A Warning About Proin for Dogs With Urinary Incontinence
Should Your Dog Be Treated With Proin for Urinary Incontinence?
If you are currently giving your dog the drug Proin, which contains phenylpropanolamine, it's important that you review accounts from other pet owners. After hearing their stories, you may want to reconsider giving Proin to your dog.
What Is Proin?
Proin is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs used today to help dogs with urinary incontinence, but is it safe? Some pet owner says no. In fact, some dog owners believe that the drug's side effects led to their dog's death.
Please be aware of the side effects of Proin.
My Dog Received Proin for Her Incontinence Problem
My dog, Rose, became incontinent when she was 17. I tried everything to help her out with her problem. My vet recommended Proin as a last resort because Rose's incontinence was causing severe skin problems due to urine scalding. I started Rose on Proin and all seemed well. Her accidents diminished and her skin condition cleared.
She was on the drug for about two months when she developed seizures, so the vet recommended we take Rose off of the drug. In a matter of weeks, Rose had a severe seizure and was left immobile. She had to be put down.
I experienced lots of guilt for having used Proin on Rose. I feel as though Proin added to the progression of my dog's health problems. However, as the vet pointed out, Rose was up there in age and he felt the seizure may have come with her advanced age.
Have You Ever Used Proin to Treat Your Dog's Problem with Urinary Incontinence?
What Causes Urinary Incontinence in Dogs?
There are many factors that can cause urinary incontinence in dogs. It is estimated that urethral incontinence may affect over 20% of all spayed female dogs, especially large-breed dogs. Urethral incontinence is most common in middle-aged to senior dogs, and medium to large-breed female dogs, although any dog may be affected.
Bladder storage dysfunction and bladder hypercontractility occur when the bladder contracts too often and causes small amounts of urine to leak. Urethral incontinence may also be a result of underlying neurological problems (such as nerve pathway disruption from a spinal injury) in addition to:
- Brain disease
- Unidentified lesions or bladder tumors
- A urinary infection
- Any condition that would compress the bladder or urinary tract
What Is the Most Common Cause of Urethral Disorders?
Urethral disorders, in which the muscles that close the urethra fail to contract and cause urine leakage, are frequently the result of:
- Reproductive-hormone-responsive urinary incontinence
- Urinary tract infections or inflammation
- A prostatic disease (male dogs)
- A vestibule vaginal anomaly (female dogs)
In some cases, urethral incontinence is a result of anatomic abnormalities such as a hereditary defect. Other factors include injuries or surgery that cause damage or alter the normal bladder of a dog.
Can Stress Cause Urinary Disorders?
Yes, urinary retention may result when a dog will not urinate due to stress and fear-related behavioral problems.
All of these factors can result in the bladder becoming badly distended. In the end, chronic distention will cause urinary build-up and ultimately urinary leakage.
How to Tell If Your Dog Is Incontinent
In most cases, a dog will appear totally unaware of a urinary accident. Since urethral incontinence or urinary incontinence is the loss of voluntary control of urination, it's usually observed as involuntary leakage.
Signs of Urinary Incontinence
- A wet bed or sleeping area.
- As a dog ages, wet spots will start to appear more frequently on the floor or on the bed where the pet resides.
- The dribbling of urine will be visible when the dog is walking.
How Is It Diagnosed in a Pet?
Urethral incontinence is most often diagnosed based on clinical signs, the dog's medical history, and blood and urine tests. A bladder x-ray or ultrasound is performed to search for bladder abnormalities, such as stones, tumors, and other obstructions which cause or affect normal urine follow.
Neurological tests may be performed, such as the examination of the rectum and tailbone, perineal sensation testing, and various spinal reflex testing. Urethral catheterization may also be required if urinary retention is observed to determine if there is an obstruction or another urethral abnormality present. A cystoscopy, too, may allow your vet to see an abnormality within the bladder or urethra.
Treatments for Urethral Incontinence
Medications that increase urethral sphincter tone, such as phenylpropanolamine, or hormone replacements, such as estrogen or diethylstilbestrol, are most commonly used alone and in combination. With long-term use, the dog's blood and urine should be periodically tested to ensure that there are no side effects. Your veterinarian will prescribe the best treatment for your dog's individual needs.
Prognosis Depends on Severity
The prognosis is generally good. Control of urine leakage will vary from dog to dog, however, most dogs can be managed successfully with medication and lifestyle changes, such as more frequent trips outside to void and close monitoring.
Homeopathic Remedies for Incontinence in Dogs
Do Your Research
Proin is the most commonly prescribed drug for dogs with urinary incontinence. Before you give this drug to your dog, please do your research on its side effects.
Warnings From Other Pet Owners
Here are several accounts from pet owners like you cautioning against the use of Proin:
A Word of Caution From "Boxer Fan"
In 2013, a reader by the name of Boxer Fan urged pet owners not to use Proin. Their boxer was placed on the medication for spay incontinence (2 tablets per day). The urinary issue resolved, however, their dog stopped eating, drinking, and was lethargic, breathing heavily, and vomiting. The veterinarian later suspected kidney failure, and unfortunately, their boxer was later put down. While the vet did not suspect that the drug played a part in the dog's death, the owner has urged other pet owners not to take the risk. Boxer Fan has since discovered a good amount of research that has been posted from 2009 and on regarding the side effects of Proin.
Pet Owner Suspects Proin Sped Up Her Dog's Passing
Another owner by the name of "Liz" cautioned:
"Our 5-year-old spaniel went downhill after taking Proin; she did have other medical conditions, but this seemed to speed her passing—within 7 days."
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.