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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


While writing my last post I came across some photos that I had taken over the last few months and thought it would be interesting to compare them side by side.

Taken June 16, 2009

YIKES! That is a skinny dog!

Taken August 3, 2009

Wow! She has filled out.

Taken October 14, 2009

A Fat E.P.I. Dog

After comparing these photos side by side I am shocked that she was ever that emaciated and amazed at the transformation she has made.

A Two and a half month summary

Well, what can I say other than luckily Piper has been very easy to stabilize so there has been little to report but the following is a summary of our progress.

Piper was doing very well on Taste of the Wild. She was being fed 2 cups of kibble with 1 tsp. of enzyme per meal, three times a day. She was looking like her old self again so we brought her to the vet where she weighed in at 61.9 pounds! Everyone in the office was very surprised to see her looking so well and they were shocked at her quick weight gain. We decided to cut down her kibble so she received 1C. of kibble for breakfast & lunch and 2C. at dinner (4c. per day). After a few days with no side effects I dropped her enzyme down 1/8 a tsp. Within 24 hours I started to notice a change in her bowl movements, “combination poop” and after a few days there was also a decrease in her appetite. She was only eating half of her lunch and dinner. Thanks to my charting system I also noticed that there was also a corresponding increase in wet burps and stinky gas. Under normal circumstances I would have increased the enzyme and waited a few days to see the affects but, we were leaving the following day for a vacation in the backwoods of Maine.

Piper watching Tom drive up to Embden Maine

It would be a stinky 5 hour car ride plus we would be in the middle of nowhere without medication. I put in a call to my vet and picked up a prescription of Metronidazole to take with us just in case it was the beginning of SIBO. I increased the enzyme back to the original ratio but that night when she had nasty stinking pudding poop I started the medication. Although the car ride was still a bit stinky at times, within 48 hours she was regular again and despite the stress of traveling to a new place her appetite increased and she was finishing off her meals again.

She even went for her first swim, Not such a big fan of the water, but atleast she tried.

Trying to keep one eye on the children in the house and one eye on the child in the raft .

For the most part she just enjoyed relaxing in the cool sand.

Piper finished the medication and was rock solid for the entire month. She even started to look a bit chunky despite the decreased in her kibble.

Playing in the yard this Spetember

Week 1
Tom and I had the opportunity to go away for a weekend so Piper was going to be staying at a kennel for a little spa treatment. A few days before we were getting ready to leave I realized she was overdue for a fecal. When I brought in the sample the vet technician who knows us well at this point, said that it was one of the best looking samples she has seen. I never thought I would be proud of dog poop … but I was!

Week Two
Although I have not had her weighed at the office she looks and feels solid so I had her stand on two bathroom scales at home and she weighed in at 68 pounds!

She isn't happy about it but she is such a good dog she does it anyway!

I do not want her to get too big so I wanted to cut back on her kibble. The last time we cut back I cut out her lunch (per my vet’s instruction) but she had issues and started to vomit due to an empty stomach. So, this time I increased her morning kibble by ½ a cup while decreasing her dinner by ½ a cup cutting out 1C. of kibble a day. So far she is doing wonderful & feeding two meals is a little more manageable. So, at this point we are just trying to find a healthy balance of kibble and enzyme so that she can maintain a healthy weight and become too plump!