Living with an EPI dog

Our new security system, er, I  mean, German Shepherd dog, has a condition fairly common to GSDs known as Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. The dog’s pancreas does not work properly and requires supplements to help them absorb their food properly. The EPI is partly why our dog is on the thin side and definitely why her coat is brittle; she’s just not getting the nutrition she needs from her food.

We’re going to approach this two ways with our new rescue dog. First, we’re switching her (slowly) from kibble to a (controversial with some) raw food diet. Second, we’re switching her from the current EPI supplement that came with her to a homeopathic, more natural version, called Canine Enteric Support. Our local vet is thankfully certified as a full vet plus trained in a number of holistic medical techniques. And he’s an enthusiastic supporter of the raw diet for dogs. I thought he might throw me out of his office when I mentioned our interest in feeding the dog raw; instead he says that’s the #1 thing to bring her health back.

Were’s starting out getting the raw dog food via mail order until I can build a reliable source among local chicken friends who process meat birds. I suspect both changes will greatly increase this dog’s health.

Newest addition to our security system

…who also happens to lower our stress levels. After several months on the rescue waiting list, we finally found a good fit and got to bring home a five year old very-bright German Shepherd dog this past week. The few commands she did not already know, she’s learning quickly.

She was nervous at first when we arrived home and dropped two doggie bombs inside the house (ugh). But true to her security nature, she wisely placed them directly underneath the window. Pity the home invader who steps through *those* windows.

She’s a bit thin due to a special medical condition, so in addition to additional obedience training, we’ll focus on helping her gain muscle weight in the coming months. She’s already fitting well into the family, following the kids around the yard as they play and garden. I feel completely comfortable even when they are not in direct sight, knowing they have a tall-for-her-breed German Shepherd standing by.

And I can now finally relax when someone forgets to lock a door at night. Just the sight of her enormous water bowls at each door should cause any unwelcome guest to pause and move along to the next house.