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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: 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!



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




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.



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!



 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


Her before picture is from Feb 5, 2014 and she is 15.4 lbs and her after was taken July 31, 2014 at a weight of 26 lbs! She might have a diet in her future. I would like to share these photos so it may give some one else the comfort other stories and pictures on your site gave me.

Thank you,
Amy Hale and Petunia



Marley came home from the breeder at 8 weeks in May of 2011 and we were thrilled when she got off the plane from way across the country. She was a good puppy who never had an accident in the house and while she was a little reserved around strangers and strange dogs she was otherwise a normal, happy puppy. Around 10 months of age, she started to have bouts of diarrhea, but these would always clear up and could be explained away by her getting into something or her being close to a heat cycle. It seemed a little strange that is was always Marley and not her brother Hemi(who is a lab and thus would eat anything) who had loose poop. Looking back she was always thin, but the vet and breeder assured me that with giant breeds it takes time for them to fill out and with two active puppies we walked anywhere from 10-20 kms a day plus all the playing she did. At one point Marley was getting 12 cups of Solid Gold food a day and was still thin.


Puppy Marley  

Grown-up Marley

By the time she was 18 months, the episodes of diarrhea were becoming more frequent, we did the usual switching foods, antibiotics and deworming. I started giving her solid gold plant enzymes and this seemed to help and she got to 94.2 lbs by the time she was 2. In the late summer/fall of 2013 Marley started to lose a little weight and her loose stools were pretty constant. I had requested the test for EPI when she was 18 months as her sister had tested positive, but the vet said it couldn’t be EPI as she always got better. In October she had a lump removed and we discovered she had lost 15lbs. The lump was infected, so she was put on clavamox and then metro and fenbendazol in case she had giardia and her poop firmed up and she put 5lbs back on. Within days of finishing the metro she crashed hard and by the time I found this site and insisted on the test she had lost almost 30lbs…her test came back with a TLI of 2.1 on December 24th 2013. We really thought she was not going to make it, you could feel every rib, see the outlines of her hip bones, she did not grow a winter coat and would shiver if she was outside for any longer than 2 minutes. Additionally Marley would do anything to get food, counter surfing and stealing food from your hands while you were eating. She ate everything she could get in her mouth…rocks, sticks, leaves, earplugs and 2 lbs of bread dough that was rising on the counter. Policing her from getting unwanted stuff was almost a full time job. We were given contradictory, inaccurate info from the vet and it is only due to the help I received here and from Diane that we are where we are today. 6 1/2 months after diagnosis, Marley is 97.5lbs, a little more than 3 lbs over her highest weight and except for a little reflux and having a bit of a bad attitude towards strangers she is perfectly healthy and you would never know she has anything wrong with her. For those who are just starting out, don’t lose hope, with time and patience you will get there.