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Old 04-16-2018, 12:05 PM
Steve Steve is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 13
Default Re: Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

Finally after having a chance to digest all the responses to my questions, I find a few questions I failed to respond to. I am new to this venue and hope my lengthy explanations are not out of place. I feel a little background might not only help me, but help others who might have similar pet.

Rusty became ill the last day in January, this year. After changing and modifying insulin levels and types, as of a week ago we are back to a level we were using in March. I returned to nine units of NPH insulin twice a day. Rusty has already returned to his energetic afternoon activity. His first dose is at 6AM and I test his glucose level at 1000 and it has been a little over 200, which is far better than the 400 and 500 readings I was getting with the low dose of NPH. This morning at four hours after NPH, the level was 140. I will soon explain why I think there is still a fluctuating reading at (my determined low point ) at four hours. I am feeling the real low readings I got in March may have been an error or due to his lack of eating any food in the AM. At that time, I was just learning how to perform the tests, and get a good sample sometimes utilizing two or three (expensive) test strips before I got a reading and not err. Also,Rusty's behavior was not reflective of a really low blood glucose level.

I found Rusty in 2012. A month after his arrival on my property I decided to adopt him. According to the vet he was two years old at that time. He had a broken hip I diagnosed as a sprain. He was occasionally limping, but upon my feeling his leg he did not respond in pain. The break healed on its own due my lack of intelligence. The break was revealed later through an ex ray at the vets for another issue. Early this year he is going on eight, things have been difficult.

Rusty's diet is a very difficult thing to deal with. For years he has been eating 12 to 18 ounces of Alpo canned food once a day in the evening with a few ounces of dried kibbles and bit small bites later in the evening. He loves the variety and will lick the Alpo can clean before eating the food.

When he first started exhibiting lethargic behavior (prior to his diagnosis of Pancreatitis) he had gained some weight, approaching 34 pounds. I tired to get him to eat some (alleged) healthier food. Upon my attempted change to Orijen Six Fish dried food. In the evening (in protest) he caught a (maybe one-pound) ground squirrel and ate the whole thing. He would not touch the new food. I tried to soften it with water and he still shunned the mixture. I tried Science Diet Vegetable and Chicken Stew in a can and it was tolerated for a couple of nights and then he resorted to catching rodents (Mice, moles, squirrels and rabbits) or digging up rodents he had buried in the back yard. Rusty is an American Hunt Terrier and is extremely good at hunting down his own meal if I do not produce satisfactory results.

Once the Pancreatitis hit and insulin was being administered I began (per Vets request) to feed him in the morning (AM) when I injected the insulin. At first he would not eat in the AM, as he never had. I was very concerned, as he had lost more than ten pounds in just a few days prior to his being diagnosed with Pancreatitis. I found Prescription Diet Digestive Care i/d with turkey he enjoyed and seemed like as a treat. For a long time I had given him a couple of slices of smoked turkey breast as an evening treat. The i/d variety was a good substitute. I could get him to eat a quarter of a can (3 ounces or so) when I administered the NPH. He is still eating the Alpo varieties, some evenings a can and a half, and is starting to gain a little weight (today 24.0 pounds). I am keeping the i/d as a treat so he will eat in the AM and is also a good medium for me to hide medication (antibiotics, ect.).

Rusty sleeps most nights, but has open access to the backyard where he roams and forages some evenings. I cannot and will not try to change his hunting instinct. He is very proud when he catches something, whether a bird or rabbit (sorry rodent lovers, survival of the fittest).

Rusty's daily routine includes sleep most all morning, whether I am working or at home. In the afternoon we head for a local park where there is a major walkway as well as acres of open undeveloped space. I consider this time to be his walk and have told people he is taking me for a walk, not the other way around. Except for occasional redirection, I let him go where he wants to go.

We begin on the developed walkway ultimately ending up in the open space. The open space is infested with rodents and Rusty loves the place especially in the spring when he can take advantage of the inexperienced pests. I do not discourage his chasing or digging. Our exercise routine lasts from two to three hours (shorter in the winter months). It is good daily exercise for both of us.

When the Pancreatitis hit, Rusty did not want to go to the park or play with anything, even rodents. He is finally getting back an interest in life and recently started gaining a little weight (today 24.0 pounds). I recently started him on an antibiotic (from the vet) as I think he might have bladder or some kind of infection. His urination smells strange.

I do not know if the diet we have settled on is good for a diabetic animal, but he enjoys it and seems to be doing better regardless. His diet addition of fresh rodents my be causing a fluctuation in his glucose readings and I will have to monitor and maybe modify the treatments. Currently I plan to stick with the menu and insulin dosage and see what enzyme treatment produces. If you made it to the end of this lengthy post, I will keep you posted. If you have any comments, I welcome the input.
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