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A Warning About Proin for Dogs With Urinary Incontinence

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Sharlee's dog, Rose, was 17 when she started Proin. Sharlee believes that the drug contributed to her dog's passing.

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.

Talk to Your Veterinarian

The very first thing you should do when considering using Proin is consult your vet. If you want to be certain, get a second opinion from another qualified professional. Currently, Proin is approved by the FDA, but you should be aware of potential side effects when considering the drug:

"Phenylpropanolamine should not be used in pets than are allergic to it or in pregnant pets. It should be used cautiously in pets with glaucoma, seizures, enlarged prostate, elevated thyroid hormone, diabetes mellitus, heart or vessel disorders, kidney disease, or high blood pressure. Use phenylpropanolamine cautiously in nursing pets, as safety has not been studied." (Rania Gollakner, n.d.)


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.

Take your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis.

Take your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis.

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)
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Read More From Pethelpful

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.

Treatment will be based on your dog's specific diagnoses.

Treatment will be based on your dog's specific diagnoses.

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.

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."

Sources and Further Reading

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.

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Amanda on September 06, 2020:

I started my 12 y/o Border Collie X Lab on Proin (Propalin) a few weeks ago, as her leaking was happening every time she laid down and fell asleep. She wore diapers when she was home alone, and through the night, but she didn't like that so I decided to try this drug, on the recommendation of a Vet (not my regular Vet). the first week, she had uncontrollable diarrhea and was panting all day and night to the point it would wake me up every hour or 2. . I called the vet and they said the diarrhea wasn't a known side effect and she probably "got into something". my dog hasn't "got into something" in 11 years. But, I gave the medication the benefit of the doubt... the panting continues, but she seems more comfortable panting, than leaking...

and JUST NOW, she had a Full blown Seizure. She has ZERO other health concerns and all the vets she has seen lately have been incredibly impressed by her health and condition. I have NO doubt in my mind it was caused by this drug, and I will not be continuing. Hoping this seizure has not caused any permanent harm and that stopping will be enough to save her.

Lana on August 24, 2020:

My dog was on the new time released Proin 25 I noticed that he didn’t like me sneezing or coughing And would get up and leave the room He has become deaf over night I took him off the medication a week ago with no change. I’m so sad

Raven Lily on August 23, 2020:

Raven is 12 and started leaking when she sleeps about 2 months ago.

Tried HomeoPet but it didn't seem to work. Perhaps we didn't wait long enough to see results.

Vet put Raven on Propalin and now, exactly a month later I noticed a "buzzing" sound in her chest today. It sounds like a bunch of bees in there! You can feel the buzzing just touching her chest. The "buzzing" doesn't stop, its constant. Never heard anything like it. She seems fine; eating, drinking and wanting to go out.

Called three Vets today, since my Veterinarian was not working today. I did not mention Propalin, because I didn't think of it. They didn't seem concerned and told me to keep an eye on her. Watch out for vomiting, lethargy and not wanting to eat.

When I decided to check on side effects of this drug, I found this site. Will not be giving her the dose tonight. I have no doubt it is the drug that's causing this strange sound.

Dog lover on August 17, 2020:

We had a doberman that also on Proin. We think she had tumors grow from the Proin. Eventually she had bleed internally and was put down at 8 years old. Not sure if Proin had anything to do with demise, but very coincidentally numerous tumors, one of which led to her death.

N Stevens on August 03, 2020:

A few weeks ago, we just adopted a female Husky (Luna Bear) from a Rescue whose age is somewhere between 9 to 11 years old.

Two weeks after the adoption, she started leaking just a lil bit while sleeping; Then it increased to large amounts of urine leaking any time she was lying down. We had hoped it was just a side effect of her having a UTI; However, the frequency and quantity increased even after the UTI had cleared up. My vet prescribe (50mg Proin, 2x a day) - I had also been told by the Rescue organization that Proin works great for dogs suffering in I had no reason to question it or so I thought.... Luckily, I started Luna’s first dose on a Friday night and was around her through out the day on Saturday & Sunday!!! .....bc after only giving her 50 mg on Friday night and only another 50mg on Saturday morning, I noticed she was Not herself!....But I just thought maybe she was tired from the visit to the vet clinic the day before and/or just didn’t feel good.... Thank goodness another lucky thing happened in that I could not get her to take her second dose on Saturday - and did not force it since she seemed So unlike herself.....and granted the leaking actually had decreased significantly....

By Sunday morning, her unusual behavior had increased to the point that I knew I as not just paranoid and something was Not right!


- seem more lethargic & depressed

- would not eat

- (did not poop Sat nor Sunday)

- yawned constantly

- didn’t wag her tail any

- didn’t respond to acts of love or attention from me as normally

- seemed like she was in a daze or drugged

- AND the Big “Red Flag” that I noticed was on Saturday, she was skittish & jumpy - AND Then on Sunday morning, she practically “jumped out of her own skin” when I merely called her name in the house!

Even my husband who thought I was just imagining her behavior seeming odd on Saturday - Agreed with me that Luna Bear was not herself and seemed to be going down with each hour!

I shared all this - NOT to bash my wonderful Vet nor the Rescue organization....and not even to bash the medication, Proin

(bc apparently in 70%+ dogs, Proin works wonderfully).

HOWEVER, I just want to FOREWARN OWNERS of OLDER DOGS and possibly LARGER DOGS to be EXTRA CAREFUL and CAUTIOUS when considering to give their dog the medication, Proin!!!

I truly believe if I had continued to make Luna take this medication for much longer that we would have lost her!

It’s Monday night - Thankfully, Luna Bear is doing much better And is getting back to feeling and acting like herself!

Sharlee (author) on July 24, 2020:

Thank you for sharing. It truly appears older doge do poorly on the drug. My own dog had the very symptoms your dog had. My best wishes...

Kpaulson on July 24, 2020:

Our 13 year old yellow lab started having incontinence issue a short time ago. We took her to the vet and they prescribed Proin ER. After 4 doses she stopped eating, has had 2 episodes where she is confused and can't stand. She collapsed this morning and had to lay there for a bit before being able to get up. Before giving her this medication she had not other issues. Within 4 days it's wrecked her. I am done giving it to her. I hope it hasn't caused irreversable damage. Other than her incontinence she was eating, drinking, playing like a young dog. Now she just walks slowly, head down, seizures, ruffled fur. From reading this blog I noticed that most of the successes have been with younger dogs. The older dogs don't tolerate it. I am worried that I have just given my dog a death sentence by providing this mediation. I'm just sick about it. She is the greatest friend and family member. I am not giving her this medication ever again. I hoped I stopped it soon enough.

Pat on July 15, 2020:

My 11 year old Shiba-Husky mix died after just 5 doses or 2 1/2 days on Proin. She was prescribed Proin for urinary incontinence.

Looking back, on the second day, I noticed her panting more heavily and by the third day or the fifth pill, she just wasn’t herself and was visibly uncomfortable. I immediately took her off the medicine and she seemed better that evening. She still panted more however and would softly whimper.

48 hours from her last dose,however, she was again panting so, she couldn’t get comfortable. This got worse as the day went on. I brought her to pet urgent care later that day where they immediately put her in an oxygen kennel. An hour later, she was gone.

All the vets I talk to still will not blame the Proin. The prescribing vet had said it might cause “anxiety” which is what I thought was the reason for the panting. All I know now is my sweet baby is gone. The only thing different was the addition of the Proin. Don’t let your dog take this drug!

Sharlee (author) on July 10, 2020:

Thank you for sharing.

Janis Bradley on July 09, 2020:

My dog has had healthy results with PROIN 50 mg

Sarah louise on June 23, 2020:

My 4 yr old springer spaniel has just been on this medication and although it stopped her incontinence she became very jumpy at movement or noise , sniffing ground frantically to point where she had to be taken inside to calm down , she also started licking her lips and yawning all time . The vet has taken her off the medication and trying a different one .

Doglover on June 11, 2020:

Hi from Texas-i have an American Bulldog that's spayed and about 9yrs old and became incontinent and has been on Proin for about 6months. It's cleared up the incontinence but we go to the vet tomorrow. For about the last 2 months her behavior has definitely changed. Noises freak her out. The microwave, cellphones, anything. It's awful. I think its the med

Cindee Sharp on May 28, 2020:

I started my dog on Proin about a week ago, a low dose once per day (25 mg) and gave it to her for 4 days. It seemed to be working for those 4 days. She then began to have severe diarrhea which she was completely unable to control. I counted 9 accidents in less than a 24 hour period, and she also had urinary accidents with it. I stopped the medication, since she had not been on it for very long, and took her into the vet. The vet mentioned some dogs have adverse reactions to the drug, though we still aren't sure if Proin is the primary cause of what's happening or not. She's been off the drug now for 3 days and this morning had diarrhea again with blood and mucus in it. Our next step is to take her in for an ultrasound. She had a full lab/blood work-up before taking the drug so there were no underlying concerns that would have indicated Proin was a bad choice for her. I've just never seen my dog so sick before. She is about 5 years old. She's also lost 5 pounds since starting the drug (some of this is probably water weight, but it is still too rapid for my comfort level). I am just hoping I caught this early enough and that she will get better. While I can't prove or say with certainty that Proin was the cause for these issues, I do think this is not the right medication for my dog. I will just invest in some more washable pee pads for now.

Denise Richardson on May 20, 2020:

My 8 year old Yorkshire Terrier was put on Proin and I noticed a change in behavior. In fact my dog was inadvertently getting twice the recommended dose and got severe hearing loss. I’m sick about it. The vet said The loss was from old age but I am certain it was from the medication it was too much of a coincidence. The change in behavior was because my dog could not hear me. Has anyone else had hearing loss as a side effect?

Ann on April 30, 2020:

Hello, everyone. I just wanted to pop in and say a few word about Proin, and explain about what type of drug it is, and the function of it. Proin is a stimulant, a member of the amphetamine class of drugs. The stimulant quality is why it helps the urinary muscles contract to hold and expel the urine (important so that the urine doesn't flow back into the kidney and the bladder empties completely, preventing infection), but it also explains many of the side effects people see in their dogs:

- panting more

- becoming irritable and jumpy (think how people are when they drink too much caffeine)

- appetite suppression and nausea

- seizure

- increased blood pressure potentially leading to vascular issues, such as stroke, heart irregularities, hearing damage, vision damage, organ damage (risk heightened in obese/elderly/already sick dogs)

It is very effective in treating urinary incontinence, but consider your pet's overall health before turning to Proin. If you and your vet decide your dog is good to go, you should try to use the lowest possible dose in conjunction with frequent potty breaks so that your dog isn't straining their bladder for hours. A dog should ideally go no more than 8 hours MAX for the overnight stretch. I live in an apartment with a twelve year old so I'm doing stairs all the time lol.

Additionally, be aware that urine leakage can be caused by other conditions. Infections of the urinary tract, bladder, or kidney can cause leakage that will have a strong odor. However, kidney failure can cause leakage that is nearly clear and odorless like water, since the kidneys arent filtering any waste and the overloaded fluid is just running through the system (your dog may look bloated everywhere or swollen in the abdomen). Be sure to have your regular checkups with your vet and rule these issues out before diagnosing urinary incontinence. And if you treat with Proin, definitely don't skip those checkups and mention any side effects to your vet ASAP.

Bruce on April 12, 2020:

After getting our pit/boxer mix spayed, she couldn’t control herself. Has been on proin for 10 months, and haven’t had any issues at all. Except for her having it under control now. I hope these other instances were coincidental

Sharlee (author) on March 12, 2020:

Diane, Thank you for sharing what you have experienced giving your dog Proin. It's nice to hear it is working well, and that your Dane is not having any problem taking the medication.

Diane on March 12, 2020:

My 167 pound 7-year-old great dane has been taking Proin (75 mg tablet twice a day) for 2 years and she is totally fine. Her involuntary bladder voiding has stopped completely and she is healthy and well. We have tried many, many incontinence remedies and this is the ONLY one that has worked. I highly recommend Proin.

Sharlee (author) on February 05, 2020:

Thank you for leaving a comment. I appreciate your leaving feedback on proin.

Jessica on February 05, 2020:

Our Rott has been on proin since 9 months old, she now almost 6 years old. We haven't noticed any side affects at all and works awesome! we did try other drugs prior but nothing seemed to work.

roccitylisa on January 30, 2020:

My 50 lab mix has been on Proin for 8 years (she is 12 now) and she is totally fine. Her involuntary bladder voiding is rare and she is healthy and well. So, it does work and it isn't killing my dog. Goes without saying that any medication has risks - in dogs, just like in humans. Guess I've been lucky.

karina on January 09, 2020:

I have my 8 year old chihuahua mix on Proin. She's been on it for a while now... lately i have been noticing a change in her attitude. She used to be really cuddly and never growl, now she' seems to constantly be annoyed by something or someone. has anybody else experience this w/ their dogs?? I dont know if i should take her off the medicine and put her on something else?? i just want my sweet baby girl back. :(

Gypsy on January 08, 2020:

My rescue pup was 7-8 weeks old when she was spayed. She is almost three and I’ve had her since she was 9 weeks old. About 7months ago she started peeing in her sleep when she naps. She never pees overnight. I took a urine sample to the vet yesterday and it has tested clean. I’m bringing her in tomorrow to get her checked out to possibly go on Proin. My vet said it has the least side effects of all the meds. She’s not even three yet. I can’t imagine keeping her on this for life. I’ve heard about VetriScience’s Bladder Strength holistic supplement. My vet says she tried it on her dog and it didn’t work. Has anyone else tried it? I’m leaning towards not using Proin.

Amy on December 18, 2019:

I adopted my poodle/jack russell last year when she was 11 years old. We dod not realize that she had urinary incontinence But would periodically noticed a wet spot where she slept. She needed a lot of loving and it was really a nonstarter that she could be on our bed or even be left alone anywhere in the house so we took our vets advice and started her on proin. She takes half of a 75 mg tablet each evening and has not had any leaky nights as long as she has walked before bedtime. We are all madly in love with her and have not seen any adverse side effects in our otherwise healthy girl.

DorchesterGuy on December 11, 2019:

I’m about to start proin on my 10 year old spayed GSD. I’ve spent months and thousands of dollars to get to this point. The endless licking and the smell was killing me to watch and smell. I could tell she was miserable also. She was also licking the rug every time she got up... now I know she was licking up her own urine leakage. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable she is.... every time I wiped with the pads the vet gave me, she would cry in pain.

Some of these stories are awful, but the reality is that dogs don’t live forever. How lucky is a person to have 1 dog for 17 years?! Truly an amazing gift! We have a responsibility to get out pets out of pain and if Proin can do that for my dog, it’s worth the risk at this point. She is miserable and I’m quite certain that if given the choice between constant burning, leaking, smelling and pain for the next few years of her life or risk the Proin..... I’m comfortable that she would choose Proin.

krogerss33 on December 06, 2019:

Hi all, so sorry to hear all these stories. Has anyone had any luck with any natural remedies? If so, which? I have a 13 yr old Westie that has just started to have this problem. She has various other health issues so I'm reluctant to give her Proin. However, I do need to do something. Thanks.

AmandaLee17 on August 21, 2019:

If you go to page 601 of this article called "Toxicity of Veterinary Medications" it describes the dangers of Proin. Here is the excerpt: "Phenylpropanolamine Toxicity of Veterinary Medications Tina Wismer, DVM, DABT, DABVT ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Urbana, IL: Phenylpropanolamine (PPA, Proin®) is a sympathomimetic agent used in veterinary medicine for controlling urinary incontinence in dogs. Signs can be seen at therapeutic doses in some dogs and serious signs appear at doses above 20 mg/kg. Signs include tachycardia, hypertension, panting, excitement/hyperesthesia, piloerection, tremors, and seizures. Reflex bradycardia may occur secondary to the hypertension. Signs normally start within 30-90 minutes and may continue up to 48 hours, depending on dose.

Emesis may be induced if the ingestion was within 10-15 minutes. Activated charcoal should be given if possible. Heart rate and blood pressure should be closely monitored. Nitroprusside or other pressor agents can be used to manage hypertension. Atropine is contraindicated in the management of bradycardia as it will worsen the hypertension. Phenothiazines may be used to control hyperesthesia and excitement. Animals should be put on IV fluids to promote excretion, protect renal function and help with thermoregulation. As with other stimulants, cyproheptadine may be given if signs of serotonin syndrome develop."

AmandaLee17 on August 21, 2019:

My Rhodesian Ridgeback was diagnosed with incontinence just prior to her fifth birthday (probably spay incontinence). Her vet prescribed Proin, 75 mg. After just two doses, my poor baby's heart began racing (160 bpm at rest), she was restless, lost her appetite, was fatigued, weak, panting, had her tail between her legs, and had hyperesthesia which is excessive physical sensitivity and didn't want me to touch her, so I couldn't even comfort her except with my voice. I immediately stopped the medication, called the vet and he just said if she gets worse to call back. I wish I thought to give her activated charcoal but by the time I thought of that, it was about 12 hours after her last dose so it would not have been effective. But I did give her milk thistle from my local holistic pet store to help her liver detox the chemicals. She was better the next morning after one dose of milk thistle (24 hours after the last dose of Proin), but still not 100% and still weak and fatigued. But thank goodness I am one of the lucky ones and still have my baby. So sorry to all of you who have lost your fur babies, I thought I might be losing mine and was devastated.

Glenda Green on July 17, 2019:

5 yrs ago my 21/2 yr old Staffordshire Terrier was having problems with incontinence. My vet suggested Proin. I already knew several families that used this medication, so I didnt have any concerns. After taking only 4 doses of this medication I witnessed Rosie having a stroke. I immediately called my vet and she assured me it couldn’t be because of the meds. From that point on Rosie was a different dog. It was like she didnt know us. We adopted her at 5 months of age after fostering her for several months. She slept with us. She played mommie to our foster puppies. We were her world. Things went downhill fast. She attacked pups she played with and almost killed my cocker. I spent 4,000 $ to have test run and have her evaluated. The stroke had turned my girl into a furbaby we didnt know. They suggested we put her in a kennel, not to be handled. I was not going to do that to her. I could see her go from happy one second to so much fear in her eyes she would scream. I had my baby euthanized so she could be free. THAT WAS BY FAR THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!!! I WILL NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF FOR GIVING THIS MEDICATION TO HER. After doing much research after her death, I couldn’t believe it was taken off the market for humans because it caused strokes. Then they marketed it for dogs. Please do not take a chance...It isnt worth it!!!

Sharlee (author) on June 25, 2019:

It does appear that if a dog is going to have a problem it is soon after starting Proin. I am not sure of any other drug that can be substituted to help with incontinence. I know it's a hard decision to medicate a pet for incontinence. The incontinence, as a rule, leads to skin scolding which has to be addressed.

Kim on June 24, 2019:

My 10 y/o dobie has been on Proin for 2 months now with no problems but I do have his blood pressure checked regularly. After reading all these posts, I’m trying to rationalize keeping him on this drug. From what I’ve read here the problems begin immediately...I’m still concerned but was told there was no other drug for male dog incontinence. Does anyone know of an alternative?

judy barker on June 20, 2019:

My 13 year old male Dachshund has been put on Proin 25mg. He's only been on it for about a week. The leaking at night stopped, but he's thrown up a few times and seems more lethargic. I am discontinuing it. Why would my well known vet recommend it with all the side effects?

Twiggybean on April 17, 2019:

My dog Amber has been on Proin for 6 years. No side effects. She’s doing just fine. I think this medicine is like any other medicine, Some have issues with it, some don’t.

Sharlee (author) on March 03, 2019:

Please ask your vet how to wean your dog off Proin.

JainA on March 01, 2019:

Can I slowly wean my 75lb black lab off proin(for urinary incontinence) in replacement In using copaiba oil? As of now she is taking 1 tablet(50mg) twice a day of proin. She is a 4 year old black lab, anyone else use essential oils as a replacement for Proin?

Sharlee (author) on February 14, 2019:

My dog rose began having seizure also and died within days after giving her proin. So sorry for your loss.

Sylvia on February 13, 2019:

I gave my JRT one dose of Proin. She was dead within 24 hours. Her ultra sound, urinalysis and blood work were all fine. She began having seizures within 9 hours of taking the Proin and within 3 hours was vomiting blood.

Sharlee (author) on January 30, 2019:

So sorry to hear you lost your friend. I thank you for posting, it may just help save other pets.

Paige Graham on January 29, 2019:

My vet prescribed Proin for my lab and when I researched all of the HORRIBLE side effects I questioned my vet. 1 week later she was gone. DO NOT GIVE THIS TO YOUR DOG! It is illegal for humans, why would a vet give it to an animal. Pet owners PLEASE do your research on any meds for your Pet.

Ann Fisher on January 03, 2019:

My 7 year old Newfoundland was on Proin for 1.5 days for incontinence and had to be put down. Basically she was fine on Friday, walked a mile, acted perfectly normal and I woke up to her heavy breathing at 4 am - We took her to the ER where they ruled out infection, cancer etc.

Everything was pointing to a neurological problem - most likely seizure or stroke. I am convinced it was the Proin but I have come to accept it and do not blame anyone. Next time, I'll do research before I put my pet on any type of medication. It was a hard lesson to learn.

witznd on December 13, 2018:

In June of 2018 our 4 yr. old Great Dane under went expository surgery to see why he couldn’t breed. He had formed a sac in this sheath that was collecting urine and killing his sperm. He was under general anesthesia for approx. 1 hour and hooked up to a heart monitor and had a full set of labs done prior. After this procedure our vet couldn’t find a reason for this urine collection and diagnosed him with a weakened bladder sphincter and prescribed him Proin.

After 5 months he began to develop an unusual cough and I did a lot of research on this medication and found that it was taken off the market for humans and there was mounting evidence that it was causing heart issues in dogs. I took him off that Medication that day. Within just a few days our sweet Dane was going done hill quickly and we took him to our vet who hooked him up to an EKG and saw that his heart was racing at 220+ beats per minute and strongly suggested that we take him immediately (2.5 hours away) to Washington State University Vet school for a more through diagnosis. I asked if the Proin could have caused this and that question was immediately dismissed. Our Vet claimed that he must have had a heart condition prior to taking the medication. I stressed that he was fine prior to his exploratory surgery and if he had a heart condition, especially Tachycardia (very rapid heart rate) this would have been seen prior to his proceedure. My concerns and suspicions were immediately whisked under the rug.

At the College Vet School he was diagnosed with tachycardia, a heart murmur and advanced Congestive Heart failure with a life expectancy of 6-12 months. Again, I brought up the fact that he was in perfect health in June, just 5 month prior, and if he had been suffering from all of these heart issues our Vet would have seen this either prior to his surgery or during while his heart was being monitored. And yet again I was spoken to like an imbecile who had no idea what I was talking about! I even shared the research I had found and the Vet simply didn’t want to hear any of it!

I am not sure why no one in the Veterinarian field is willing to take a look at this harmful to humans drug and see the correlation to the damage it can do to the hearts of dogs! There must be a reason for them to attempt to cover-up the mounting evidence that this drug is killing dogs!

Maltese on September 16, 2018:

Any alternative to Proin?

Sharlee (author) on September 09, 2018:

Thank you for your comment. Sorry to hear how ill your dog is. I know losing a dog is a hard thing to get through...

Chuck Scheerer on September 09, 2018:

After vet put my dog on proin for 1.5 months she has developed kidney failure and now having to put her down because of it. Very sad. Do not use this drug.

Sharlee (author) on June 28, 2018:

Sorry for your loss. I know how badly this hurts. Thank you for leaving your comment, it may just save a cherished pet.

Jeanie Burnett on June 27, 2018:

My sweet little Angie was rescued from a puppy mill and had lots of puppies. She is a senior now and has bladder issues and wets my bed almost every night. The vet prescribed Proin and she almost died last night!!!!!!!

Sharlee (author) on May 25, 2018:

I posted this very article in hopes of sharing information on Proin. Many have written me with the same sad story. The seizures, kidney failure, and more. I am very sorry for your loss. You must forgive yourselves, you had no way of knowing the drug could cause problems. It's the first drug vet prescribe for pet incontinence. In no way should you blame yourselves. Time will have you remembering the best times you spent with your little friend.

Nadine Kenney on May 24, 2018:

It has been 8 months since we had to put our 14 year old Yorkie to sleep as he quickly developed kidney failure and uncontrollable Grand Mal seizures due to Proin. Our hearts are broken and we cannot forgive ourselves for trusting a temp vet and giving him Proin. This product needs to be taken off the market. It killed women and now it is killing our beloved pets.

Sharlee (author) on May 14, 2018:

Virginia, I am so sorry for your loss... I know exactly how you feel. So sad for you.

Virginia Bergstrom on May 14, 2018:

I had to take my 13 year old girl Karma to the emergency room today to have her put to sleep. I 100 percent blame Proin. I am so upset that I didn't research this before giving it to her. I trusted my vet and she told me that there were little to no side effects. Wasn't that a joke! First I noticed the panting, then she started looking listless - staring off into space, she became restless as well. She started drinking A LOT of water. So it is Spring here and warming up so I just attributed all this to the heat. Proin worked about 95 percent of the time for about 6 weeks and then its effectiveness wore off. I called the doctor and she said to double the dosage and call her back in three days. She didn't say anything about how doubling the dosage might hurt her. So I doubled the dosage and unfortunately I didn't call back until 7 days later because I gave it a few extra days because it still wasn't working. Meanwhile I noticed that she was vomiting every other day just a little bit and that her appetite was decreasing. I figured the drug was just making her nauseous so I started giving her a little more food in the morning and a little less food at night. I called the doctor but she didn't call back for two days so she was still on the double dose. 25 mg in the am and 25 mg in the pm. She ordered a different drug for me and it was coming in the mail. So Thursday morning of last week my dog refused the drug and I said okay well it isn't working anyhow. I will wait for the new drug. So Wednesday night was her last dose. The new drug came on Friday and I never gave it to her because she started to completely refuse to eat. No dinner on Friday and no dinner on Saturday. She continued to drink a lot of water and then she started to throw up water. Another side effect I didn't notice until around Thursday was constipation. I was very worried but when she started throwing up even water then I really knew something was seriously wrong. The emergency vet tech gave fluids under the skin and an anti nausea shot. I was hoping to take her to my regular vet this morning and see what she could do for her if anything. I brought her home hoping that within a few hours she wouldn't be nauseous anymore and eat dinner. Instead she continued to throw up water and her breathing became labored. So by last night I knew that I would just be taking her to the vet to have her put to sleep. By 6 am today blood was pouring out of her anus. It was the most horrifying thing that I have ever had to endure. I wrapped her up and by 7:45 she was with the angels. This was the first time that I have ever given any of my animals medicine other than antibiotics and/or temporary pain pills. I have had dogs and cats all my life and this was absolutely awful. I wish I could do it all over again and not have given her this horrible drug. I am glad this nightmare is over but my poor baby had to suffer and I am so sorry.

nevill mcinerny on April 24, 2018:

Proin worked well for Lucy, a female Doberman. There have been no noticeable side effects after about 2 years of giving her a tablet twice a day with her meals.

Sharlee (author) on January 03, 2018:

Patricia, From the letters I have received over the years from pet owners in regards to Proin. It seems if the pet is going to have problems with the drug, it is immediate. It also seems the pet has some underlying health issues. It appears your dog has done well on the drug. Hopefully your friend gets well soon. I know how distressing it can be when your best friend is sick.

Patricia Webster on January 02, 2018:

I have been using PROIN for the past 3+ years with my Senior Rottweiler. I’ve not had any problem for the first 3 years, but about 6 weeks ago, she began vomiting, after either eating, or not. Took her to the Vet. Stats looked good. Fed her chicken and rice and took her off kibble because even when it was soaked she would still vomit. She still vomited but not as often. But, this last weekend, she has gone back to vomiting. Last night as I researched what causes vomiting in dogs - irritated stomach. So, went to bed pondering on what is causing the irritation in her tummy. She is on a thyroid pill and PROIN. That is why I am on this site because I haven’t ever really checked the side effects of this drug. She has lost weight, 10#. I am very glad to have checked this site as I am needing to renew this expensive drug, and if it is the cause of her problem then am very glad to discover it now before I spend the $45 for the small bottle of it. Thank you

Kelly on May 16, 2017:

My Golden was put on Proin for bladder issues. Less that 2 weeks later we woke to her unable to stand. Stomach bloated and in pain. We had to put her to sleep. She had a complete physical and blood work done prior to starting the Proin and she was absolutely fine. I totally blame proin for her death. DO NOT USE IT!

Sharlee (author) on August 06, 2016:

I am so sorry you did not see this blog before you started your husky on Proin. My dog also was a victim, she died very shortly after taking the drug. She had kidney failure and seizures. had to also put her down....

Dezmcelheny on July 31, 2016:


My very healthy 10 year old female husky started leaking and the vet said Proin would fix it with no side affects except hyper and moody. Well, not even 4 months into the meds she had kidney failure and had to be put down! The worst effing day of my families life! Try telling your kids (ages 6&8) that their dog is dying and there's nothing we can do to help her!!

There has to be another med out there or something to do to help them!! Anyone know of anything??

Mickey R on September 10, 2014:

My pug Bella was on Proin for three years. It worked beautifully for her. She died 11 months ago, completely unrelated to Proin (a necropsy was done, and Metacam was the problem). Her sister Maggie started taking Proin a month ago, and now acts like she is in pan all the time (stares at me a LOT, will not sit still very long, just doesn't seems herself). Taking her back to the vet to have BP checked and a panel, but her arthritis is quite advanced, so am not at all convinced Proin is to blame. Still, glad to have seen this page because I honestly had not considered Proin as a possible cause and was simply at the point of trying to determine if Maggie's arthritis has just made it to the stage where we cannot manage her pain anymore.

anggot on June 13, 2014:

Hi... My dog jada is a black lab. Not even two yet..has urine inconcintence.. A week ago I started her on proin.. Two nights in a row head seizures.. 2nd night was worse. Taking her off it tmrw.. Vet said that shouldn't be a cause. Well happened again.

hazelvin on May 10, 2014:

Much better than Euthanasia,

michael-obrien-music on February 22, 2014:

I have been treating my 13-year-old labâpitbull mix with Proin for six months now. It has been her saving grace, as well as mine - because I no longer have to launder her dog bed on an almost, daily basis (sometimes multiple times a day) AND she no longer has to sleep in her own urine. I for one, am very thankful that my veterinarian recommended this medication for my dog. That being said, I think that the jury might still be out, on whether the benefits of Proin outweigh the potential side-effects IF your dog has abnormal levels in his/her blood panel/lab results. Therefore, I simply used my common sense. Before putting her on Proin, I had a complete blood panel done to make sure all of her levels were normal. Reason being, IF Proin is going to potentially harm a dog, it's likely going to be a dog that already had some sort of issue that comes naturally with old age, and had simply yet to be diagnosed. This seems to be the general consensus among those who actually know what they are talking about, and are worth listening to.

Like any person who makes their decisions using research-based, scientific evidence (instead of one, anecdotal account of some pet owner's 10+ year old dog) I can't really take most of the "warnings" about Proin seriously. From all I have read, the paranoia comes mostly from pet owners who are failing to take countless other factors into consideration when blaming their Vet's recommendation of Proin on their dog's death. In fact, I have read some astonishingly stupid comments/assumptions made by people in this very thread. To say that "My 17 year old dog died shortly after being placed on Proin, so I blame Proin and my Vet" is really just a highly emotional and irrational conclusion reached by a grieving person who clearly does not understand that sometimes, a 17 year old dog just dies because he is 17 years old. I'm sorry to be so insensitive, but if you are going to have a dog on Proin, NSAID's or any other meds that come with potentially lethal side need to do a blood panel every six months. If your dog has issues with its kidneys, or digestive tract or high blood pressure etc - and you don't know this because you're medicating your dog without taking the necessary precautions...well then you cannot really blame your vet or the medication....because you just can't KNOW this, by any means.

So here is where I stand. My dog (Gretyl) is 13. I am a mountaineer, and Gretyl has been with me, at every major peak I have summited in Southern California, since she was a pup. The vet described the results of her latest blood panel as "amazing" and "off the charts" for a 13 year old dog. I guess all that hiking throughout her life kept her very healthy, despite the toll it took on her poor hips. But even now, with the NSAID's, she can still manage stairwells and long walks without ANY problems...I just can't climb mountains with her anymore. SO - if Gretyl suddenly strokes out, or has her kidneys fail - or anything along these lines, then I might have reason to be suspicious of Proin.

OR - If anyone else out there can attest to have a perfectly healthy dog (proven by a blood panel, not just assumed, because you "see" nothing wrong) who succumbed to something terrible soon after being put on Proin - then again, I'd have reason to be suspicious. But I have yet to see ANY compelling evidence that makes me feel like I need to worry, beyond making sure her levels remain normal, by doing a panel every 6 months.

My two cents...happy dog days people :)

dhmsuzyqangel on January 07, 2014:


dennismcmahen on September 30, 2013:

Our Sammie has been on Proin since shes been 4 months old, she is now 10 years old.

Sammie developed seizure disorder when she turned 6 years old. No tumor, no head trauma.

She has seizures every 4/5 weeks.I believe that I'm going to try to wean her down off of Proin to see if her seizure pattern changes. Any comments will be appreciated.

anonymous on July 27, 2013:

My four-year old Lab Mix has been on Proin for a couple of weeks. The first day I gave her three tablets and it really knocked her out. Now I give her one in the morning and one in the evening and her behavior and eating habits have been fine. She's playful and has a great appetite. The incontinence has stopped. The one thing that I have noticed that's concerning is that there are some red spots that have shown up in the brown parts of her eyes. And her eyes seem more bloodshot in the white area. I haven't spoken to the vet yet. He told me to give her three for awhile, then down to two and then to one. I immediately went to two because of the lethargy at three tablets, but I may keep her on two for a few more days and then go to one and see how we do. I haven't seen any of the bad side effects that I've read about, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen. I'm just going to stay very aware and watch her.

anonymous on July 10, 2013:

I have a female German Shepherd mix 4yrs old who has just started having incontinence problems while she sleeps. My vet tested her urine for infection but it came back clean so she prescribed Proin, 75mg 1/2 tablet twice a day. This morning I gave my dog 1/2 tablet with her food, 3hrs later she threw up (which is very unusual for this dog). After researching Proin on the Web and reading about the side effects I'm going to return the remaining pills and talk to the vet about another solution.

anonymous on June 25, 2013:

My 5 year old Newfoundland was given Proin. She became lethargic, wouldn't eat and her stools were very dark. The day after I stopped giving her this drug, she started to eat again and she is playing with her toys and she has life back in her eyes. I was never told of any side effects to this drug. I hope this has not caused her any damage.

anonymous on April 09, 2013:

My 5yr old min poodle has been having incontinence issues when she sleeps. Started her on Proin last Tuesday. She was tested for an uti but was clear. She started refusing to eat, had dark runny stools, started vomiting yellowish bile. Lethargic, and just doesn't feel like her usual self. Am taking her off the drug immediately.

anonymous on October 30, 2012:

I think there comes a time in a dog's life whereby almost NO medicine should be given. I am totally being dramatic because I have a 14 year old and I have read so much about medicines being bad for this that or the other. After reading this...I am going to keep the diapers on her. I don't want to even take a chance. I cannot afford to have her heart looked at to see if she could even handle any medicine. Thanks so much for posting.

Sharlee (author) on October 12, 2010:

I am sad to post that I used Proin for my dogs incontinence problem. "Rose" was 16, and having a real problem with incontinence. She actually would void in her sleep, which caused a severe skin scolding. I had little choice but to try Proin. I tried every alternative. Rose had a stroke about two months of starting Proin, and passed on. I have to believe her age and weak condition caused the stroke, and ultimate death. However, I will never be sure if Proin aided the progression of the stroke. Please be aware of the side effect's of Proin, one of the side effect's is stroke.

anonymous on July 05, 2010:

My 16 year old westie was having problems with incontinence. She would wet where ever she fell asleep, day and night. The problem was getting severe. The vet put her on Proin. the dose was 12.5 mg 3 times a day. From the first dose the accidents stopped. However, the second day after she began her treatment, she became very agitated panting, and not being able to rest.

I cut the dose in half, and saw no improvement in her agitation. She still had no problems with inconstancy. I was about to give up... I again cut the dose to 3.12, 1/8 of a 25 mg tab. This small dose worked, no more accidents, no more agitation. I suggest that if one chooses to use Proin, start at a low dose, and increase if needed.

Sharlee (author) on October 01, 2009:

My dog is starting to have problems with urinary incontinence. She is 16, and her vet checked her out, and claims it's her age... It seems to help by limiting her water after 7pm.

and getting her out to void every 3 waking hours. Any tips would be appreciated.

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