Doodle with EPI?

My mini-goldendoodle was diagnosed about 6 months ago with EPI. Basically what that means is that his pancreas isn't producing the needed enzymes to digest food. He lost 15 pounds and was all bones. It was sooo sad and heartbreaking because there is treatment and it may or may not work. Today he is on a special dry food diet and a powdered medicine that needs to be sprinkled on food at every meal. His weight is back up, he is happy, has energy and the prognosis looks good! I am so grateful.

My question is, has anyone else heard of this or experienced it with their dogs?

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  • What is the food and medicine he is on?
  • Here's some information on EPI in Dogs.


    Kim, I'm sorry to hear that your doodle has this, I'm glad that you've found a way to manage it.

    I would notify the breeder, EPI is believed to be genetic, as explained in the article.

    I hope your dog continues to do well.

    EPI in Dogs
    EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency) affects all dog breeds. Common symptoms are weight loss, ravenous appetite, diarrhea & gas. Learn what to do.
  • Once his condition is stabilized and he has put weight back on, I would suggest you get off the Purina. Dont use any Vet Food, they arent good quality and not worth the price you pay. Theres some great advice in the article provided by Karen regarding diet. You could also find a (holistic) vet that has knowledge on food (unfortunately many regular vets do not) who can help you find a food (be it dry, canned or raw) if you need help with it. Or someone in the Food Group can perhaps help you too. If you go raw, theres a great Raw Feeding group here too.

    The medication sounds ridiculously expensive. Take the bottle to a pet store, or look online, you can probably find something with the exact same ingredients for half the price (probably even less)

    • The Pancrezyme is an Rx drug that wouldn't be available without prescription. Even ordering it on-line through 1-800-petmeds may not be any cheaper.

      The Purina Rx food, on the other hand, does not contain any medicine and is truly a dreadful product. But in a case of serious illness like this, I would not be comfortable suggesting another food, as I don't have enough knowledge of what is needed nutritionally. In the case of the food, it';s very crucial that the vitamin and mineral balance be correct. However, the link I posted does give resources for making your own food, and that's the route I personally would take.

      I would not suggest raw in this case, as the dog is not producing digestive enzymes and cannot digest food or absorb nutrients. There is also a danger of bacterial overgrowth in the intestine due to the food taking too long to be digested, due to the insufficiency. Under these circumstances, I believe raw would be dangerous.

  • I am so sorry, no advice but I'm sure many here will. Thinking of you and your pup...
  • Kim,

    I agree that the article Karen provided  a lot of good information. I think that the most valuable info was that it made it clear that their is no need for Rx diets, and that there are a wide range of options, and that you, as the owner, are largerly able to chart progress by monitoring your dogs poops, which is quite empowering. As a raw feeder my bias is towards a raw diet, but the fact that raw food has some of the needed enzymes intact in the food is a plus.Good luck to you and your pup and thank you for letting us know about this illness. Cindy

  • This problem was most likely passed down from the Golden Retriever side of his pedigree.  It might be helpful to go over to a couple of the Golden forums, search for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency and see what treatment seemed to work the best.


    This makes me wonder about that post not too long ago about the girl friend's Golden that lost all that weight.  I wonder if this is what that dog has. 

    • If you are talking about the person whose son's gf's dog had a problem, I think the dog is OK and did not have this.
  • Hi Kim,  I have two doodles and two akitas, my 10 year old male akita Sumo was diagnosed with EPI about a year ago.  He had lost over 20 lbs before they figured out what it was.  Not so much when you know he was 135 before he got sick but we were worried.  He is doing very well and eats his regular food with the enzyme added.  I just wanted to let you know that you can buy the enzyme without a prescription and for less at a website called  She is just a woman who almost lost her dog to this and wanted to help others with the same problem.  I buy the stuff in bulk, still expensive but way less then at the vet.  For a young dog with a lifetime ahead of it this could really help.  Good Luck!
  • Sumo has had Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed since he was a puppy. I don't know if the brand makes much difference as long as he gets the right amount of enzymes added to it. Sometimes they seem a little "fluffier" than others but it is pretty easy to adjust the dosage by monitering the poops. Too runny just add a little more. It has saved Sumo's life, he was losing weight so fast before they figured out what was wrong. He is doing great for an old dog. Good Luck!
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