Cinco Deseos  Ranch

Livestock Guardian Dogs

Meet Patron (Aneto del Viejo Paramo) from Spain, my handsome Spanish Mastiff EPI survivor!

What is "EPI" or Exocrene Pancreatic Insufficiency?  It is, in a nutshell, a dog's (or cat's) inability to digest his food because he does not produce the enzymes needed to digest food.  Although he eats and eats, the food is passed through him quickly with no nutritional value.  The dog begins to become excessively possessive of his food, and eats voraciously while wasting away.   Note EPI is NOT referred to as a "wasting disease".  It is EPI, period!

Because many vets are not aware of EPI, many EPI dogs are mis-diagnosed, and precious months go by without them being correctly diagnosed for EPI.  Once the dog gets on the treatment "plan", usually, recovery is quick and the owner will see vast improvement in just weeks.  EPI is considered GENETIC - and EPI dogs or dogs from EPI positive dogs, should NEVER be bred!  The disease can lay dormant for years, and not crop up until a dog is an adult - some cases have begun at six years of age!!!  Sadly there is a very unethical breeder in Wisconsin ("Fall Creek Farm") who not only bred Patron's litter sister  "Zoe" without EPI testing her (she was bred twice before she died at a young age - the breeder covered it up for a year and still has Zoe listed on her website as if the dog is alive - she died in 2014!!!!!!!!!), she is now breeding a pup that was produced out of Patron's sister ZOE.  If EPI is being passed along in this dog or the line - this Wisconsin breeder could be doing more to destroy the Spanish Mastiff breed in America simply because she refused to pay $100 for a blood test for EPI.  The undeniable risk is there and the drastic increase of EPI in this country speaks volumes as to why you should not take chances like this!

Again, EPI postive dogs should never be bred nor should dogs coming out of EPI stock.  BUY AT YOUR OWN RISK!

My dear Patron, Aneto del Viejo Paramo, is a proud member of the EPI's Chunky Monkey Club, where more startling before and after photos can be seen here:

Patron is not the only Spanish Mastiff to have been diagnosed with EPI.  There are others in Europe.

Please go to the official  EPI website  to learn more about this fatal, horrific disease that so many do not know about.  It can strike many breeds, including many LGD breeds who have been tested positive for it:

EPI used to be associated primarily with the German Shepherd breed.  But not anymore - EPI is spreading - fast!  List of Breeds Confirmed with EPI can be found here.

"There has been a dramatic shift in breeds afflicted with EPI. It previously was predominantly a GSD or a Rough Coated Collie disease. Then it became approximately a 70% GSD disease. Currently 55% of EPI breeds are something other than the GSD!  The tide is changing and we desperately need to understand..... why EPI is happening.....what is triggering it....can we do anything to prevent it????" -- EPI WEBSITE

NOT JUST SPANISH MASTIFFS!!!!  ****Livestock Guardian Dog breeds who have been diagnosed with EPI include Anatolian Shepherds, Central Asian Shepherds, Spanish Mastiffs, Komodors, Great Pyrenees, and Kuvasz!!!!!***** 

Patron's sire, Nistos de Valdejera died relatively young with EPI like symptoms and it is surmised the disease came from his side of the pedigree, as his dam, Diana de Buxionte, has produced other robust litters with no EPI symptoms, out of different males.  So we know the sire was the EPI carrier.  Patron is NOT being bred here.

Do not buy from a breeder who is breeding a dog out of EPI diagnosed parents.  EPI dogs should NEVER be bred because the basis of EPI has been thought to be genetic.  If you think your dog has EPI GET THEM TESTED NOW so you can save them before it is too late.

EPI dogs on enzyme therapy can live long and happy lives.  My dear Patron is back to 220 pounds and robust and happy.  He rules the ranch.  I almost lost him and thank God a vet was finally able to diagnose him correctly.  It saved his life.  A simple test could save your dog, too.

More EPI Links:

"Official" EPI Website:


"Enzyme Diane", who is a popular resource for enzymes:

There are also a couple of EPI groups on Facebook if you use EPI for the search term, they'll pop up.  Help spread the word about this terrible disease.  Educate to eliminate EPI!


Educate yourself about EPI

Aneto del Viejo Paramo ("Patron") - Nistos de Valdejera x Diana de Buxionte - bred in Spain

Now robust, healthy and living a comfortable, happy life thanks to enzyme therapy.