Canine TLI testing

Gribbles Veterinary have been offering canine TLI since 2015 and recently upgraded  to an Immulite 2000 analyser to specifically be able to continue to provide this assay within New Zealand.

Serum Trypsin-like immunoreactivity (TLI) is an accurate and specific indicator of pancreatic function and the test of choice for dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). The assay is species specific and measures both trypsin and trypsinogen.

EPI is typically diagnosed once 90% of exocrine function has been lost. Causes of EPI in dogs include pancreatic acinar atrophy, which is an immune-mediated disease most often seen in young adult German Shepherds as well as some Rough Collies and English Setters. EPI may also occur with chronic pancreatitis (incidentally the most common cause of EPI in cats) and with pancreatic tumours.

Clinical findings with EPI are characterised by fat malabsorption and include weight loss with fatty, foul smelling faeces (steatorrhea) and polyphagia. Hypoproteinaemia is not typically associated with EPI. Interestingly plasma lipase is often normal in these cases due to extra pancreatic sources.

Gribbles Veterinary proudly supplying you with TLI testing right here in New Zealand.

A diagnosis of EPI is supported with very low levels of TLI (< 2.5 ug/L).

Points to note:

· A fasted serum sample is required. Post prandial samples may have elevated TLI values.

· Increased TLI values may also occur with active pancreatitis, marked reductions in glomerular filtration rate.

· The assay does not cross react with pancreatic enzyme supplementation

· Feline EPI is uncommon, however feline TLI can be requested, and is referred overseas to the Texas A&M University, USA.


Mansfield C. Practical Interpretation and Application of Exocrine Pancreatic Testing in Small Animals. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice. 43:1241-60, 2013.