Proin-for-Dogs

Proin for Dogs: A Simple Solution for Urinary Incontinence

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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Should I give my dog Proin?

Should-I-give-my-dog-Proin

Yes, you can give your dog Proin for control of urinary incontinence. Proin is an FDA-approved drug for dogs that cannot hold pee as a result of urethral sphincter hypotonus. Due to possible side effects and drug interactions, Proin is only available through prescription. 

The active ingredient Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) can be found in human formulations (Proin, Uriflex-PT Propalin, Cystolamine, Uricon), which in veterinary medicine are used off-label. 

However, after the FDA approval, the same active ingredient is also used in tablets for oral use made for dogs like Proin ER (phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride extended-release), which are made by Pegasus Laboratories. 

It should be mentioned that Proin formulations are unavailable in certain countries such as Iowa, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oregon, Hawaii, West Virginia, and Georgia. 

What is Proin Used for in Dogs?

Proin is used for dogs with urinary incontinence due to urethral sphincter hypotonus, which is poor muscle tone in the urethral sphincter. The urethral sphincter is a muscular structure and is responsible for controlling the urine outflow from the bladder into the urethra. 

The active ingredient Phenylpropanolamine is an adrenergic agent that activates the adrenal receptors, similar mechanism of action like epinephrine and norepinephrine. In other words, Pehnylpropranolamine works by constricting the bladder sphincter muscle, thus preventing urine leakage. 

Proin does not work for dogs with urinary incontinence due to other medical conditions like malformations and neurologic disease. 

What are the Side Effects of Dogs Taking Proin?

Common side effects of Proin in dogs include diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, irritability, restlessness, agitation, vocalization, difficulty urinating, increased thirst (polydipsia), increased water intake, and lethargy.  

In addition to these common adverse reactions, some dogs develop more serious side effects, such as tremors, seizures, collapse, stroke-like symptoms (loss of coordination, abnormal gait, inability to walk), elevated liver enzymes, blood in urine, urinary retention, and kidney failure. 

In extra sensitive dogs, Proin may trigger an allergic reaction with symptoms like hives, facial swelling (lips, tongue), and breathing difficulties.  

 To minimize the risk of possible side effects, Proin can be used but with caution in:

  • Dogs with blood vessel and heart disease
  • Dogs with a predilection for high blood pressure 
  • Dogs with enlarged prostate
  • Dogs with elevated thyroid hormones
  • Dogs with glaucoma, seizures, and diabetes 
  • Dogs with kidney insufficiency and liver disease
  • Dogs with urinary tract infections (masks the signs).  

On the other hand, Proin must not be used at all in:

  • Dogs sensitive to the active ingredient 
  • Dogs on meds with known drug interactions.

Since, the safe use of Proin in breeding dogs, pregnant and lactating females is not evaluated, it is best not to use the medication in these situations and avoid potential side effects. In humans and certain animal species, sympathomimetic drugs are linked with birth defects, but the issue is not confirmed in pets. 

Can Proin Cause Kidney Failure in Dogs?

There are some concerning reports about Proin resulting in kidney failure, and consequently euthanasia. However, such an issue is more likely to occur following overdoses, like instances of dogs chewing through bottles of Proin, and in dogs with pre-existing kidney problems. 

Proin Dosage for Dogs

Proin-Dosage-for-Dogs

The recommended dosage of Phenylpropanolamine for dogs is between 0.4 and 0.8 mg per pound of body weight (0.8 to 1.7 mg/kg) every 12 hours (twice daily). The vet will determine the dog’s usual dose. 

In case you forgot to give your dog Proin, give the soft chew as soon as you remember. Or, if it is close to the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with the regular schedule. Never double dose your dog as high Phenylpropanolamine levels are toxic.  

The symptoms of Proin toxicity are high blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, hyperexcitability, dilated pupils, tremors, and seizures. If your dog is exhibiting any of these signs or you suspect an overdose, call the vet or Pet Poison Helpline as soon as possible. 

Proin for Dogs Usage Guidelines

Proin chewable tablets are available in different strengths – 25 mg tablets, 50mg tablets, and 75mg tablets. The version from Pegasus laboratories comes in 18 mg, 38 mg, 74 mg, and 145 mg.

The veterinarian will prescribe the strength that best fits your dog’s size and needs. Each Proin tablet is scored for a more precise dose calculation and features an enticing liver flavor for simple administration.

The Proin tablets are given by mouth with or without food. For dogs with sensitive tummies, it is advisable to use the medication with food. Since Proin increases thirst, make sure your dog has ample fresh water within easy reach while supplementing. 

Before starting to use Proin, inform your veterinarian about any medication your dog is taking, including supplements, vitamins, and herbal remedies. Drug interactions are possible if using Proin in conjunction with the following medications:

  • Sympathomimetics (Ephedrine, Epinephrine)
  • NSAIDs like Aspirin (inhibits platelet aggregation)
  • Drugs for high blood pressure meds (Reserpine)
  • Anesthetics (Isoflurane, Desflurane, Sevoflurane)
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs (Anipryl)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants.

Always store Proin in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions – at room temperature and away from heat, light, and moisture. Due to toxicity risks, the bottles of Proin must be kept in a secured location (out of reach of dogs and out of reach of children). Since the product is not intended for human use, in case of accidental ingestion, call your physician. 

How Long Can Dogs Stay on Proin?

Dogs can stay on Proin for over 180 days without developing serious issues. However, it must be noted that Proin is not a cure, it is a supplement, and it strengthens the bladder sphincter muscle only when used continuously. Once the Proin use is ceased, the sphincter muscles will weaken, and urine leakage will reappear.

Proin Alternatives for Dogs

Proin-Alternatives-for-Dogs

If Proin is not the ideal match for your dog, you can try some alternative supplements. Common Proin alternatives include Estrogen or Estrogen derivatives (like Diethylstilbestrol and Estriol). 

Incurin for Dogs. Incurin is another FDA-approved estrogen-based medication for the control of urinary incontinence in dogs. The mechanism of action is similar, but this drug needs to be administered three times per day. 

Regardless of which medication you prefer, you need to talk to a vet if your dog needs help with urinary incontinence. Keep in mind that the info in this article is purely educational. 

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4266053/

https://www.aaha.org/publications/newstat/articles/2019-04/fda-approves-new-once-a-day-treatment-for-urinary-incontinence-in-dogs/

 https://animaldrugsatfda.fda.gov/adafda/app/search/public/document/downloadFoi/881

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19282207/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10839324/