All about Vitamin B12 DeficiencyAll about Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency and Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) impairs an animal’s ability to digest and absorb their food and will cause severe weight loss and diarrhea. Animals with EPI will eat continuously because they are not able to gain nourishment from their food.

Enzyme replacement therapy is the only suitable treatment for EPI and is needed for the lifetime of the animal

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) Deficiency


Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency is extremely common in animals with EPI. Because the body can store the vitamin under normal conditions, it may take some time before any symptoms are seen. The reason an animal becomes deficient is that vitamin B12 is not absorbed from the food eaten by animals suffering from EPI due to the absence of Intrinsic Factor which is needed for vitamin B12 to be absorbed.

When B12 deficiency does occur, the animal will have difficulty gaining (or maintaining) weight, even when he’s been doing well on pancreatic enzymes. The animal will also become lethargic and confused because vitamin B12 plays an important role in brain function as well as intestinal health..

Any animal that is not improving on enzyme replacement therapy should be checked for B12 deficiency to determine if supplementation is necessary.

Treating B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 injections are the most common form of treatment, as the vitamin is introduced directly into the blood it doesn’t matter if the animal has any digestive problems. Injections are needed regularly though and can be expensive, stressful for both the animal and owner and also take up a lot of time with regular travel to the vet. Chemeyes B12 is a suitable alternative, as it contains intrinsic factor it allows the B12 to be absorbed through the intestine and restore the animals B12 to a healthy level.

Available in packs of 100 and 250 capsules which should last between 3 and 6 months.