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What is the difference between EPI and Pancreatitis?

Veterinarian’s Question: The primary difference is that pancreatitis is caused by inflammation and EPI is not. EPI is a non-inflammatory condition where the pancreas is not secreting sufficient enzymes to digest proteins and fat. The main symptoms of pancreatitis are abdominal pain, lethargy, decreased appetite and vomiting, although diarrhea can also be observed. The main symptoms of EPI are weight loss, increased appetite, poor hair coat, vomiting, and diarrhea. Stools are usually pale, loose, voluminous and greasy with EPI and not with pancreatitis. The difficult part to this is that EPI can be caused by chronic pancreatitis.

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Customer’s Question: Can you tell me the difference between EPI and pancreatitis?


I have a 10-year-old dog. He has been diagnosed with pancreatitis, the first of February with two visits to the vet. He is still not himself. I have done a lot of reading and now I am cooking for him. He has bad days and a few good days. I was reading about EPI (which was not mentioned at my vets) and adding a product to his food called Pan-tenex Enzymes. They ask that I talk to a vet first.


My dog’s name is***** call him D. He is a Lab-Irish setter mix, about 90 pounds and a country dog that runs free. Very active until the first of Feb. I have had him since he was 5 weeks old.

Submitted: 3 months ago.
Answered in 21 minutes by:
3/25/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian replied 3 months ago
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3,271
Experience: DVM
Verified

The primary difference is that pancreatitis is caused by inflammation and EPI is not. EPI is a non-inflammatory condition where the pancreas is not secreting sufficient enzymes to digest proteins and fat. The main symptoms of pancreatitis are abdominal pain, lethargy, decreased appetite and vomiting, although diarrhea can also be observed. The main symptoms of EPI are weight loss, increased appetite, poor hair coat, vomiting, and diarrhea. Stools are usually pale, loose, voluminous and greasy with EPI and not with pancreatitis. The difficult part to this is that EPI can be caused by chronic pancreatitis.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago

So there is no need for an enzyme therapy to help him?

Dog Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

However, that process usually takes months to years. Acute pancreatitis typically resolves within a few days to occasionally 1-2 weeks. The enzyme treatment would only be needed if he has EPI. You could have this tested by asking for a TLI (trypsin like immunoreactivity), which is a blood test. Otherwise, if no EPI then the pancreatic enzymes do not need to be given. It would not hurt him to give it, but it is not likely helping.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
thank you
Dog Veterinarian: Scott Perry, Dog Veterinarian replied 3 months ago

You are most welcome. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am here to help.

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