EPI with Diabetes
When dealing with a dog that has both EPI and Diabetes, what appears to work best is to give the Diabetes the FIRST preference when it comes to diet but then adjust as much as you can to also satisfy the EPI needs.
Please read the Diabetes and Diabetes Diet page and please visit the websites we have listed on these pages.
For example, my EPI gal Izzy has both EPI + Diabetes. The best way for me to manage it was to do a combination of kibble (to keep the weight on) along with a very low-fat home-made diet to keep the Diabetes well-managed. I did have to go a little overboard on fiber to keep the Diabetes in good control so to compensate for the slightly too much fiber content with EPI, what i had to do was add a pinch more enzymes than what i used to feed her.
For my EPI + Diabetes gal, i found that Vetsulin worked better than Humalog insulin (for intermediate insulin). Vetsulin is pork-derived and more closely aligned to a dogs natural insulin, not that the human insulin didn’t work, it did, just had better results with Vetsulin.
I also found, as did many other EPI + Diabetes care-givers, that it appears that “fat” really ran up the blood sugar in these Diabetic dogs. Before developing Diabetes, my EPI gal did great with normal amounts of fat, coconut oil, fish oil, etc….. BUT….. once Diabetes hit, i had a real tough time getting the Diabetes under control until i started greatly reducing the fat content. That made a HUGE difference! Unfortunately i found coconut oil really upped the blood sugar, so i no longer could give her coconut oil, but fish oil did not increase her blood sugar. So she now just gets fish oil for her healthy fat content. Of course this may not apply to all EPI+Diabetic pups… but well worth looking into if you are having a difficult time managing the Diabetic part of your dog’s health…. check the fat content of the food you are giving and see if less fat gives you better control over the blood sugar.
The kibble i used years ago was grain free and low fat: Annamaet Grain-Free Lean Low Fat Formula Dry Dog Food By Annamaet
I ordered it from Chewy:
Update April 2021: However since my personal experience managing EPI + Diabetes and using Annamaet (which they ahve since changed the formula and added peas). A much better food called “Ketona” made by KetoNatural is available which is worth trying for dogs battling both Diabetes with EPI Amazon.com: KetoNatural Pet Foods
Every dog has different diet requirements and may even require different portions, not only depending on the age, activity level but also their very own metabolism which may differ from other dogs with similar requirements.
As an example, what worked for my Izzy at 35lbs, (twice a day)
1 cup Annamaet Gran Free Lean/Low fat kibble (try substituting Ketona food vs. Annamaet)
1/2 cup minced skinned, defatted and baked chicken breast (white meat only)
1/3 cup baked, skinned mashed sweet potato
1/3 cup no-fat cottage cheese
1/3 beaten whole raw egg
1/4 tsp bone meal
1 quality doggie vitamin (I use VetriScience)
I also discovered thru much trial and error is that the very best way to manage the Diabetes is to learn how to test the blood sugar at home/yourself. And to run curves every few months.. just to make sure all is still in good/acceptable ranges.
And last but not least, no matter what anyone tells you … once you are dealing with BOTH EPI + Diabetes … if you can keep your highest blood sugar reading at no more than 250 but then flutter the rest of the time between 100-180 …. then you are doing good… real good!. Some vets will tell you you need to keep the blood sugar at low 100’s… this is advice for people dealing with just Diabetes. Unfortunately, not many vets deal with both EPI + Diabetes, and when you do have to deal with both of these conditions simultaneously it changes how you deal with Diabetes and what you can/should expect.
My gal, Izzy managed EPI with Diabetes for 8 years. The best thing i every did was learn how to test her blood sugar myself, cause it allowed me to then test her blood when i tried a new food and i learned real quick what worked and what didn’t work without her struggling with dangerous highs/lows because i was able to test her blood with each new food.
Update 2021: Nowadays, you no longer have to constantly prick your dog to test its blood sugar, but rather talk to your vet about Abbott’s new FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System…… it constantly monitors your dog’s blood sugar giving you a much better understanding of your dog’s diabetes and consequently allowing you to learn how to better control their diabetes.