Dogs with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) have insufficient amounts of enzymes in their pancreas to properly digest food. Symptoms of EPI include diarrhoea, foul-smelling faeces, weight loss, and lack of energy. Inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis, is a common cause of EPI. After veterinary diagnosis through laboratory tests, treatment may consist of dietary changes and daily pancreatic enzyme supplementation. While there is no cure for EPI, careful management may allow a dog to have a normal lifespan.
Pancrezyme, derived from raw hog pancreas, is available in tablet and powder form by veterinary prescription. It replaces pancreatic enzymes when a dog's pancreas has been removed. The usual dosage is 1 teaspoon of powder mixed with moistened dry or canned food, ideally fed three times a day. To enhance digestion, let the food sit for approximately 20 minutes at room temperature before feeding. If feeding tablets, add two to three to wet food before the meal, again letting the food sit before feeding. For any dog with pancreatic disorders, a bland diet is recommended, with low levels of fat and high-quality proteins and carbohydrates.
Viokase, available in tablet or powder form, is used for treating EPI or malabsorption syndrome, and consists of natural enzymes found in the pancreas. It may be used for dogs and cats. Typical dosage for canines is 1 teaspoon of powder mixed with food daily. Wait 15 minutes after mixing Viokase into the dog's food before feeding. If using tablets, give dogs two to three with each meal. While generally safe, at high doses Viokase may mimic symptoms of EPI, such as diarrhoea, foul-smelling stools, and weight loss. Additional side effects include constant hunger and fat in the stool. Viokase requires a veterinary prescription.
Bio Case V
This generic version of the prescription pancreatic enzyme supplements is available over the counter. As a generic, it is less expensive. Available in powder and tablet forms, the enzyme is comes from pigs. Developed by Thomas Laboratories, each teaspoon contains lipase, protease and amylase enzymes. Consumers may purchase Bio Case V in sizes ranging from 60 to 240 tablets and 0.454 to 1.81 Kilogram of powder. Feeding instructions are similar to prescription brands. Bio Case V is available from many online veterinary and pet supply companies.