Aspen’s Mysterious Weight Loss
By Kay Hisano | Dated January 23, 2024
Meet Aspen, a lively 2-year-old female Border Collie who loves to play and explore. Recently, Aspen’s owner, concerned about her weight loss despite a hearty appetite, sought the expertise of Dr. Helen. Dr. Helen recommended multiple tests, including a full blood test, a faecal PCR to rule out infectious causes, and a test for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI). The TLI test confirmed what Dr. Helen suspected – Aspen was dealing with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. But what exactly is EPI?
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
EPI occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough digestive enzymes, specifically lipase, amylase, and protease. These enzymes play a crucial role in breaking down food in the small intestine, aiding in nutrient absorption.
In Aspen’s case, her pancreas wasn’t pulling its weight, leading to weight loss despite her seemingly insatiable appetite.
Diagnosing EPI involves a TLI test, just like Aspen had. TLI (trypsin-like immunoreactivity) measures the levels of digestive enzymes in the blood. In Aspen’s case, a low TLI reading indicated a lack of these enzymes, confirming the diagnosis.
Treatment for EPI
The good news is that EPI is manageable. To help Aspen regain her weight and vitality, Dr. Helen prescribed pancreatic enzyme supplements to be added to her meals. These supplements contain the enzymes her pancreas is slacking on, ensuring proper digestion and nutrient absorption. In addition to enzyme supplements, Dr. Helen advised adjusting Aspen’s diet to be more easily digestible. High-quality, easily digestible dog food can make a significant difference in managing EPI.
Since starting treatment for EPI Aspen gained almost 1kg in 1 week!!! Owners have also mentioned that she is even livelier than before, which they did not think would even be possible! Here is a photo of gorgeous Aspen.