Early symptoms of EPI are difficult to detect and are often ignored, it can be difficult to diagnose. It is noteworthy to discuss about any recent symptoms with your veterinarian, such as sudden change in your dog’s weight or diet, abdominal pain etc.,
Due to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, the dog finds difficult to digest the food. If the food is not digested properly, there will be no absorption of nutrients. The affected dog will develop skinny—especially greasy rather nasty loose motion, or both. The skin coat would be dry and enriched with dandruff due to incapability to take in dietary fats.
The common signs and symptoms of EPI include the following: –
- Abdominal pain, frequently radiating back
- Pica especially in young dogs with inherited EPI
- Rapid breathing
- Yellowish or gray feces
- Rapid pulse
- Low blood pressure
- Anorexia and weight loss
- Seborrhea sicca
- Excessive sweating
- Change in bowel habits (diarrhea and constipation)
- Rapid heart rate
- Hypoactive bowl sounds
- Obstructive jaundice- once the pancreatitis is localized at the head of the pancreas.
- Abdominal tenderness
- Intestinal borborygmus
- Abdominal swelling
- Low-grade fever and shock
The other symptoms of EPI in dogs include malabsorption, diabetes, weight loss, back pain and abdominal discomfort. No tenderness is noticed on rectal examination. The stool usually tests negative for occult blood.