About Piper

Piper is a long haired German shepherd dog who was born on September 24, 2004. She was brought home by my family on April 5, 2005. On June 12, 2009 she was diagnosed with Enzyme Pancreatic Insufficiency or E.P.I. Simply put her pancreas is no longer secreting the enzymes that are required for her to properly digest her food so she has been slowly starving to death. Now that she has been diagnosed she can begin treatment and live a full and active life.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A summary of week three through week six

Where to start? I had hoped to have the time to do a weekly summary at the end of each week but due to summer vacation I have not been able to keep up. So here is a brief summary of the last few weeks.

Week 3 and 4
Week three and four were weeks full of change for Piper. In the beginning she was being fed 1.5 C of Hills ID prescription diet four times day. We dropped the enzyme down from 1 ½ tsp to 1 3/8 of a tsp. without major issue. She did burp up once and had a tiny bit of tummy rumblings during the first 24 hours of the change but her “out-put” was perfect. So we gave her a few days to adjust and took a wait and watch attitude.
She adjusted well after the initial 24 hours so we continued to drop her enzyme in steps until she was down to 1 1/8th a tsp. per 1.5 C of kibble. The other issue that we had to deal with was cutting her feedings back from 4 to 3 times a day. Being a busy Mom of three my schedule is hardly ever the same from one day to the next and squeezing four feedings in was difficult. Three feedings a day is more manageable. So, we increased the amount of food per feeding to 2C with 1 ¼ tsp of enzyme and fed her 3 times daily.

Week 5
Going into week 5 we decided to start weaning her from the Hills ID prescription diet. From the reading that I had done I learned that it is best to switch to a grain free food which decreases the risk of small intestine bacterial overgrowth. The grain found in most kibble can be metabolized by harmful bacteria within the intestine allowing them to multiply and outgrow the beneficial bacteria within the dog’s intestine.
When looking for a new food for a dog that has been diagnosed with EPI it is recommended to find a grain free food low in fat (12% or less) and low in fiber (4% or less). After much research I decided to switch her over to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine formula. Although it contains a slightly higher percentage of fat (15%) this includes Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. When the percentage of fat is recalculated (leaving the Omega-6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids out) it is closer to the recommended 12 percent. T.O.W also has the recommended low fiber content (3%). We took it very slow, decreasing the Hills kibble and adding the T.O.W. by a ¼ C. every two days. She was successfully weaned onto Taste of the Wild and eating 2C. three times a day with 1 ¼ tsp of enzyme. The next step will be decreasing the enzyme to the minimum required by her system to digest her kibble.


  1. She sure looks beautiful in that picture, and it sounds like you've got it under control and are now just fine-tuning. If one of my dogs ever develops EPI, I know what I'll be following. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, with Omega Fatty Acids, sound so much more scrumptuous than Hills ID Prescription. I'll bet Piper is a lot happier pup these days for a lot of reasons.

  2. With this disease you are continually fine tuning. We have had a very easy time stabilizing thank goodness!
    ps - Knock on wood