Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency in German shepherd dogs. Symptoms include:
1.Foul smelling feces
2.Yellow of mustard color feces
3.Consistency soft unformed like a cow patty, oily
4.Brittle coat, loss of hair
5.Weight loss. Inability to keep weight on even with appetite
8.Rumbling sounds in the stomach and gas
EPI is a common disease in the German shepherd dog. I myself have been fortunate to only have one myself. Also I have only had one reported in hundreds of pups I have sold over the last decade. But 70% of reported cases of EPI are in German Shepherd dogs. It does not normally present itself in German shepherd puppies. Sometimes it takes time for the pancreas to atrophy (die) prior to the dog becoming symptomatic. It usually appears in young dogs ages 4-5.
This disease is basically caused by the malfunctioning (or lack thereof) of the pancreas. The pancreas either incrementally fails to excrete enough enzymes to digest food or completely shuts done, preventing the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Basically, due to the failure of the pancreas to produce the enzymes necessary to digest the food, the dog starves, even if they eat lots of food. The pancreas does not produce the proper amounts of amylase (to digest starches and sugars), lipases (for fats), and proteases (for proteins). The dog literally can starve to death.
There are thought to be two major causes of EPI. One is pancreatic atrophy, which may be due to an inherited condition. The second could be stress to the pancreas caused by multiple bouts of pancreatitis. There is no cure for pancreatitis and life long treatment are expensive, using pancreatic enzyme supplements.
We at Banffy Haus have been very fortunate in this regard. We have had a very low reported incidence of EPI in the German Sheperd puppies we have sold. If you are interested we have German shepherd puppies for sale listed on our page: Current litters (just click to visit).
INTERESTING NOTE: I have heard of a nurse friend of mine who treated EPI in her German shepherd dog with sheep pancreas for a much lower cost than the supplements. I am not certain how she did this but it may be something to look into.