The Dog's Dinner - by Ann Ridyard

Raw feeding for dogs

                    Feeding the raw diet to EPI dogs


Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency - EPI

Also known as Pancreatic Hypoplasia

and Pancreatic Acinar Atrophy


This is a dreadful condition which many dogs can go on to develop, can also be a secondary condition to Chronic illness, such as Pancreatitis

The condition basically starves them to death without the help they require, as dogs suffering with EPI do not produce the enzymes they need to digest their food. 


The four main enzymes, or lack of them leaves the dog in crisis, as without Amalyse he cannot digest carbohydrates, without Lipases he cannot digest fats and without Trypsin or Proteases, he cannot even digest proteins


 EPI - what are the symptoms?

  • The dog is constanly hungry, but he is wasting away........
  • Constant rumbling in his tummy.
  • Increased problems with very smelly wind.
  • A more regular need to go to the toilet for poops. 
  • Very unpleasant greasy stools, which are very soft ( we are talking cow pats)very smelly and can range from yellow/very light brown, through to grey.
  • Bouts of diarrhoea, for no apparent reason.

Dogs can have EPI but not necessarily display any of the symptoms above, or he may just display one or two, but appear to be managing very well, then a trigger will occur which can then cause the rest of the symptoms to mainfest and the dog goes into full blown EPI.  Some people believe that this trigger is caused by an emotional or physical stress, which include vaccinations.

EPI - how can it be confirmed?

There is a blood test to confirm if a dog is suffering from EPI called a TLI - trypsin-like-immunoriativity count, a normal dog should have a range of between 5-35 but a dog suffering with EPI will show a lower figure of 2.5 or even lower. 

Dogs suffering with EPI also often have low Vitamin B12 levels, they need higher than normal levels of Vit B12 for healing to take place effectively, a test may be done at the same time to establish if more is needed. 

Raw feeding an EPI dog

There are many commercial nutritional approaches to dealing with this condition, including the vets favourite - specialised very expensive commercial food, plus powdered enzymes.

Then there is the natural raw diet for dogs........... Many owners can manage their dogs EPI using only the raw diet and including raw pancreas - the raw pancreas replaces the need for the enzyme powders and many raw feeders use raw pig's pancreas to achieve this. 

Other owners still raw feed, but use the powders as they either don't know about the use of pig's pancreas or can't get hold of it.

However you do it - we want to hear from you.

We now have a FORUM set up on this site for you to share your experiences, triumphs, worries or concerns.

By posting about your success with the raw diet, this may help to inspire others - so please come forward as shared, real experiences could be just the inspiration a desperate owner has been looking for.