Before I started working for Thomas Labs I had never heard of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) in dogs. A co-worker was talking with me about our products, Bio Case and Bio Case Plus and EPI came up. He almost immediately googled “Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) in Dogs” or “EPI in dogs” and a very disturbing picture of a skinny dog populated. Not OK, I thought. EPI in dogs is a scary thing. If you’ve ever gone through it, you already know. For those of you who do not know, here is what EPI is all about.

What is EPI in dogs?

EPI in Dogs is exactly what the acronym stands for, an exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. But what exactly does that mean? I’m no word genius, so let me break it down in simpler terms for us. According to my research, EPI is when a dog eats and eats without being able to properly digest his or her food. Often times an owner will state that their dog eats a lot, but never seems to keep on weight. In fact, a dog with EPI that goes untreated will starve. Again, not something anyone wants to go through.

A definition for EPI from PetMD is: “when the pancreas fails to produce enough digestive enzymes. Pancreatic enzyme replacement supplements can help replace the digestive enzymes needed for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.” For more information including symptoms and causes of EPI, read this:

How worried should you be about EPI in dogs?

Different breeds are susceptible to various conditions. If you have Chows, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS), Rough-Coated Collies (RCC), and German Shepherd Dogs (GSD), you should know that EPI has been associated with these breeds. In my opinion, this should not keep you from welcoming these dogs into your family because there are ways to manage EPI. A dog with EPI can live a normal life span. EPI has been reported in different dog breeds and not just those listed above. EPI can be passed down genetically.

When should you see a vet with suspicions of EPI?

You should immediately go see a veterinarian if there is significant weight loss in your dog. I’m a believer in using blogs and search engines to help understand and inform yourself of the many topics out there, but if your dog is having severe weight loss, it’s time to seek professional help.  

Pancreatic Enzyme Support for Dogs

The reason my co-worker mentioned EPI in dogs to me initially, as I mentioned above, is because Thomas Labs, the company I work for, carries two product lines that help with pancreatic enzyme support: Bio Case and Bio Case Plus, both available in capsules or powder. He was basically explaining these products to me. What he said is that by supporting the absorption of nutrients in your dog or cat’s digestive system, Bio Case helps dogs get the nutrients they need from their food.

What should you do after an EPI diagnosis?

EPI in dogs can be a scary and intimidating diagnosis, but remember that there are options for your pet. Thank you for being a loving and caring pet parent! There are others like yourself out there, I promise. If your pet is having issues, consider joining a social community group with other pet owners like yourself. There are groups dedicated to dog owners who have had their beloved pets diagnosed with EPI. Good luck and we are here if you have any questions.

Stories from users of Bio Case and Bio Case Plus, pancreatic enzyme support:

100% back to normal

I feel absolute gratitude because you saved my dog’s life! I used to wake up in the middle of the night with her curled in my arms keeping herself warm and if she didn’t move when I moved I immediately feared that she had passed away. She is acting 100% back to her normal happy rambunctious self and I owe it all to Thomas Labs Bio Case. Sincerely and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you!

–   By A. Katruska

Buddy and I thank you!

After $1000 of tests and review from 2 vets, heard about this product from someone. Buddy, our 8-year-old lab mix, had lost almost 15 pounds and was so skinny. You could see his ribs and spine. He ate 4 times a day, but couldn’t digest any nutrients. I was preparing for having to put him down within a week or two, not something any pet owner wants to do, especially to a normally happy and energetic dog. Tried this product, and within a week or two he started having regular solid poops and gained weight. After 6 months, he’s actually getting a little chubby, and has all his energy back and is happy as usual. It took a little while for him to digest initially, start with lower doses than the label says, and work up until they get used to it. Buddy and I thank you for a great product that has added hopefully several years to his life.

–   By P. Murphy  

Learn More About EPI in Dogs

Learn more about our Pancreatic Enzyme Supplements for Dogs and Cats:

Note that EPI can also be in cats and other animals, I just decided to focus my article on EPI in dogs.