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To study response to long-term enzyme replacement treatment in dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).


Cross-sectional study.


76 German Shepherd Dogs or rough-coated Collies with EPI and 145 clinically normal dogs of the same breeds.


Questionnaires were sent to owners of dogs with EPI and owners of clinically normal dogs. Dogs with EPI had been given dietary enzyme supplements for at least 4 months. Relative frequency distributions of gastrointestinal tract and dermatologic signs, prevalences of typical signs of EPI (eg, weight loss, ravenous appetite, yellow and pulpy feces, high fecal volume), feeding regimens, and dietary intolerances were compared between dogs with EPI and clinically normal dogs.


Gastrointestinal tract signs considered typical for dogs with EPI were almost completely controlled with dietary enzyme supplements in half of the dogs with EPI, and their general health was similar to that of clinically normal dogs. A poor treatment response was found in a fifth of dogs with EPI that had several signs that were typical of EPI. Signs most often persisting were high fecal volume, yellow and pulpy feces, and flatulence. Dermatologic problems were common, especially in German Shepherd Dogs with EPI. Treatment response was irrespective of breed. Nonenteric-coated enzyme supplements, powdered enzyme, and raw chopped pancreas were equally effective in controlling clinical signs. Although dietary sensitivities were common, use of adjunctive dietary treatment was minimal. Antibiotics were occasionally administered to half of the dogs with EPI.

Clinical Implications

Results of this study indicate that, with basically similar treatment regimens, response to long-term enzyme treatment in dogs with EPI varied considerably. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;213:86-90)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association