoea
The stool will be a light yellow or clay colour with poor to extremely poor consistency.
- Increased appetite
A dog’s appetite never seems to be satiated no matter how much it eats.
- Weight loss
Weight loss effecitively resulting from malabsorption.
- Increased wind
Markedly increased wind from normal.
Eating its own faeces or perhaps eating other unusual things like plants or dirt.
While your vet will need to initially treat your dog’s exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, the condition can still be much improved with a healthy fresh food diet. If your dog is suffering from EPI and you are looking for a healthy diet to improve its condition, please book a consultation using the link above.