Case of the Month:
Stanley is a sweet and very friendly, 4 year old Maltese who first presented to Dr. Uehlein on October 12th for weight loss, diarrhea, and lethargy. Stanley was very hungry at home and was eating a large amount of food for a dog his size but he continued to lose weight. He was having large, frequent bowel movements and they were always soft. Stanley was very thin on exam and had difficulty walking around the exam room. His gums were pale and his temperature was low. A tentative diagnosis of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) was made based on Stanley’s history and physical exam.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a disease of the pancreas which causes inadequate production of digestive enzymes and consequently, the inability to absorb nutrients from food. This disease is most commonly seen in German Shepherds but can occur in any breed. EPI is typically a disease of young dogs; however, it can be diagnosed in older dogs with chronic pancreatitis.
Bloodwork was submitted and Stanley was hospitalized on IV fluids for support. He was also started on Vitamin B injections, an antibiotic for his intestinal tract, and Pancreazyme which is a powdered formula of pancreatic enzymes given with food to help him digest his diet. Within 24 hours Stanley was more active and able to keep his body temperature in the normal range. His blood results confirmed EPI so Stanley will require lifelong enzyme therapy with his meals. After 4 months, Stanley has gained over 4lbs., his bloodwork is normal, and he is back to his happy, fun loving self !
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