Select Page

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!



Wallace came to me at 10 months old, he was rescued because his owners weren’t coping with his EPI which had been diagnosed when he was 4 months. He actually arrived as a foster dog but very quickly we knew he wouldn’t leave, and so we joined the FFC (Failed Fosterers’ Club!).

 Wallace was 20kg when he arrived but thanks to the forum we got him up to 27kg. Unfortunately he was quite a fussy boy and not a great eater, he stopped eating and went back down to 24kg. He started eating again and went back up to 27kg, then again he stopped and went back down to 24kg, and so it went on. He would eat for a few months, stop for a few weeks, get to 27kg, go back down to 24kg. We tried everything to keep him eating but nothing worked. It didn’t help that he had other issues with oils and we had to search really hard for a food with no added oils.

I had set my target of 30kg for him, I felt at that weight he would look just right but for years he stayed lean and I just couldn’t get those last few kilos on him. Then he developed Metatarsal Fistula, the treatment was steroids, finally the yoyoing stopped, the steroids kept his appetite up and he ate consistently well and reached 28kg but still we couldn’t get to that target. I decided to stop worrying, he was happy, healthy and very active.

Then in February 2014 Wallace started losing weight again. I was gutted, I was really worried something else was going wrong. But he started eating sticks in the garden, he hadn’t done this since he had stabilised, this was the clue, he was hungry. Obviously something had changed in his body, so I decided to try increasing his enzyme ratio and adding in an extra meal again for a little while. Result!! He gained 3kg in the first month and 2kg in the second month, this 5kg gain got us to the 30kg target weight. AT LAST, 3 years and 7 months from when he arrived.

Wallace was already getting huge amounts of enzymes compared to other German Shepherds, he now gets humongous amounts but I don’t care, it’s working for him and that’s all that matters. Just goes to show how every EPI dog needs his or her own formula!



Mike’s little Fiona’s EPI journey…. 

 I brought Fiona home from the breeder in August of 2012 as a ten week old puppy. I was ready for a new Cairn Terrier following the passing of my beloved 14 year old Toto-dog Fergus. My other old Cairn McKenzi was a bit lost without him as well.

The first few months were fine. Fiona was growing rapidly…and catching on just fine to housebreaking and command training. By 7 months of age she was up to 12 pounds. I first noticed something was wrong when one day she had a bad round of soft stools. I chalked it up to eating something she should not have. After 3 days she was not improving, so off to the vet she went where she was put on a bland diet and given some meds for a possible intestinal infection. She improved for a few days but soon her stools again became soft and very frequent.

The vet tried some stronger meds as well an antibiotic shot…fecal samples came up with high levels of fat. At the same time Fiona’s weight was beginning to drop. After a week my dog was back at the vet….stools loose, yellow, looking like mud. Her weight had dropped to a scary 7 pounds. Blood work was done again and the vet was concerned that either her liver was shunted or she was suffering from a pancreas issue called EPI. An ultra sound and tests would be required. That afternoon I took my dog immediately to a specialist at a 24 hour animal hospital down in Connecticut. I didn’t know what to think as I turned my beautiful Cairn Terrier puppy over to the vet. She would be spending the night…having an ultra sound and a battery of tests. Would I get her back?

The following afternoon the vet called with the results. She was EPI positive 100% no doubt. I picked her up along with a big jar of enzymes as well as instructions for diet. During her overnight stay….my skinny and ragged little dog had made friends with everybody there. Her spirit and sweet kisses told everybody there she was a fighter.

Within 2 days….with the help of her powdered PancrePlus enzymes and her new food…Dave’s Grain Free Chicken kibble…her stools firmed back to normal. Within 2 weeks she was back to 13 pounds!

Fiona is now coming up on her second birthday….she has matured into a beautiful blonde black tip Cairn Terrier and weighs in at a chunky 17 pounds!!! She happily takes her enzyme loaded food and other than an occasional B12 check….is healthy and happy.

Who knows what bumps she may hit….but the doctors called it right when they said she had spirit and a will to survive. 



Hess was diagnosed with EPI in 2007 when his weight dropped from 45kg (100lbs) to 33kg (72lbs).  With the right help he recovered and was back up to around 42/43kg which he maintained.  I am one of the lucky ones with an ‘easy’  EPI.  His slide to the dark side happened in August 2013 when he suffered a gastric torsion and needed emergency surgery. I almost lost him but he came through and did good although his weight dropped to 40kg.  With the help of this fantastic site, epi4dogs,  we got him back up to 43kg when he was deemed fit enough to undergo a second operation in October for a gastropexy to ‘fix’ his stomach. Which was very successful. 

Unfortunately these operations put his gut into overdrive and it took from October till now, March 2014 to get it under control and  get Hess gaining weight to the point that he is now back to his pre EPI weight.

The vet thinks he is too fat but I am reluctant to put him on the dreaded D (diet) word.  He drops weight so quickly I want to keep something in reserve!!

He will be 9 in June and is happy, healthy and fat!!  I now call him my Chunky Monkey! 



Maureen’s “not so little” little Merry

Merry was 31 lbs at diagnosis and then stable at about 39 lbs for 5 years. Now hahahaha ….42lbs and a bit on the chubby side. Not sure how I am going to be able to put her on a diet because of course I have spent 7.5 yrs worrying about getting her to eat enough.
I would wish this problem on all  EPI dogs who struggle to get weight on!

You GO girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 



Connie’s little Zoe

… a pleasantly plump little pixie of a dog. Her fur is so shiny now, I have never seen it so nice!  Her lowest weight was ten pounds so she never got a thin as some dogs, but i could feel her bones. Now she is a lot of muscle and no bones  .  We have had a few fights with SIBO but since starting the B12 shots a year ago we have done much better. She had one set back around July 4th, 2013 due to fireworks anxiety and me, her Mommy deciding to try a new food on her at that anxious time….. but after one real bloody yucky pooh and a vet visit, we went back to the old food that seems to work well.  She is doing the best she has in her entire six years of her life!  Actually…. i am very proud to say that Miss Zoe now needs to lose two pounds!!!! Yippee!!!



Christina’s Sadie the Bouvier des Flandres and her amazing recovery

Sadie went from her low weight in December 2012 of 63.4 pounds……

to 82.4 pounds today July 2013 !!!   (11 year-old Bouvier sister Lucy is in the background)