Canine Incontinence Treatment with Proin

Canine incontinence is a condition when the sphincter muscle controlling the urethra opening does not function properly, allowing urine to prematurely escape from the bladder. It is a physical condition and not a behavioral one. Proin (phenylpropanalamine or PPA) aids in keeping the urethra sphincter tight, thereby successfully treating canine incontinence. Although incontinence can occur in either males or females, it is more common among spayed females, especially those spayed at an early age. Obesity can also be a contributing factor.

Symptoms of Canine Incontinence

Canine incontinence is the inability of a dog to control his or her bladder. Incontinence can cause skin infections, dermatitis, inflammation around the vulvar area and urine scalding. Since urine is present constantly due to the leakage, an unpleasant odor is often present as well.

Root Causes of Canine Incontinence

There are a number of causes regarding canine incontinence. The first indication of a problem is excessive drinking of water. This alone does not indicate incontinence, since excessive thirst can indicate other issues such as diabetes or some other disease. A veterinarian should be consulted in determining the cause of the excessive thirst. Excessive thirst is accompanied by frequent urination. Other causes include:

  • Diabetes
  • Aging
  • Result of spaying (female)
  • Change in testosterone (male) and estrogen (female)
  • Bladder infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Prednisone (drug)
  • Heart problems, such as dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Kidney failure
  • Cushing's disease
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Obesity

Available by Prescription Only

Proin is a prescription drug originally used in humans, but it was removed from the market for human consumption after reports of high blood pressure problems. Proin is administered two to three times daily in tablet or liquid form; the dosage is decreased as the condition stabilizes. It takes several days before improvement is noticeable. Since canine incontinence is not curable, the drug will have to be administered indefinitely. Regular veterinarian visits are necessary to monitor the dog's health and the status of the condition. Side effects include restlessness, increase in blood pressure, rapid heart rate and change in appetite (increase or decrease). Since light will deactivate the medication, is must be stored in an amber colored bottle that is light resistant.

Proin does not always interact well with certain medications. The veterinarian should be informed of all medications being given. Proin should not be combined with L-Deprenyl (Anipryl), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), tricyclic antidepressants or Amitraz.

Alternative Treatments

Since canine incontinence is not curable, there are other alternatives to be used in conjunction with the administration of Proin. All dogs should be allowed to urinate prior to being left alone or before bedtime. If obesity is a suspected culprit to the problem, a new diet should be introduced. The estrogen supplement, Diethylstilbestrol (DES) can be prescribed for spayed-induced incontinence. Testosterone injections can be prescribed for neutered males for incontinence due to hormonal changes. Sometimes corn silk can be administered to treat incontinence naturally. Finally, a dog can be taught to use Piddle Pads for his urinary needs.