Proin to Treat Incontinence in Dogs – Consider Carefully – Potential Serious Side Effects

Proin aids in the management of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs. A prescription from your vet is required. Proin will not cure Incontinence but if will help manage the condition. Proin is a controlled Substance and is the brand name for phenylpropanolamine (PPA). This drug helps tighten the urethral sphincter, which helps to control urine leakage.

The drug takes several days to show its effect and needs to be administered daily to work. Possible side effects associated with this drug are:

  • changes in heart rate,
  • increased blood pressure,
  • hyperexcitability,
  • restlessness,
  • loss of appetite.

Consider it an Emergency  when your Dog has:

  • difficulty breathing,
  • hives,
  • swelling of the lips, tongue, or face.

Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • increased blood pressure,
  • increased heart rate,
  • seizures
  • coma.

Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) acts as a stimulant promoting the “fight or flight” reflexes within the body. As such it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. Irritability and restlessness are documented side effects that can occur in humans, therefore it is reasonable to expect similar effects in your dog.

I have noticed this side effect in our dog while she was on Proin, and the increased irritability became a concern. Duchess displayed a noticeable change in her mood and demeanor towards our other dogs. She seemed to grow more irritable, anxious and grumpy. She started growling at family members, including human members. Anxiety is one possible side effect of Proin. Since I stopped this medication she calmed down and became a much more relaxed dog. She seemed more happy, playful and energetic as well. We have not seen this happy almost puppy like attitude in a long time.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public advisory against the use of the drug in November 2000. In this advisory, the FDA requested that all drug companies discontinue marketing products containing PPA. The agency estimates that PPA caused between 200 and 500 strokes per year among 18-to-49-year-old users. In 2005, the FDA removed PPA from over-the-counter sale. Because of its potential use in amphetamine manufacture, it is controlled by the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. It is still available for veterinary use in dogs, however, as a treatment for urinary incontinence.

Unfortunately you won’t be able to know if this drug causes side effects for your dog until you try it. While many dogs seem to do well, including our Rottweiler, you are taking the chance that your dog will experience side effects. Trust your gut feeling and consult with your vet. Ask as many questions as you need to make an informed decision.

Duchess did not suffer so much from the above physical side effects as she showed psychological symptoms. You may want to weigh in the emotional stress incontinence may cause for your dog. Many dogs get depressed and “feel guilty” when accidents occur. Our Rottweiler has never had an accident inside the home before incontinence started. When leakes happened on her bed she would move to another spot and start panting, at times uncontrollably. You could tell by looking at her that she expected to be punished even though she never was. She clearly is a dog who is psychologically impacted by this health problem more so than physically.  In our case, Duchess appeared to be in distress because she known she is not supposed to go potty inside but it is out of her control.



I had to carefully consider whether stopping Proin was in Duchess’ best interest and if it wasn’t for the Cancer Diagnosis of Lucky, I may have not taken another look at alternatives. Fortunately I found a Natural Product – Read all about it HERE – that works, but if it didn’t, I would have continued with Proin. Contrary to many heartbreaking experiences you will read on the net, I am not opposed to using Proin to Treat Incontinence in Dogs as is my case the benefits outweighed the potential risks. Also consider what you read. If dogs have underlying health problems, which are often not talked about in statements on the net, if increases your pet’s risk of side effects.

I guess what I am trying to tell you is, be careful what you read and the source. While reading statements, discussions and recommendations online may be a valuable source of info, it does not always tell the whole story. This is why you need to make sure your pet is in the hands of a Veterinarian you trust. Your Vet knows you dog best, knows the health status and will advise you, not the internet. I am only stating this because when Duchess started having problems I went online. After reading horror stories about the use of Proin I stopped, only to get frustrated and start her back up on the Drug.

In the meantime I have consulted with a vast number of Veterinarians, Internists and Specialists. With four dogs, 2 Birds and 3 Horses in the home we get to see quite a variety of Specialists and I ask questions every chance I get. In my opinion, unless your pet has health risks which your vet can determine, this drug is worth considering.

The Bottom Line for any use of Prescription Meds is to question whether the Benefits outweigh the Risks. Like with Medications for Humans, there are side effects but the risk of developing side effects may be very minute. In any case you would not start taking a Drug unless discussed or prescribed by your Physician, so do the same for your pet. Consult your Vet.

Another thought. Think of commercials for Drugs you see on TV. It is stunning to hear what seems an unlimited number of potential side effects after telling you the good things the particular medication can do. I often wonder why anyone would consider any medication after hearing what the trade off could be. But then remind yourself of this. People take Medication because the potential Dangers outweigh the Benefits. Drugs will be listed with any and every possible side effect even if the chances are one in a billion, for obvious and legal reasons. This is why it is extremely important to consult with your Vet on any Drug, prescription or natural, before administering. DON’T TAKE EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THE WEB FOR A FACT!


Dogs with Incontinence may become very hard to manage when untreated. The constant leaking and accidents stress guardians and dogs and unfortunately many dogs end up in shelters or are left to live outside, alone, in the backyard. I think of this as the biggest reason to consider this medication. If your dog becomes unmanageable for you inside your home, don’t giving up on him by dumping him/her off at a shelter or banning him to the outside. He will end up worse so why not take the the chance with Proin. Most dogs will do well on this medication, and your dog can live a happy and long life by your side.

PLEASE REMEMBER: Don’t ever punish your dog for accidents that are out of his/her control. Remember, your dog is not doing this on purpose or to make you angry. Your dog loves you more than anything in this world and would go through fire for you. DON’T FAIL YOUR BEST FRIEND! Most dogs suffer greatly for having accidents. If you dog is house trained and you start seeing little wet spots on the bedding or floor when they sleep or after they get up, when you see little dribbles when they walk please get them checked out by your vet. It could be as simple as a Urinary Tract Infection or it could be something more serious. Find out what causes this, don’t punish your dog, and find out what you can do to treat and help your BEST FRIEND!

This article is my soly my opinion due to my own research and experience. I am not a Veterinarian and i urge you consult with your Veterinarian, just like I would, before considering whether a particular medication is appropriate and safe. Duchess had no underlying health problems and Proin was a treatment that worked just fine until I found THIS ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT.