Rare Medical Condition Almost Claims Shelter Dog’s Life

Lucy suffers from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. This disease stops Lucy from digesting essential nutrients, and if left untreated, she can starve to death.

Lucy, a four-year-old German shepherd was surrendered to the Humane Society of Forsyth County, Ga., in December of 2013. She was a skeleton weighing just 22 pounds. If it wasn’t because her owners gave her up, the pup would have starved to death.

Photo Credit: Crystal Ledford.
Photo Credit: Crystal Ledford.

The Humane Society performed several tests on Lucy and they discovered she suffers from a rare medical condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. This disease stops Lucy from digesting essential nutrients, and when rescued she was so emaciated she was almost dying.

Lucky for Lucy, she was treated and put on a treatment plan ensuring she would be able to live and enjoy the rest of her life. She gained back her health while in foster care, but then needed a forever family willing to take on her expensive medical treatment.

In order for Lucy to eat and get the necessary nutrients out of her meals, her food must be treated with a costly medication. Who would want to adopt a dog that requires hundreds of dollars just on medication every month? Kevin and Cyndi Herbert didn’t mind the cost, and in May, they fell in love with Lucy and adopted her.

“My husband was at (a Humane Society spring event) and he called me and said, ‘Cyndi, you need to come look at this dog. She needs a home,'” Cyndi told Gainesville Times. “I was like, ‘No, our kids are going away to college and we don’t need another dog.’ Then someone sent me a picture of what had happened to Lucy, and I was like ‘no fair.’ So I went up and we got her.”

Lucy doesn’t resemble the starved dog she once was. The pet is energetic, playful and loving. She got her second chance in life when the Humane Society of Forsyth County rescued her, but she hit the jackpot when Kevin and Cyndi Herbert added her to their family. The dog with the rare medical condition has a set of loving parents, twin human brothers, and two other canine siblings that simply adore her.

11 thoughts on “Rare Medical Condition Almost Claims Shelter Dog’s Life

  1. is a terrible, is a beautiful girldog. I go make bless for this case and send love love love and health for Lucy.

  2. My GSD has this disease. I had to research the disease myself because no vet I took her to knew what was wrong with her for the longest time. She had to have a life saving surgery because she was eating rocks, sticks & leaves. She’s on medication now that I buy online. My current vet (who is familiar with EPI) says she’s healthy & happy. She went from 40 to 62 pounds & is 6 years old now. Symptoms of EPI are ravenous hunger, eating foreign objects, rapid weight loss, horribly foul very loose yellow or gray stools, eating own stools, gas & rumbling of the stomach.
    German Shepherds are prone to this disease. I’m glad my girl was able to pull through this cruel disease. I’m happy for Lucy too! If your dog has some or any of these symptoms, please get vet care ASAP!!

  3. My boy Nugget has this condition… I rescued him when he was about 1 and just a skeleton… With medication and more love than he can handle(!) we’ve just celebrated his 11th birthday!! ❤️❤️❤️

  4. I had a Shepard rescue with this condition, it is very expensive treatment via a vet. The cheapest and more natural way (i feel) is to get hold of pig pancreas, Raw, liquidize it & freeze it in little disposable plastic cups. Each meal defrost the cup and add it to their foo. it takes a little time to source as high street butchers cant sell waffle. Find a farm shop to help you get it from sorce. x

  5. I have a dog that was diagnosed with this disorder in spring 2012. First vet I took her to said she was sure Gracie had cancer, as she was eating well but wasting away. The second vet immediately recognized the problem. I did some research and to get her back up to a decent weight, I fed her three meals a day mixed with the digestive enzyme that she no longer produced. Without the enzyme, the dog will eat, but body is not able to break down and use. After getting her weight back up, I now feed her twice a day. The enzyme is freeze dried pig pancreas. For one dog ( around 45 pounds) the medication averages about $ 25.00 month. Great company to order from : K-9 Enzymes. Much cheaper than going through a vet.

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