My Chi was just recently diagnosed with this. I was just wondering if there were any other Chi owners that have had to deal with this? I'll have time to expand later but I only have a short amount of time currently.
Sorry, I have not, either. I just read about it, it sounds heartbreaking. I do have a very emaciated new rescue that is not gaining weight, in fact, she lost 2 oz. I see the vet tomorrow to get blood work done.
I got my chi Rosko from a back yard breeder ( I saw him and fell in love) I just couldn’t help myself.. I was a first time dog owner and honestly I didn’t know any better until I did my research after the fact.
Two days after I got my baby I took him to get vet checked since he was having nasal discharge, coughing/gagging and was very lethargic. He was diagnosed with Kennel cough and started his antibiotics then. He also had his fecal done and received his worm pill, the test ended up coming back negative. After he started the meds he became more energetic and no longer had his symptoms.
He was rechecked in 2 weeks and was up to 4 pounds and was originally 2.9, so we were extremely happy. He got a clean bill of health and received his distemper and heartworm meds. He ended up being very sore from his shot for the next 10 hours but was ok after that.
However a few days later I noticed he was soo skinny. He wore a sweater all the time so I didn’t notice until I took it off. You could see his ribs, his hip bones and his but bones.. He was eating like he was starving and pooping right after he ate. He didn’t have diarrhea but he did have soft yellowish poop. He also lost his energy and was sleeping most of the day.
I took him back to the vet and they did blood work and saw that his red blood cells were a little low and his potassium and chloride were a little elevated. We put him on vitamins and increased his food intake which was already a massive amount for him. He also lost 2 ounces.
Still not gaining weight or improving I took him back the next week for more blood work and the results showed improvement in his levels and he was still at the 2 ounce weight loss. She discussed getting several tests done that all cost 200 a piece.. As a single mom I wasn’t sure what to do. She also suggested a few different things she thought maybe it could be. Distemper, EPI, or a liver shunt.
I finally got the time to research and realized that all of his symptoms (ones that I hadn’t even realized were symptoms) he had. Poop that looks like soft serve ice-cream, frequent bowl movements especially right after a meal, gas, dull coat, eating as if he is starving, looking malnourished. and many many more. I took him back to the test and decided I would finally get him tested for EPI (270.00). He had to fast for 12 hours and then he got his blood drawn. I decided that since that is what I was sure it was going to be that I would get him started on his pancreatic enzymes (160.00 for a 12oz bottle). We also had to start him on a low fat gastro intestinal food (20.00) and antibiotics to kill the bad bacteria that grows in his intestine when he cannot digest food properly (35.00) and I continued him on his vitamins (12.00).
I got home and started him on his enzymes right away which you mixed with warm water and then mix his food in and sit for 15-20 minutes to incubate. Within a day they was a noticeable difference. He was happy, playful, not as hungry and his poop was firmer and Brower, his bowl movements were less frequent and so was his appetite. Now on the 6th day he is a normal puppy again. He loves to play, oh my goodness how my baby loves to play fetch and run around. When he goes out to potty he wants to run around and explore for 20 minutes or so (before he would go and run back to the door). He has bowl movements approx 5 times a day as opposed to 10-15. He has not had any potty accidents in the house at all. Rosko looks like a healthy happy dog, shiny coat and no bones sticking out...
I couldn’t be happier that I decided to take him.. He was literally starving to death.. Its most common in German Shepherds but now is being found in different breeds. Since he is part jack russel terrier we believe that is where it came from since that is also a high risk breed.
Here is a link that you can look at and get more information if you like.. However if you simply Google canine EPI you will find tons on it.
WOW! Thanks for all that info, very good to know. I am glad you could find out what was up with your little fellow and that the treatment seems quite effective. It is so frustrating when we don't know what is wrong with our wee little babies
my chi was just diagnosed last week with EPI. she has been very ill for about 4 mos and near death, she had been to 3 vets and has blood work, neurology work up,ultrasound,etc..nothing was telling us what was wrong with her, she was literally wasting away before my eyes..my vet told me if we didnt figure out what was wrong with her she was gonna pass away, i was so distraught watching her suffer and the thought of losing her, she is only 5yrs old! i searched and searched the internet for dogs with her sypmtoms and i came acrossed epi4dogs.com..i couldnt believe it when i read they symptoms and saw the pics of dogs with epi. i knew this was it! i called my vet and asked for the cTLI bood test and she was diagnosed 2 days later. my vet said he nor the 2 specialists she saw had ever treated a chihuahua with this disease its generally thought of as a german sheppard disease, so they never thought to test her. thank god i didnt give up on her and found a wonderful site. i dont no how many other dogs out there may be misdiagnosed or die because of lack of information on epi. peanut has been on meds for 1 week and is showing huge signs of recovery! she was down to 5lbs from 10lbs and no matter how much she ate she was starving and looked malnourished, her muscles were atrophied after 4 mos of diarrhea she was so week i was afraid i was gonna be forced to put her down.. wanted to get the word out to chihuahua owners about this disease, if i can help anyone not go thru what peanut and i did i would be truly happpy!