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Chunky Monkey Club

Exclusive membership for the 'overachievers'

Welcome to the Chunky Monkey Club!

This is a fun page…… the Chunky Monkey Club… was started for EPI Dogs because so many of us started on this journey with dogs looking like they were knocking on deaths door….and we were scared….very scared that our babies just were not going to make it!  And then, once we found the balance to managing EPI they stopped losing weight…. then they started to gain weight…. and many (much to our pleasure) gained and gained…. and gained some more weight!  AND THEN…. many of us even had to put our once starving dog on a D-I-E-T!!!!!  Can you imagine?  So this “Chunky Monkey Club” was started in fun to simply celebrate !
 
New members: (to include your dog’s name (and picture if you’d like) please email to: olesia.kennedy@gmail.com and they will be uploaded here).

Founding CMC member…Olesia’a Izzy

Epi4dogs was started because of this plain, little, brown dog who was the first Spanish Water Dog world-wide to be diagnosed with EPI….EPI???? What is EPI?  I had no idea back then…..all i knew is that my little dog was sick, she only weighed 27lbs and i thought she was going to die.  After we got her on the right treatment, time flew by and my plain little brown dog got healthier and healthier…. she now hovers around 48/+ lbs and has had to go on a diet 4 times and at 7 years old is still playful and embraces life!

Member…Jade

Three years dealing with EPI ……quite the Chunky Monkey ……and doing GREAT! 

 

Member…Doc

Doc is now considered a “chubby wubby” instead of a “bubby wubby” … welcome to the Chunky Monkey Club!!!!! 

The EPI4DOGS saying “if you’ve met one EPI dog, then you’ve met just one EPI dog” definitely applies to my Doc aka “Bubby Wubby” aka “Chubby Wubby”.  We brought Doc home from the breeder in late May 2014, after we patiently researched and waited to get my husband’s dream dog – a solid black GSD.  We were so excited for our new addition to the family and I even took a week off of work for “puppy potty training.”  Unfortunately, Doc was very sick from the day we brought him home with constant diarrhea and urinating literally every five minutes.  He was diagnosed with bladder and coccidia infection.  After the infections cleared, he continued to have diarrhea which turned into huge, bright yellow cow pies, the smell of which would literally knock you off of your feet.  Although my vet never treated an EPI dog before, luckily she was familiar with the symptoms and at three months old he was tested for EPI – B12 and Folate also.  The results were negative for EPI but he was diagnosed with SIBO.  From August 2014 until February 2015, Doc grew and was the most gorgeous, happy, goofy dog and a whopping 95lbs.  In mid-March 2015 we started basic obedience classes at our local pet store, and shortly after the trainer commented that Doc looked thin and we should consider changing his food to something better.  When I took Doc to the vet (a different one) I was surprised to find that he had lost a few pounds, but the vet thought he looked good and it was better for him to be thin than overweight.  A few weeks later, when we could feel his spine and see his hip bones and ribs we went back to the vet and again was told everything was fine.  At the beginning of May 2015, Doc had diarrhea for two days and on the third day he threw up all over his crate.  We rushed to the vet and had fecal and blood tests run – everything came back normal. 

Almost immediately Doc began eating his poop, but we were advised it was normal puppy behavior although he had never done it before.  I knew something was seriously wrong with my Doc and by this time he had lost 14lbs so I asked for the EPI test to be run again.  It came back positive for EPI, low B12 and high Folate (SID/SIBO).  I was completely devastated and felt like we had been handed a death sentence for our dog and cried buckets.  Then when I was told how expensive the enzymes were and he would need them for life my husband said we would have to give Doc away.  When I notified our breeder who is also a vet I was told Doc couldn’t have EPI because he did not have “classic EPI symptoms” of diarrhea first then weight loss.  I dried my tears and began researching EPI and luckily found EPI4DOGS and Enzyme Diane, who have become our guardian angels and learned every EPI dog is different.  My vet was unfamiliar with the most current information on how to manage EPI, so I trusted my gut as I did when I knew Doc was sick, and followed the guidance of the many wonderful members on the forum who were gracious enough to let us join.  By doing so, Doc regained his 14lbs within just 6 weeks of treatment and his poops went from a sloppy mess to solid and formed.  Doc has maintained his weight and although his poops are not a “perfect 2,” they have been stable with a score of 2 and 3 since August – unless he eats something he shouldn’t.  When I took him in for a check up in December 2015 he weighed 101.8lbs and the vet said he needed to lose weight!!!!   

Because Doc did not present with symptoms in the “classic” order and the fact that he continues to poop live fly larvae – Doc is definitely unique and just ONE EPI dog among many!!  We will forever be grateful to Olesia for starting EPI4DOGS, to Diane for her life saving enzymes and all of the members of EPI4DOGS for the guidance, love and support!! 

                                                                           Love ya tons Doc…. your mom, Madelon!

Member…Winter

Sweet Little Winter

Winter had bad urine infection in February vet thought after tests it was Diabetes Insipidus. Then, the bad poop started  just thought she had eaten something but it got worse I was going every week to check her urine telling the vet she was pooping about 8 times day and night, showed them photos of the poop, did more tests all clear. Finally went on Internet with symptoms up comes epi4dogs. I went to vets asked for cTLI test he said she was wrong breed but it came back positive epi ,I became a member and was really grateful for all the advice given as I was so scared for Winter especially when she shed the lining of the bowel then I really panicked!!!!  Well, now I have to cut her food down as she has reached 7.67kg the most she has ever weighed, she is a tiny Cavalier King Charles. I know we might have setbacks but at the moment I am so happy that she is doing so well. Still problem with urine but that is another story. 

Winter’s mom, Carole

 

Member…Dizzy

WOW… is all I can say about Dizzy. We picked her up from the vet recently and she weighed a hefty 93 pounds. I can’t believe my very sick 55 pound dog in December 2011 is so huge now. We are approaching her 4th EPIversary and I just wanted to brag on my big girl.

We built a new home in the Spring of 2011 and we were living in a hotel until the house was finished. Dizzy was not sick when we sold our old house, but after living in a hotel for 5 weeks everything changed. Almost immediately after moving in the new house Dizzy became sick. I had recently switched her to adult dog food and thought that it had messed her stomach up. We kept trying different dog foods, but none helped the constant diarrhea she was having. One day I just gave in and gave her table food because she was so skinny. She actually had undigested food the next day in her poop. I told my husband and he said something’s wrong with her pancreas. I started researching and found this site. I printed out the information and took it to my vet and said test her for EPI. We received the call on Christmas Eve that she was positive for EPI. We were told to order enzymes and that was it. After 11 months of only gaining 5 lbs and still having soft poops, I finally got the courage to post a thread on here about Dizzy.

I’m so happy I did because you guys gave me the missing pieces of the puzzle to get my girl well. They were B12 and pro-biotics. I will forever be thankful for the help I received.

Member…Riley

One very special pup…. Riley!

Riley is a 6 year old Labradoodle, we got her when she was just 10 weeks old. She has always been a special pup, and I have always had a bond with her that is different from other pets in my life.

 In April of 2014, she began to have some digestive issues that consisted of occasional vomiting, rumbly stomach, terrible gas and diarrhea.

A familiar EPI story. 

We went to the vet, she was given antibiotics (metro) and probiotics and put on a bland diet which consisted of chicken and rice.  Things we now know weren’t doing her any favors. She got moderately better, then regressed.  Took her back to the vet, she was given more anitbiotics.  Meanwhile, Riley was beginning to waste away despite eating greater and greater volumes of food. She became a scavenger in our home eating whatever she could find. (often breaking into the pantry and eating whatever she could reach). This was so out of character for her. About this time, she began to have an oily leakage from her behind. Every day I had to give her a bath as the oily discharge was all over her fur in the morning. Poor girl! This was the thing that sent us in despair to the vet yet again. By this time it was September 2014.

Finally I saw the senior vet in the practice, which happened to be her regular vet. He suspected IBD and drew blood for testing.

Soon after I received a call from him telling me the diagnosis of EPI. At that time, I was so happy to find out what the problem was, I did not understand the full impact of this diagnosis.  It was only as I began to try to get her to stabilize that I did some research and realized the lifelong implications of EPI. I was very worried.

Riley did not begin to dramatically improve until I found the Epi4dogs website/forum and began educating myself and following their advice.

 Since joining the forum in October 2014 and getting her on track, Riley has gone from her low of 33 pounds to her current weight of 44.2 pounds as of 2/25/15. Pre diagnosis her heaviest weight was only 40 pounds!

I would like people just starting out on this journey to see hope through Riley’s story. EPI is totally manageable when all the components are addressed. 

My biggest piece of advice to those newly diagnosed??  TRUST THE FORUM!

Riley’s mom, Elisabeth!

Member…Lola

 Our Lola

Lola’s story as we know it has a very sad beginning.  She was left abandoned in an empty home- not sure why.  She was found 3-4 weeks later still alive , with no hair, and very weak.  She was a survivor and with treatment got better.  Lola was placed in a foster home and over a period of time came to have trust with her family.  We were not looking to adopt at the time, but a friend was very certain that Lola would be a good addition to our family.  We did a weekend  “sleep over” and Lola quickly found her way into our heart. (This was June of 2013). She became our Lola a week later!  She was scared not knowing us and her fear was real that we would abandon her.  We were able to work with a trainer in our home recommended by our local pet hospital and learned how to establish an environment to help Lola thrive. 

Lola had difficulty maintaining weight and was always hungry and had coprophagia.  Call me a nervous first time dog mom! My husband and I both have medical backgrounds, so we did many internet searches and found the EPI website.  I requested testing by our vet and Lola came back positive for EPI in September of 2013. Thus began our EPI journey and Lola is in enzymes, B-12 injections, and folate.  Lola started at just 20lbs and now is a fat and sassy 30 lbs and on a diet!  I got great information from the EPI forum and website and can’t say thank-you enough.

We celebrated Lola’s birthday on Memorial Day and our one year anniversary of her joining our family!! 

She and my husband, Bill are best buddies during the day and have settled into a regular routine. Lola greets me each night with a favorite toy for a game of tug and fetch!!  We are certainly blessed to have her as part of our family and can’t imagine life without her!.

Proud Parents of our “Lola” .. Beth and Bill Bell

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